1. Is Afghanistan similar to the Middle East and where is it headed? What might be expected in the coming years from Afghanistan?
2. Looking at the situation in Afghanistan, we saw the Taliban very quickly in less than 10 days were capturing the country after the American decision to withdraw. I thought the highest potential for the Afghan people through their army was to stand up to the Taliban and protect the country and the people but that did not happen. They were trained for 20 years during the American occupation for this purpose, but they capitulated very quickly. Can the masters comment on this situation?
3. We were led to believe that the Afghanistan government forces outnumber the Taliban forces by a considerable number. Why did this government collapse so quickly and why did Ghani the Afghan leader, not even try to hold on to power? Even though the Taliban had a lot of support from Pakistan, Ghani would have had a lot of support too from the Western allies so what’s going on?
4. It has been very difficult for me personally as an urban Western woman to watch the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the US withdrawal of forces. From what I have read under the US occupation, there was an urban, rural divide in Afghanistan, where many rural people continue traditional cultural practices, including the routine subjugation of women, while the urban population especially in Kabul, enjoyed a more liberal, tech-savvy culture. The masters have stated that no Western power can force democracy on another nation but it seems that the US presence did have an effect on some of the people there. Now there is a risk of famine and economic collapse. Given these things and the many interests and concerns of various nations in Afghanistan, what could the near future of Afghan society look like? And how can we as ascended master students help?
Answer from the Ascended Master Saint Germain through Kim Michaels. This answer was given during the 2021 Webinar – Moving Toward Golden Age Relationships.
Well, my beloved, I first want to go back before the United States and Western nations invaded Afghanistan. As we have said before, we did not in any way support the invasion of Iran or Afghanistan, we did not support or inspire, or sponsor or in any way back the neoconservative movement that saw it as their duty to spread democracy and Christian values to the rest of the world by using the United States Armed Forces, and of course, their economic power as well. We have said before that democracy is a demanding form of government, and people in a nation have to be ready for it. It cannot be brought by force, how can a non-force based form of government be imposed by force, it simply is not logically possible.
It is clear that we did not back the invasion, we did not back the 20 year occupation, if you want to call it that. We did not back even the attempt at nation building, although you have to say also that once the Western powers had invaded Afghanistan, we tried to do whatever we could through the people we could work with, to at least make the best of the situation. If for no other reason, then so that the Afghan people and the Western nations would have the greatest possible opportunity to learn a lesson from the situation.
The entire occupation or involvement with Afghanistan over these 20 years is an example of what happens when people are in the ideological mindset that Gautama Buddha talked so profoundly about in the last webinar. What happened was that the United States could not really admit that it had been a mistake to go in there because they would not admit that the world does not work the way America thinks it works.
This is the essence of the ideological mindset, you have an idea of how the world should work and you only look for what validates the idea, you do not want to look at what does not validate it. In a sense, you could say that it was a mistake to stay as long as they did during the Bush administration. It was a mistake for President Obama to stay in Afghanistan, to recommit forces there, because he thought he could do something, or that America could do something that had not been done so far.
There is no question that America had to pull out at some point. You can say that Donald Trump did see the need to pull out and therefore did whatever he thought could be done to negotiate some kind of exit. President Biden also saw the need to pull out and therefore, instead of trying to renegotiate or recommit forces, which would have been a considerable expenditure, decided to simply go with a deal that was there and withdraw the US forces.
Now, you may look at the chaotic situation that happened after this Taliban started taking over these provincial capitals, and leading to the less than elegant exit from Kabul. I can assure you that whether this had happened during the Trump administration, or during the present administration, there would have been chaos in any event. There are several reasons for this. One is, of course, that the Taliban have been waiting very patiently for their opening. They have, as one of the questions mentioned, also acquired strong backing from Pakistan, but not only from Pakistan from many other Muslim nations who wanted to see the Western incursion in Afghanistan fail.
They have done whatever they could to keep some kind of pressure and tension but they realized that as long as the West and especially the United States was committed to keeping forces there, there was little they could do. They have been waiting patiently but very aggressively plotting for when the opportunity would come because they figured that it would have to come simply because of the expense of having such a large military presence in such a remote nation.
