An Empire in Love with Its Afghan Cemetery

The U.S. says it plans to pull out of Afghanistan on September 11, four months from now. We’ll believe that when we see it. They can’t leave—because they need the opium fields.  

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times via ICH
May 6, 2021

One cannot but feel mildly amused at the theatrical spectacle of the US troop pullout from Afghanistan, its completion day now postponed for maximum PR impact to 9/11, 2021.

Nearly two decades and a staggering US$2 trillion after this Forever War was launched by a now immensely indebted empire, the debacle can certainly be interpreted as a warped version of Mission Accomplished.

“They make a desert and call it peace,” said Tacitus – but in all of the vastness of the Pentagon there sits not a single flack who could imagine getting away with baldfacedly spinning the Afghan wasteland as peaceful.



“They make a desert and call it peace.”
— Tacitus

Even the UN bureaucratic machinery has not been able to properly account for Afghan civilian deaths; at best they settled for 100,000 in only ten years. Add to that toll countless “collateral” deaths provoked by the massive social and economic consequences of the war.

Training and weaponizing the – largely inefficient – 300,000-plus Afghan Army cost $87 billion. “Economic aid and reconstruction” cost $54 billion: literally invisible hospitals and schools dot the Afghan landscape. A local chapter of the “war on drugs” cost $10 billion – at least with (inverted) tangible results: Afghanistan now generates 80% of the world’s opium.

All these embarrassing facts disappear under the shadow play of 2,500 “official” departing troops. What really matters is who’s staying: by no means just a few out of some 17,000 “contractors,” over 6,000 of whom are American citizens.

“Contractor” is a lovely euphemism for a bunch of mercenaries who, perfectly in tune with a shadow privatization drive, will now mingle with Special Forces teams and covert intel ops to conduct a still lethal variation of hybrid war.

Of course this development won’t replicate those David Bowie-style Golden Years in the immediate post-9/11 era. Ten years ago, following the Obama-Petraeus surge, no fewer than 90,000 contractors were dancing to the Hindu Kush groove, lavishly compensated by the Pentagon and dabbling in everything from construction, transportation and maintenance to “enhanced interrogation services.”

Collectively, this shadow army, a triumph of private enterprise many times cheaper than the state-sponsored model,  bagged at least $104 billion since 2002, and nearly $9 billion since 2016.

Now we’re supposed to trust CENTCOM commander General Kenneth McKenzie, who swears that “the U.S. contractors will come out as we come out.” Apparently the Pentagon press secretary was not briefed: “So on the contractors, we don’t know exactly.”

Some contractors are already in trouble, like Fluor Corporation, which is involved in maintenance and camp construction for no fewer than 70 Pentagon forward operating bases in northern Afghanistan. Incidentally, no Pentagon PR is explaining whether these FOBs will completely vanish.

Fluor was benefitting from something called LOGCAP – Logistics Civil Augmentation IV Program – a scheme set by the Pentagon at the start of Obama-Biden 1.0 to “outsource logistical military support.” Its initial five-year deal was worth a cool $7 billion. Now Fluor is being sued for fraud.

Enhancing stability forever

The current government in Kabul is led by a virtual nonentity, Ashraf Ghani. Like his sartorially glamorous predecessor Hamid Karzai, Ghani is a US creature, lording it over a rambling military force financed by Washington to the tune of $4 billion a year.

So of course Ghani is entitled to spin a rosy outlook for an Afghan peace process on the pages of Foreign Affairs.

It gets curioser and curioser when we add the incandescent issue that may have provoked the Forever War in the first place: al-Qaeda.

“former security coordinator for Osama bin Laden” is now peddling the idea that al-Qaeda may be back in the Hindu Kush. Yet, according to Afghan diplomats, there is no evidence that the Taliban will allow old-school al-Qaeda – the Osama/al-Zawahiri incarnation – to thrive again.

That’s despite the fact that Washington, for all practical purposes, has ditched the Doha Agreement signed in February 2020, which stipulated that the troop pullout should have happened this past Saturday, May 1.

Of course, we can always count on the Pentagon to “enhance security and stability”  in Afghanistan. In this Pentagon report we learn that “AQIS [al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent] routinely supports and works with low-level Taliban members in its efforts to undermine the Afghan government, and maintains an enduring interest in attacking US forces and Western targets.”

