A Perfect Recipe for the Next 9/11

9/11 seemed to come out of nowhere when I was a kid. One minute it was all bubblegum, Britney Spears, Pokémon cards, and gender dysphoria and the next the sky was raining commercial airliners and America was at war with an enemy who seemed to be simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. A dozen clean cut young Arabs bought plain tickets one crisp late summer mourning and brought a seemingly impenetrable superpower to its knees with little more than boxcutters and a sense of direction.

I remember thinking, who the fuck are these guys? Where did they come from? And why were they so goddamn pissed off? I spent the better part of my life trying to answer those questions and coming to increasingly shocking conclusions. It turned out that these terrorists were the toxic byproduct of a shadowy cabal of Saudi financed madrassas and Wahhabi mercenaries known collectively as Al-Qaeda and it turned out that my own beloved government knew them pretty damn well. In fact, they helped create them as a part of another seemingly endless war with another enemy who was supposedly everywhere and nowhere, until they were dead.

In 1979, during the heat of the first Cold War, then-President Jimmy Carter and his creepy National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brezinsky had a brilliant idea. Like any good Cold War chickenhawks, they wanted a war with the Soviet Union, but they didn’t want to actually get their freshly manicured hands dirty fighting it. So, they decided that they were not merely going to invent a war, that was so nineteen-sixty-late. No, these geniuses would invent a goddamn army to fight it for them.

A tiny mountainous nation on the Soviet Union’s southern border called Afghanistan had recently undergone a communist revolution and while the Kremlin was jazzed to have a newly secular impoverished dependent in the neighborhood, the conservative tribesman in the nation’s rural backwaters were not taking the new reforms from a bunch of nosy city kids and their northern white comrades very well.

In here, Jimmy and Zbig saw their golden opportunity to take a relatively minor dispute between neighbors that wouldn’t usually warrant much more than a civil war and turn it into an international catastrophe capable of sinking an entire empire. So, they used their connections in Saudi Arabia to round up a posse of Islamic zealots willing to die in any war that would afford them the privilege of slaughtering godless infidels and had them armed to the teeth and trained by the CIA in Pakistan before sending them into Afghanistan to pour rocket fuel on a smoldering fire.

The idea was to suck the Soviets into an unwinnable quagmire on their own border with the implicit threat of an extremist pathogen that might otherwise spread across it to the other oppressed Muslim populations within their own republics and boy did it work like a Twilight Zone curse. The resulting Soviet-Afghan War raged on like a barn fire for a hot decade, sending some 15,000 Russian soldiers home in body bags and creating a humanitarian bloodbath that killed millions.

The Soviet Union, in their statist hubris, refused to except defeat at the hands of a supposedly inferior foe and attempted to save face by slaughtering whole villages of innocent civilians which only cost them the entirety of their already broke war machine. Shortly after the commies left Kabul with their pointed tails between their legs, the Soviet Union imploded and America officially won their first Cold War with thick cigars and hardy handshakes all around. Jimmy and Zbig’s wild adventure had worked, but at what cost?

Once the Russians were gone America lost all interest in the little war torn hellhole that they had helped them turn Afghanistan into in a cynical ploy to win what really amounted to little more than an imperial pissing match. But Afghanistan didn’t forget who dug that grave and neither did the psychopaths we gathered to help us dig. America had gathered a sick coalition of over 35,000 bloodthirsty zealots from across 43 countries to fight in our Mujaheddin and tens of thousands more were indoctrinated in the Wahhabi madrassas we built along the Pakistani border.

The end result wasn’t so much a nation as it was an open wound that spread a new strain of Islamic extremism across the globe like an infection with battle-hardened soldiers who sharpened their spears on the skulls of red soldiers in a holy war we ignited who were still thirsty for more. It turns out that the communists weren’t the only godless heathens these jihadists despised. America attempted to gingerly walk away from this haunted Afghan graveyard but we couldn’t leave the Middle East be any more than the Soviets could and after a few more bloodbaths on holy sand our chickens finally came home to roost on 9/11 with a catastrophic terrorist attack planned and financed by the very monsters we built to bleed the Soviet Union dry.