If you look back at history, you will see that going back to when the British invaded Afghanistan centuries ago, the logistics of the remoteness of Afghanistan, the roughness of the terrain, simply makes any kind of large-scale military operation impractical, whether it was a couple of hundred years ago or today. The people in the region knew this, there was an inevitable exit that had to happen. They were waiting for it, plotting whatever they could do, so they had a clear strategy.
The other element is, of course, is that the Afghan government and the Afghan security forces, even though they have been trained for 20 years and were well equipped and supposedly had sufficient numbers, they simply did not have the will. They could very clearly see the handwriting on the wall that once the American military presence was no longer there, they would face a very aggressive opposition from the Taliban and other fighting groups, and they faced the choice: Are we going to drag this out for a long period of time, which will cost lives and blood? But the end result was for them to seem inevitable. The Taliban would take over, the government would fail, so it was simply a matter of when the Taliban started making progress in terms of taking over the country. There was a domino effect that more and more of the leaders of the Afghan government and the security forces simply decided to give up instead of prolonging the inevitable.
Now, you can of course look at this and you can say, well, when they invaded Afghanistan, they ousted the Taliban from government and now the Taliban is back in government so has anything really changed? Has there been any progress over these 20 years and all of this expenditure? Of course, some Americans will try and spin it and say our goal was to get al Qaeda and other terrorist groups that were getting sanction in Afghanistan, but that is, of course, just trying to save face because the reality is that Afghanistan is not the only nation or region in the world where there is safe harbor for terrorists, as northern Pakistan is, of course where the Taliban and many other extremist groups have been given sanctuary, or at least been allowed a presence there and there are other examples around the world.
The reality of the situation here is that, as we have said before, you cannot force democracy on a population that is not ready for democracy. The reality of the situation is that a majority of the Afghan people do not want democracy. For many of them, it is not a matter of some kind of sophisticated reason. They simply do not want it because it is change. It is something they do not know and they do not want change. They basically want to keep living the same lifestyle that they have been living for their entire lifetimes and for generations, they do not want anything to change.
You may say: “Well don’t they want greater freedom?” But they believe they had all the freedom they needed. “Don’t they want greater prosperity?” But many of them believe that they had all the prosperity that they could have given the roughness of the terrain and the climate and the situation in Afghanistan. They wanted to live the kind of lifestyle they were living and that they had been living for generations. It is a mindset that is very alien to what it is in most modern democracies but it is a mindset that is very common around the planet in some of these more rural populations. They simply do not want change, whatever it is.
Now, of course, you also have a certain segment of the population, not only in Afghanistan, but in all Muslim nations, who do not want democracy because it is associated with the West, with Christianity, with Western society, with consumer culture, and all of the things that Muslim nations look at as the devil’s work in the West, as un-Muslim and they resisted for that very reason. They do not know really what they are resisting, they do not understand it, because they really have no sophisticated understanding of what a democracy is but they resist it simply because it is associated with the West.
You also have a psychology that is very common in Muslim nations, but especially common in Afghanistan, and that is that no foreigner should ever force anything upon them. As soon as an outside force comes in, and says you should have this, they resist it. It is almost what you could call the genetic resistance, because it is very deeply ingrained in the collective psyche. You have no chance of overcoming it in the short term. Of course, you can overcome it over generations.
It is correct as one of the questions mentions that there has been a divide between the outlying areas and some of the cities, especially Kabul. There is a more progressive element of the population who lived there, and who not fully embraced the changes, but at least they said from a purely practical situation: “The Americans are here now, how can we make the best of them? What is in it for us?” It was not really that most of them wanted democracy.
There were of course, a small percentage that wanted democracy, wanted change, wanted different ideas, wanted greater prosperity, a functioning economy, a functioning country for that matter which they did not have before. But it was really what you call a marriage of convenience for most people. They simply accepted: “The Americans are here now, we can’t kick them out, let’s make the best of it, let us prosper, while we have the chance.” You see that many of these people have left now. And this, of course means that there are very few progressive people left to have an impact on Afghanistan.
Now, I know this sounds dire. But there is actually a “but…”. There is actually a “but…”. There is a silver lining. Again, I want to make it clear, we of the ascended masters did not support the adventure in Afghanistan. But you look at the fact that the Western forces did go in there and they did what they did to try and build a more modern nation. It is clear that this has had an impact on the collective consciousness and on the individual consciousness of some people, which of course again, affects the collective.