Well, what the Pentagon does not tell us is how old-school al-Qaeda, pre-AQIS, metastasized into a galaxy of “moderate rebels” now ensconced in Idlib, Syria. And how contingents of Salafi-jihadis were able to access mysterious transportation corridors to bolster the ranks of ISIS-Khorasan in Afghanistan.

The CIA heroin ratline

All you need to know, reported on the ground, about the crucial first years of the imperial adventure in Afghanistan is to be found in the Asia Times e-book Forever Wars, part 1.

Two decades later, the politico-intel combo behind Biden is now spinning that the end of this particular Forever War is an imperative, integrated to the latest US National Security Strategy.

Shadow play once again reigns. Withdrawal conditionals include the incompetence and corruption of the Afghan military and security forces; that notorious Taliban-al-Qaeda re-engagement; the fight for women’s rights; and acknowledging the supreme taboo: this ain’t no withdrawal because a substantial Special Forces contingent will stay in place.

In a nutshell: for the US deep state, leaving Afghanistan is anathema.  

This  is  why  the  U.S.  can’t  leave  Afghanistan.

The real heart of the matter in Afghanistan concerns drugs and geopolitics – and their toxic intersection.

On April 30, a so-called extended troika – Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan – issued a joint statement in Doha on their discussions regarding a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan.

The extended troika met with the Kabul government, the Taliban and host Qatar. At least they agreed there should be “no military solution.”

The extended troika, at least rhetorically, is in favor of an “independent, sovereign, unified, peaceful, democratic, neutral and self-sufficient Afghanistan.”

Talk about a lofty undertaking. It remains to be seen how Afghanistan’s “neutrality” can be guaranteed in such a nest of New Great Game serpents.

Beijing and Moscow will be under no illusions that the newly privatized, Special Forces Afghan-American experiment will eschew using Salafi-jihadis, radicalized Uighurs or other instant assets to destabilize what in effect should be the incorporation of Afghanistan to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (where it’s already an observer) and the larger Eurasia integration project.

An extra-intriguing piece of the puzzle is that a very pragmatic Russia – unlike its historical ally India – is not against including the Taliban in an overall Afghan settlement. New Delhi will have to go along. As for Islamabad, the only thing that matters, as always, is to have a friendly government in Kabul. That good old “strategic depth” obsession.

What the major players – Russia and China – see in the framework of a minimally stabilized Afghanistan is yet one more step to consolidate the evolution of the New Silk Roads in parallel with the Greater Eurasia partnership. That’s exactly the message Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov delivered during his recent visit to Pakistan.

The New Great Game 3.0 is just beginning at the graveyard of empires.


Pepe Escobar is correspondent-at-large at Asia Times.
His latest book is 2030. Follow him on Facebook.-

17 thoughts to “An Empire in Love with Its Afghan Cemetery”

  1. The Afghani, are volatile people since the beginning of time. You cant blame them. A fierce climate, of a brutally hot and cold weather. Add Islam as their religion a mountainous geography, and a desert, and you have a cocktail of interesting attributes. It takes tough people to live there-which they are. They must be descendants of Ishmael, the Son of Abraham, who found his home in the desert. Alexander The Great, let them be. The Romans never ventured there. And even Genghis Khan had to bring them under control with massacres, and enslavement of their women folks. But in the end, The Afghani prevailed. Then the Russians tried, and they were thoroughly beaten. And now, the American will have to go back with their tail between their legs. The Afghani do not want to hear about “SWAT” or “Marines” Or “Navy Seals! It is the tenacious Spirit that wins.

    The American were never supposed to be there, in the first place. The war was based on falsehood. We know that, because Osama did not have anything to do with 9/11 And Americans went there, because allegedly, the Taliban’s were hosting Osama Bin Laden, who allegedly perpetrated the 9/11. If there was justice in the World, America and her allies, would have been sued, and made to pay damages. But this was a war, by the Global Deep State, to bring the Afghani, into the loop of debt.

    In another time, I would possibly have seen the Afghani in a different light. But now, knowing that their fierceness gives trouble to the Globalists, I say, “ Go Afghani, go!” Kick these guys out. It may not really matter, even if the Taliban takes over. It is The Afghani themselves who will sought out their Taliban problem. Not America, or Russian or China. They might hold the enemy and give us time to figure out how to wriggle ourselves from the vicious grip of debt and death, slowly tightening around us.