30 years after the Soviets pulled their mangled leg from our Afghan trap and less than a year after America managed to do the same, Russian soldiers are dying like it’s 1979 all over again. Only weeks into invading their former fellow Soviet Republic of Ukraine to rid them of NATO influence and the neo-Nazis we empowered to kill the ethnic Russians who refused to comply with it and Vladimir Putin’s fearsome Russian military machine has already lost more young conscripts than America did during the entirety of the Iraq War.

Putin is clearly in over his head. He has stepped into another grave that America dug for him when they overthrew Ukraine’s neutral democracy in 2014 and he has made the selfish and stupid decision to try to slaughter his way out of it with an indiscriminate killing spree against the very people he told his impoverished nation that he was there to liberate.

Based on the history above I have come to the revolting conclusion that this is likely precisely the outcome that America wanted from the get-go. Ukraine is a dirt-poor nation that is of zero importance to anyone but Russia, who views the traditional birthplace of Orthodox culture as sacred land. NATO was never going to absorb this hopelessly corrupt and divided nation into their imperial biome, they simply wanted to use it to bait Russia into another bloody unwinnable quagmire like the one Jimmy and Zbig designed in Afghanistan and these twisted mandarins don’t give one solitary shit how many Ukrainians have to die so long as Putin’s Russia dies with them.

If Putin doesn’t grow a conscience and get the fuck out of this buzzsaw quick it will take off his fucking head. The endgame here isn’t simply Russian defeat, it’s Russian regime change. The mess this war is creating for a Russia already racked with poverty and disgusted by this hideous slaughter of their own cousins next door is the perfect atmosphere for a good old-fashioned George Soros-style color revolution with the ultimate goal of replacing the rebellious Putin with a more compliant and inept neoliberal flunky like his vodka-soaked mentor Boris Yeltsin which will ideally retard efforts by China to integrate Asia with Europe and afford the American Empire with just enough time to engage them in World War 3.

But what about those Nazis? Not unlike the Wahhabis America empowered in Afghanistan, the neo-Nazi militias like Right Sector and the Azov Battalion who the CIA trained and had integrated into Ukraine’s own military to provoke outrage from a nation that lost nearly thirty million people beneath the swastika aren’t going to simply disappear when the smoke clears. These are zealots committed to an international holy war against anything darker than a bleached gym sock. None other than Andry Biletsky, founder of the Azov Battalion, pledged to use this glorified death squad to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade against Semite-led untermeshen.” And you better believe that this crusade won’t end with Ukraine.

As we speak, thousands of neo-Nazi whack-jobs from across the globe are flocking to Ukraine to gain battlefield experience and access to advanced American weaponry like Javelin missiles and Stinger rockets. The FBI has already arrested four Azov trainees in California for their role in the Unite the Right Rally and a French holy warrior named Gregoire Montaux was busted several years back at the Ukraine border with an arsenal that included TNT explosives and two grenade launchers and a mission that included attacking a mosque and the Euro 2016 Soccer Championship.

The neo-Nazi movement in this country has long been a pretty sick joke, a loosely connected network of lone wolf shooters and internet trolls who the FBI could easily hoodwink into plotting elaborate schemes that they would never be capable of pulling off in a million years without being carefully coached by double-agents. But this twisted crusade in Ukraine could change all of this. Ukraine’s fascist militias could take a growing scene of pissed-off losers in a dying empire and give them the frontline experience they need to turn their racist pipe dreams into a very real nightmare and all with the full support of the same American war machine who brought 9/11 to your front door with their last manufactured Russian quagmire.

This is the brutal blowback that imperialism always amounts to. No matter how sly your conspiracy is there is no such thing as a clever way to fuck with someone else’s country. The war always comes home, and Putin isn’t the only one who is setting himself up to learn this lesson he should have learned thirty years ago the hard way. Whether they’re Wahhabi or Aryan, most jihadists are essentially just DIY imperialists aping like the fools who birthed them. This is a pandemic with only one cure, anti-imperialism, at home and abroad. That’s the only jihad worth dying for and we may not have a choice.

Nicky Reid is an agoraphobic anarcho-genderqueer gonzo blogger from Central Pennsylvania and assistant editor for Attack the System. You can find her online at Exile in Happy Valley.