There has been a shift in Afghanistan. Very, very few people in Afghanistan realize this. But there has been a shift. And it has been a shift for the better. Some people have seen that there is an alternative to the way things have been before, that there could potentially be some advantages to having a modern nation, having a functioning government, that the people could have more influence on the government, and so forth. This does not mean they have accepted the Christian religion, Western ideals or Western culture. But they have accepted that perhaps there are some changes that could be beneficial.
There has been a shift in the collective consciousness. There has also been a shift, of course, in the collective consciousness on a planetary level so even the Taliban have changed over 20 years. It cannot be any other way. How much they have changed remains to be seen. How much of a shift there has been in the Afghan collective consciousness and what that will do also remains to be seen.
What will happen in the short term is that there will be a power play. There will be a power play in the Taliban because there are some of the Taliban leaders who realize they have changed, they need to change, they need to implement a different policy than they did 20 years ago. Some of them are practical realists enough to realize that they simply cannot make the economy function by doing what they did 20 years ago because the economy clearly was not functioning back then. In fact, before the invasion, it was only a matter of time before the Taliban government would have collapsed for economic reasons.
There are some of them that are able to see that if they do what they did 20 years ago, it will only be a matter of a short time before the economy will collapse, there will be widespread famine, and people will rebel against them, and some resistance group will rise up, who will now start fighting the Taliban and there will either be a civil war or the Taliban will simply have to fold and leave the country in chaos. There is a faction within the Taliban that are saying: “What changes do we need to make so we can at least create a functioning country?” But there are also some of the fighters and some of the local commanders who do not want any change, who are resisting what the leaders of the Taliban want.
The question is, how does this play out between these two factions of the Taliban? Will some of the rural commanders split off from the Taliban and start their own Mujahideen movement as Afghans have done in the past and start fighting to start creating their own autonomous regions. You could have a situation in a matter of months or a year where the Taliban have control only over rural areas and these local resistance groups have taken control over the more outlying areas. This is one possible scenario. You do of course, have the immediate situation that there could be widespread famine, within a matter of months, that the economy is not functioning, the banking system may not be able to function at all. Of course, international aid will be withdrawn and what will be given will only be aid to prevent starvation, mass starvation.
It is clear that the Taliban are not in any way realizing what they have walked into. In fact, you could say that the former Afghan President, and the leaders of the Afghan government were the smart ones, because they got out of there and the Taliban, well, it is the old saying that men rush in where angels fear to tread. They rushed in, and only some of them are now beginning to realize what they actually face. They had a plan for taking over the country, they have no plan for running the country, and will they be able to run the country.
Then of course, you have the potential for some outside interference or help. Pakistan might attempt to do something, but it is unlikely that they will be unintelligent, I might say, enough to attempt some large scale military operation. It is also unlikely that the Russians will want to go back in militarily, although they will probably try to get something out of it. Then that leaves the Chinese, which is also unlikely that they will do some military incursion, although it cannot be ruled out completely, that they might actually think that they can do what the Western nations could not do in Afghanistan. If they do so, then it will also be a very big lesson for China, because they will not be able to achieve what they think they can achieve there. There are also different scenarios where they might attempt to give some kind of economic assistance, but they will eventually, within a matter of months, or years, realize that it is simply a black hole and they can keep pouring money into it without getting anything out of it.
Naturally, when you look at the situation in Afghanistan, there is a major concern for women and children. Children especially for starvation, women, especially for those who had accepted some greater freedoms being suppressed again, persecuted, perhaps even executed for taking a liberal stand. It is clear that in the short term, there will, no doubt, be major suppression of women. But it must also be said that if there is any hope of positive changes in Afghanistan, it will be driven by women who have accepted different values and who refused to go back into the old state where they were suppressed. This is the only realistic hope. And again, there is the question of: Will it be the progressive wing of the Taliban that will win? Or will it be the conservative that will brutally with violence put down any rebellion from women or even any attempt from women to demand better treatment.