    1. Congratulations for being ignorant of the past. In the 1970s and early 80s, I worked with Afghan women and they had no Birkas and spoke better english than most Americans. The University I was at was the head of Afghan Studies program in the US and all the pictures of the region and working conditions of the 60s and 70s was almost the same as the any other nation. I was also working with men and women from Iraq, Lebanon and others and they were as sharp as any American college student. The US military destroyed these countries from within, just as they did with Iran and ousting the most democratic, American like president they could ever have with Mosaddegh in operation Ajax so we would would own their oil and oil fields. This is the US way of operations since the country began. The US has NEVER defended the country but only the profits for it’s owners. John Jay, Supreme Court justice stated those that own the country should make the rules.

      The US CREATED THE USSR (Bolshevik revolution designed and run out of NYC and Washington DC. The same story with the OSS, Freemasons and Jewish Financiers for the Cultural Revolution in China. THE US CREATED THE USSR AND RED CHINA. DO SOME RESEARCH.


      1. Thanks for that riposte. I had the same thought but could not be bothered to answer.
        Sponsoring (US state) a small number of woman hating cutthroats terrorising the countryside does not equal justice, freedom or tradition.
        Equally, installing cultural Marxist education and social programs =(Soviet Union state) is not good either.

      2. There is a book “ The Swallows of Kabul“ by Yasmina Khadra. Very tragic and extremely depressing so not sure if I can recommend it. However, it is a brilliant book that explain what the revolution, isis all of it did to men and women in Afghanistan, (also educational system) but most importantly ( at least for me ) autor explained how covering the faces of the women impact the Muslim society: woman, man, children no exceptions. How evil it is and what is the sinister concept behind it. So for me it was “ revelation “ because it is the very same reason we are being forced to were masks. It was obvious for me that masks are the process of dehumanization but this book helped me understand it clearly. This short, very tragic story explains what hell people in Afganistán are going through. If someone is interested, I highly recommend brilliant book “ Road to Nowhere “ by Jozef Mackiewicz, where it is brilliantly explained how another evil, directly from satan, ideology – communism destroys people’s lives, kills the spirit and dehumanize people. Great book, one of the best ever written on this subject! Beautiful style, really grate book.

    2. I can’t imagine the (cia) driving out of Afghanistan with those bumper crops of poppies fading away in the rear view mirror.

      Paging Erik Prince! Paging Erik Prince!

    3. Darkmooners,
      The US will withdraw from Afghanistan….AND…. Donaldo will NEVER take another shot of tequila with TROJ. What are the chances? Just thinking. 😉😘🤠

    4. @ JAMES
      I am not saying that I like Taliban, or that they are a better alternative to the Western intervention in Afghan. . Absolutely not. As my Old gran-pa used to say, “Its only the local who know their own local gangster” And I agree. As I said, “The American were never supposed to be there, in the first place.” Precisely because as you correctly put is, “The US has NEVER defended the country but only the profits for it’s owners.” Yeah. I have learned as much from guys like John Perkins in his book, “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” That having been said, its logical that instead of having pretender saviors who are in truth in cohorts with your local gangster, it is better America leave, so that the Afghani can start searching for local solutions to their local problems. As for the assertion that the U.S created the USSR and China, I think here we are mistaking the glove for the hand. America, if it ever created the U.S.S.R and China, it did it merely as a glove in someone else’s hand here. And if we take Anthony Suttons work as a seriously research, especially “Western technology and Soviet Economic Development, 1917 to 1930” amongst others, it shows that there existed a Spy network, working above Intelligence Agents in America, with connections with Wall Street Bankers. And these were the Bankers behind the Wars, the creation of USSR and China, and they also funded Hitler. They are the ones who commandeered the theft of Western Technology to build Russian ( See The Best Enemy Money Can Buy, by A. Sutton, or “Diaries of James V. Forrestal, 1944-1949.” James Vincent Forrestal (1892-1949)

  2. The main reason for the chaos and control from outsiders is that 90% of the people in Afghanistan are ILLITERATE IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE!! Taking advantage of them is such a shame….. for $$$!

    All pertinent videos on YouTube have been removed, as well as links to articles. BUT I coped this info many years ago:

    “We Tolerate The Cultivation Of Opium Poppies!!”

    9,843 views May 28, 2012 4:15 pm
    Uploaded by TheItalix on May 1, 2010

    Read the transcript here : Wayne Madsen Reports CIA Control of Afghanistan’s Opium Fields on Alex Jones Tv 1/2

    A: This is just the main-lining of the double think of the mind control, because they can’t hide it anymore. That Ok, we’re growing it, but we’re doing it to fight AL-Qeida.

