October 2, 2005

Nations in Judgment


Total cultural index: 6
(out of a possible 20)

Ever since the Bolshevik revolution, Afghanistan quaked in subversion and revolutionary turmoil. Several times it nearly collapsed into full revolution. But it was not until 1978 that the Communists seized full power, with Soviet forces invading the following year. Although the Soviet army supposedly “withdrew” in 1989, it left behind a well-developed Communist infrastructure, including several “warring” factions all solidly under Soviet control. Those groups have traded control of the government (as well as members and logistical support) while pretending to fight one another, but to this day the Communists have maintained full revolutionary control through all the interlocking “factions” — whether the forces under Burhanuddin Rabbani, Abdur Rashid Dostum, Gulbadin Hekmatyar, the “Taliban,” the “Northern Alliance,” or the current regime of Taliban supporter Hamid Karzai.

The area now known as Afghanistan was for many centuries little more than a lawless area of nomadic shepherds and traders, divided into primitive tribes and clans loosely dominating various regions. But as the Bolshevik revolution spread throughout Russian territory, its Afghan neighbor came under attack. In 1919 the king was assassinated and replaced by his son Amanullah Khan, a Communist agent who quickly joined an alliance with Soviet Russia. The Soviets sent financial and military aid to bolster Khan’s regime, turning the Afghan military into puppet forces under Soviet control and converting the country into a base for subversion and revolution against British-controlled India. Over 100 Soviet advisors arrived to take control of the situation directly. By 1928 Khan decided he was ready to turn Afghanistan itself into a Communist country, but this sparked a popular uprising that overthrew him the following year and pulled the nation back out of the Soviet orbit.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Soviet agents gradually built an underground Communist movement that quietly infiltrated the government and other high positions. By 1973, Prince Mohammed Daoud Khan (known as the “Red Prince” for his overt Marxism) overthrew the monarchy and created a weak republic. He spent the next five years accelerating the subversion of the system and paving the way for the official 1978 takeover by the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan — the Communist party, which later invited Soviet military forces into the country.

Despite longstanding opposition to Communism by the general Muslim population, Afghanistan could not fend off the Communist revolution, nor has it ever been able to free itself. Why not? A closer look at Afghan society and culture reveals the answers.

Religious Devotion

Afghan society is almost entirely Muslim, believing in G-d and following basic moral precepts. As is typical of Muslim societies everywhere (more so than Christian societies), the people deeply resent Marxism and all other atheistic, blasphemous movements, and they are quick to fight back against encroaching revolution. This goes far in explaining the Divine assistance that enabled the Afghans to hold back Communism decades longer than their Soviet neighbors to the north.

But we rate their religiosity with a disappointing “medium, ” reflecting Afghanistan’s well-established reputation as a laid-back, casual Islamic culture, one that does not follow its religious beliefs with zeal. That flaw opened the door to liberalism and Soviet recruitment that ultimately undid the country.

Cultural Morality

Afghans showed little or no desire to modernize their society and move forward with development, content instead merely to remain nomads and farmers as they had for so many centuries. This also left them divided along tribal lines, retaining their ancient disunity and primitive, often savage customs. Thus despite their adherence to some moral traditions, we rate their moral and ethical standards as only “medium.” Their sad lack of ambition for civilization, and their backwards customs, helped put time on the side of their advancing enemies.

Treatment of Jews

Few Jews have lived in the country, and we doubt they were treated well. But the “medium” rating reflects more the apparent indifference Afghans have had toward the Jewish people in general, apparently neither friendly nor particularly hostile. Thus Afghanistan missed out on any Divine help they might have received for actively supporting the people chosen as a “light to the nations.”

Outside Influence
(very low)

This was the most crucial Afghan weakness that set them up for ultimate defeat. Rather than welcoming the influence and teachings of superior cultures, Afghans have jealously guarded their independence from foreigners. Both the Russian and British empires extended support and protection since the early 1800s, but Afghans stubbornly fought back and refused to glean any knowledge from the more advanced nations. By clinging tightly to their wild, primitive ways, Afghans isolated themselves and blocked any possibility of outgrowing the rising tide of Marxist revolution. Sophisticated Communist methods of subversion were pitted against a weak, stagnant nation. Had Afghanistan developed a capitalist economic infrastructure and a dynamic culture of new ideas, it would still today be a free nation.

Other Factors
(none known)

We are not aware of any other extenuating circumstances that could have given their nation further Divine assistance.