As you can see, I am not about to make any predictions about what will happen because no predictions can be made. This is a very chaotic situation. You can say, it has been made more chaotic by the Western presence over 20 years but even if we say that there had been no Western incursion in Afghanistan, Afghanistan will still have spiraled into chaos under the rule of the Taliban. There would already have been several civil wars, several rebellions against Afghanistan, several regions declaring autonomy from the Taliban, and so forth. Basically, what you see has been going on in Afghanistan for centuries would have continued and perhaps… perhaps, there is a more realistic hope of improvement now, because of the Western incursion but it is a very big perhaps.
What can you do about this as ascended master students? Well, quite realistically, there are so many things to give invocations and decrees for in the world right now that unless you have a strong personal affinity with Afghanistan, there really is not anything I recommend that you do. You could certainly make calls that the Western nations and especially the United States would learn the lessons that they can learn from this. The lesson that the West needs to learn is actually not a simple lesson. It is not the simple lesson that we should stay out of other countries from now on or nation building is dead, or the era has ended where the United States will attempt to build nations and other countries, this is not the lesson. That is just going from one unbalanced extreme, the naivety of the neoconservatives thinking they could spread Western values, and Christianity around the world with force to the opposite dualistic extreme of saying: “America is going to be isolationists and we are not going to mess with any foreign countries.”
It is clear that as we have talked about before, as Mother Mary has talked about, there should long ago have been major improvement in the Middle East, in Africa and in other regions of the world, economic improvement especially. The Western nations should have done something to improve these situations. If the Western nations do not want to be overrun by refugees who seek a better life because they intuitively know they should have had that better life already, then the Western nations need to find a way to promote economic prosperity in these nations.
This will in many cases require some form of democracy because you look at the Western nations: Why do they have the affluence they have? Because they have had the freedom, not only the freedom of the economy, but the freedom in other ways, that leads to greater prosperity. It is a very, very delicate question. How do you help a backwards nation become a modern nation that has a functioning economy, that has a functioning political system that is not completely mired down in corruption and local fighting and tribal warfare and whatever you have. How do you do this?
How do you actually create a functioning nation in Africa, for example, when Russia and China are interfering with these nations, because they want raw materials, and they do not care whatsoever about promoting democracy and freedom or prosperity for the population, they just want to create an unstable political situation with rivaling local factions that they can take advantage of to get the minerals that they need for their industry.
And you can say: “Isn’t the West doing the same?” Well certainly, you go back several decades and there were Western corporations doing the same but it is not done to this quite the same extent today by the West, as it is by Russia and China. But of course, it is still taking place and this is another factor that nations like the United States especially, would have to deal with, in order to move to a higher level, where they can actually start having a positive influence on these nations instead of having to go in with military might. But quite frankly, this is a very complex issue. There is no simple, clear-cut solution to it but it is an issue that not only the United States, but all other Western nations will have to grapple with in the decade and decades to come.
I will of course, do everything I can to work with the people in government and in other areas of society who are open to certain ideas. It is clear that there are things that can be done. It is simply a matter of selecting a few nations and showing that it can actually work, that you can actually increase prosperity and freedom and create a functioning nation. It is a matter of getting started. And you could say: “Well, why couldn’t it happen in Afghanistan?” Well, my beloved, if you look at the world, and say: “Which would be the most difficult nation to improve?” then certainly Afghanistan has to be at the top of list. If the West, if the neoconservatives in the United States wanted to prove something, they certainly picked the most difficult target. There are many other nations that it would be much more successful to go in and build a nation. But you also have to realize here that building a nation is not a matter of exporting Western culture and a Western mindset to these nations.
These nations need to have some form of democracy, they need to have greater prosperity but they need to have it based on where they are at in consciousness, what is their culture, what is their mindset? There is a huge difference between going into a nation and saying: “How can we work with what is there?” Instead of saying: “How can we impose our values and mindset on them, so that they can become a nation like we are?” They will be democracies, they will be affluent, but not like a miniature United States or Germany or France or England or even the Scandinavian countries. They must have their local autonomy, their own way of doing it but they just have to find a way that actually works. So that they have a sustainable nation, with certain rights and freedoms, with peace and with prosperity. Of course, many other things could be said here. I could go on and on but I have given you the most important ideas I wanted to give you at this time about this topic.
Copyright © 2021 Kim Michaels