    W: Oh Absolutely, and it’s not just … Now we have reports that from the United Nations that it’s not just heroin and opium coming out of Afghanistan, but it’s cannabis. So they have actually found a new cash crop to deal in.

    A: You heard it! The troops help grow it. So, our men and women are now farmers for the CIA.(!!!)

    W: That’s right, and the biggest problem is where is this heroin going to. It’s getting to across the border into Kazekstan, to the north and winding up on the old silk route, the Silk Road. It’s going east into China and west into Europe. Of course the Russian government, the Chinese government are well aware of the fact that this stuff is coming out of Afghanistan. Who is involved in this illicit trade, you got Karzai, Hamid Karzai’s brother is one of the biggest drug war lords in Afghanistan.

    A: Let me stop you again. New York Times just admits the whole thing. Right here, “U.S. turns blind eye to Opium in Afghan trade”. They’re not turning blind eye, They’re right there getting the goodies, go ahead.

    W: Right. The biggest fear of China is that they are looking at this as another Opium War. We already have report coming out of the Udan province in China that young men are getting hooked on this stuff. They know where it is coming out of. They are not good and frankly they are not happy about it. The history of the Opium Wars with the British and China. They understand that that’s what helped defeat the Chinese before and they are worried that the west has more designs now.

    A: That’s important. This is a British model. Skull and Bones that set up our CIA on record was a British model to use a drug war to take over the U.S., because they had already done it one hundred years before in China with the Opium war. That’s how they corrupted the police, that’s how they took over the society.

    W: We also know that the route to the west, to Europe, goes through Turkey. What we are seeing now with the present Turkish government uncovering this deep state that has existed in Turkey for a number of years. That, part and parcel of that deep state, it’s called the ?argetacon? network is the trafficking in opium. The opium is coming via land from Afghanistan.

    A: Continue

    W: So, from Turkey where does it go? It goes through the Balkans where our friends with the Kosovo Liberation Army has dealt with them for years. You know, that’s the Madeline Albright’s good friend. She set up the KLA. Once it hits Kosovo, boom, France, Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Italy, that’s where the money is made on the street.

    A: We were just talking about how the troops are on FOX News saying they help the Afghans grow the opium. It’s come out the contractors are shipping the heroine out. If they can get on the news and admit they are growing the opium, but to say it is to fight Al-Qeida, they can take your pension funds, everything else and they are going to. They are announcing it.


    War on drugs revealed as total hoax – US military admits to guarding, assisting lucrative opium trade in Afghanistan
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer. (link still good)

    Afghanistan is, by far, the largest grower and exporter of opium in the world today, cultivating a 92 percent market share of the global opium trade. But what may shock many is the fact that the US military has been specifically tasked with guarding Afghan poppy fields, from which opium is derived, in order to protect this multibillion dollar industry that enriches Wall Street, the CIA, MI6, and various other groups that profit big time from this illicit drug trade scheme.

    Prior to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Afghanistan was hardly even a world player in growing poppy, which is used to produce both illegal heroin and pharmaceutical-grade morphine. In fact, the Taliban had been actively destroying poppy fields as part of an effort to rid the country of this harmful plant, as was reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on February 16, 2001, in a piece entitled Nation’s opium production virtually wiped out.

    But after 9/11, the US military-industrial complex quickly invaded Afghanistan and began facilitating the reinstatement of the country’s poppy industry. According to the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP), opium cultivation increased by 657 percent in 2002 after the US military invaded the country under the direction of then-President George W. Bush.

    CIA responsible for reinstating opium industry in Afghanistan after 9/11

    More recently, The New York Times (NYT) reported that the brother of current Afghan President Hamid Karzai had actually been on the payroll of the CIA for at least eight years prior to this information going public in 2009. Ahmed Wali Karzai was a crucial player in reinstating the country’s opium drug trade, known as Golden Crescent, and the CIA had been financing the endeavor behind the scenes.

    “The Golden Crescent drug trade, launched by the CIA in the early 1980s, continues to be protected by US intelligence, in liaison with NATO occupation forces and the British military,” wrote Prof. Michel Chossudovsky in a 2007 report, before it was revealed that Ahmed Wali Karzai was on the CIA payroll. “The proceeds of this lucrative multibillion dollar contraband are deposited in Western banks. Almost the totality of revenues accrue to corporate interests and criminal syndicates outside Afghanistan”.

    ***But the mainstream media has been peddling a different story to the American public. FOX News, for instance, aired a propaganda piece back in 2010 claiming that military personnel are having to protect the Afghan poppy fields, rather than destroy them, in order to keep the locals happy and to avoid a potential “security risk” — and FOX News reporter Geraldo Rivera can be heard blatantly lying about poppy farmers being financially supported by the Taliban, rather than the CIA and other foreign interests.

    So while tens of thousands of Americans continue to be harmed or killed every year by overdoses from drugs originating from this illicit opium trade, and while cultivation of innocuous crops like marijuana and hemp remains illegal in the US, the American military is actively guarding the very poppy fields in Afghanistan that fuel the global drug trade. Something is terribly wrong with this picture.


    Afghanistan Sets Record for Growing Opium

    ( – After 12 years of occupation by U.S. military forces, Afghanistan set a record for growing opium poppies in 2013, according to newly released data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
    “Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan reached a sobering record high in 2013,” said the UNODC. “According to the 2013 Afghanistan Opium Survey, cultivation amounted to some 209,000 hectares, outstripping the earlier record in 2007 of 193,000 hectares, and representing a 36 per cent increase over 2012.”

    In fact, according to the latest worldwide data on opium-poppy cultivation, Afghanistan dedicates more land to the cultivation of opium poppies than all of the rest of the world combined.

    According to the UNODC’s “World Drug Report,” published in May–which included data for the world’s primary opium producing regions through 2011–the 131,000 hectares that was devoted to opium cultivation in Afghanistan that year was more than the combined 76,500 hectares used to cultivate opium poppies in other places. This included the 43,600 hectares in Myanmar, the 12,000 hectares in Mexico, the 4,100 hectares in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the 362 hectares in Pakistan, the 338 hectares in Columbia, and the combined 16,100 hectares under in various other countries.
    After the Sept. 11, 2001 al Qaeda terrorist attacks on the United States, the U.S. sent military forces into Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban regime there and deny al Qaeda the use of that country as a sanctuary. That year, according to UNODC, Afghanistan had a recorded low of 7,606 hectares under cultivation with opium poppies (in 2000, by contrast, Afghanistan had had 82,171 hectares under cultivation).

    In the years following 2001, the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan generally increased, especially after President Barack Obama took office in 2009 and launched a military surge there.

    As of Sept. 2002, a year after the terrorist attacks, there were 10,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, according to the Congressional Research Service. In January 2009, the month Barack Obama was first inaugurated, there were 32,800 U.S. troops there. By December 2009, there were 69,000. And, by September 2010, there were 98,000.

    As of this October, the latest month reported by NATO, there were 60,000 U.S. troops still on the ground in Afghanistan—27,200 more (or 83 percent more) than 32,800 who were there when Obama took office.

    Despite the significant long-term U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan, the top opium cultivating regions in that country are provinces in the nation’s south and west that lie along the borders of Iran and Pakistan. These include Helmand province, which borders on Pakistan; Kandahar province, which borders on Pakistan; Farah province, which borders on Iran; Nimroz province which borders on Iran and Pakistan; and Nangarhar province, which borders on Pakistan.

    According to the UNODC report, “the vast majority of opium cultivation remained confined to the country’s Southern and Western provinces, which are dominated by insurgency and organized criminal networks.”

    1. Errmm… Pat…
      I know that I’ve castigated you in the past for doing nothing but post links… but if the alternative is cutting&pasting a Jane Austin sized novelette – and boring everyone to tears in the process – then I was wrong to admonish you in the first place. Please forgive me and for the love of God, go back to linking!!!

      1. TR –

        Thanks for the tip! I see the ‘hit dog’ is howling again. I enjoy your pain. 🙂

        Your complaint will garner MUCH better results…. when placed with your captors who are forcing you to read the comments on this site!! 🙂 🙂

  3. DUMB Yanks & THICK Brits forever frolicking in foreign fields of opium poppies… and forever getting their dumb asses kicked 😂

    Has there EVER – in recorded history – been such a tawdry tag-team of utterly clueless fcktards???😂

    Je suis Le… etc

  4. There never has been a war on drugs.
    There always has been a drug war on the competition.

    The casualties and ‘collateral damage’ can be found in prisons, battlefields and cemeteries across the world.

  5. “Collectively, this shadow army, a triumph of private enterprise many times cheaper than the state-sponsored model, bagged at least $104 billion since 2002, and nearly $9 billion since 2016.”
    A giant money transfer scheme from the taxpayers to the supporters of the people who stroked the conflict, for the purpose of transferring the wealth…
    Covid is the excuse now, and 100,000,000,000 or 200,000,000,000 for the Afghan war pales by comparison the several trillion now being printed up and passed out to supporters of the, what?

  6. They must be descendants of Ishmael, the Son of Abraham, who found his home in the desert.
    After reading that line I thought I should add something in the hopes that a wider breadth of understanding could benefit.

    Until the term Afghan came to mean any native of Afghanistan, the word Pashtun / Pakhtun was synonymous with Afghan.

    The first president of Israel Ben Zvi, in his book, The Exiled and the Redeemed, devoted a whole chapter on the Pashtuns.

    According to Dr. Weil (Jewish) many Afghan and Western scholars alike have made detailed investigations from historical, anthropological and philological points of view that the Pashtuns are Bani Israeel. Note, Pashtuns hate being called Jews or Yahudi and insist that they are Banu Israeel. I agree.

    Their tradition says that they accepted Islam at the hands of the great Muslim commander and companion of the Prophet, Khaled ibn Walid.

    Many Pashtuns claim they descended from a famous descendent of Saul by the name of Kish, in Arabic Qais. Qais met Khaled ibn Walid. The name Hindu Kush still bears his name.

    According to the book of Kings II: 17:5-6: “Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor (by) the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.”

    River Go’zan – According to Saadia Gaon, the Lost Tribes of Israel were sent to the “River Go’zan” which is “the river north of the city of Balach in the north of Afghanistan. The river is known today as the “AmufiDarya”, and is the border between Afghanistan and Russia. Afghanistan tradition states that the whole river was once known as the Gozen River

    Habor – The area of Habor’s location is found in the mountainous pass (Habor) between Afghanistan and Pakistan that is called “Pesh-Habor”. It is believed that this is the famous mountainous pass, Khyber Pass. That city today is known as Peshawar.

    Pesh-Hawer or Pesh-Haver is the same as Pesh-Haber, meaning Hebrew Pass, same for Khayber Pass: Hebrew Pass. Note: many pronounce King David as Dawid, also Hebrew speakers often say Avaraham for Abraham or Navi for Nabi.

    This name Khayber is also found in the Prophet’s time in Madina – basically meaning Hebrew.

    Hara – The city of Hara is located near the Persian border called Harat. Today, it is the third largest city in Afghanistan. The prophecy of Isaiah gives some identification for it alludes that the deportation of the Israelites brought the 10-Israelite tribes to the land of “Sinim”.

    ADMIN: Defective link deleted.
    (Damages website formatting).

    The evidence strongly suggests this is the area where the 10 tribes settled after they were freed by Cyrus.
    From and anthropological perspective a more detailed study of Hebrew customs of the Pashtuns and the specific 10 tribes see here:

    Even though they are Muslims some still pray facing Jerusalem and dress in traditional Hebrew shawls and they wear the sidelocks (peyotte). Their customs still follow ritual cleansing for women after courses according to Mosaic law……

    Incidentally, Pashtun cameleers were taken to Australia by the British to help establish the land before trains conquered the vast country. The cameleers were masters of the desert many of whom married indigenous women.
    Here is a great book I recommend:

    Islam Dreaming: Indigenous Muslims in Australia
    Peta Stephenson
    From the Malay pearl divers of Broome to the Afghan camel drivers of the interior, Muslims have lived and worked in Australia for more than three centuries. This comprehensive account reveals the life stories of the Muslim pioneers and their descendants as they formed bonds with the indigenous people of Australia. Interviews with more than 50 contemporary Indigenous Muslims convey the spiritual journeys and personal perspectives of this incredible population.

      1. HP
        Yes of course, and the links were a good read. It is certain that Hinduism held sway over vast territories, including all the way to Indonesia. Bali is still predominantly Hindu even though Indonesia is a Muslim country. I’ve been to 5 islands of Indonesia and naturally as a person who loves culture I was fortunate to attend some beautiful, very colourful religious ceremonies in Bali…..climbing to the top of some of those massive temples was not easy though, especially in the heat of day.

      2. Pashtuns are also called Pathan. The word Pathan is a Pashto derivative of the original word Pithon, the great grandson of King Saul. Here you will find a more detailed catalog of artifacts including some interviews of Pashtuns themselves describing what their parents transmitted to them.

        Among the artifacts, the star of David is still used even though they are Muslims.

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