Speaking at a 2008 conference in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, announced openly that “the United Kingdom, Western Europe and by extension you Americans too are now back in the thick of playing the Great Game.”
The revelation, unveiled in a classified but leaked US document by the US Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, who was present at the time, was followed with an animated declaration that “and this time we aim to win!”
The Great Game refers to a period in history in which the British Empire (and their rivals in Russia) attempted to dominate Central Asia, and included a number of failed British attempts to occupy Afghanistan and the rest of the region.
The US Ambassador is said to have insisted that America doesn’t have imperial designs on the region, a view which the Duke mocked, insisting that Russia, Britain and China were certainly playing it in earnest and ought to be planning to ensure their presence for “centuries.”
The story has been covered in a number of media outlets but mostly centered around the unseemly behavior of the prince, his mocking of the French and rude language (cursing the Guardian newspaper for making it hard to do business in corrupt nations). It seems the determination to plainly state Britain’s imperial ambitions in the regions would be a more serious story, particularly given the Duke’s apparent influence over the high ranking British diplomats present at his tirade.
12 thoughts on “Prince Andrew: UK, US, Western Europe Back in the Great Game”
I am so glad I identified this trend early on and named it by its old name, the Great Game. Surely others have said the same, but usually when I mention it, my fellow Americans are unaware of its meaning. Read Peter Hopkirk's many interesting books. I knew Central Asia would be up for grabs as soon as the Soviet Union fell. In fact, I sort of hoped that it would be possible to travel around in it before all the shooting started. My old friends who, at ages 18 and 20, tried to drive overland to India from Europe in 1970 (they succeeded, but with stones thrown at their car in various passes) warned that this was a strange and scary part of the world. Why would Prince Andrew, Duke of York ex-husband of that woman whose red-headed doll survived the World Trade Center attack (fully intact) – why would he want to push us geographically and historically ignorant Americans into that mess? Well, hadn't his ancestors sent us to colonize a wilderness beset by Indian tribes in league with the Dutch and the French? Weren't we proven in our abilities to sort things out for the Mother Country when the going got tough? Haven't we taken some pride in being "the world's policeman" (with all the flat-footedness that can imply)? Of course he thinks we are willing to keep the game going "for centuries", because we are stupid enough to be led in this game of blindman's bluff. Now I have to ask myself – why? Why does power seem so empty and the emperor seem to lack clothes? Why do I not want my sons to bind themselves to this cause? I thought we broke free of England a long time ago, and that we only enjoy the place as tourists, not servants to their ambitions. But perhaps I am just naive.
Gee Prince, would that be empire building? That's what got your ass kicked off of this Continent in the first place.
And still people all over the news are going to look down their establishment noses and mindlessly repeat that there's not really anything new or important in these leaks.
hey did you hear i said we need to attack iran, finally some proof that we need to attack iran.
Prince Andrew has a clearer grasp on what is happening than those in the media feeding information to the American people. And he is undiplomatic enough speak it.
Just take a good look at this guy's picture: he looks like an imperialist. You can't look into that face and doubt it. Old school monarchs are back. Gone are the days of Princess Di and her helping the homeless. The 'Great Game' and war and domination, no more Mr. Nice Guy!
So true. But had you noted the words of that ADHD lady, his somewhat-ex wife, Fergie, you'd have gotten the gist even without Wikileaks. She praised us for going into Iraq – saying that we still had the old "pioneer spirit." We made excellent colonists before, and we drove other superpowers from America, originally for Britain (that would be France and Holland) and then for ourselves (that would be Spain). We helped them achieve greatness, and they are looking for us to do it for them again. You can even feel Germany in the background, positioning for opposition. This GWOT is definitely stirring up the past.
Hahaha. Been looking at the financial state of the United Kingdom lately? They can't even effort a carrier battle group with the planes to go with it. The "Great Game" sure. Winston Churchill wannabe.
Andrew's imperial zeal belongs at the very tip of the spear. Hand the pommy a rifle and drop him in the kush.
That whole empire thing sure worked out great last time for you British, huh?
Bloody hell, old bean- you've upset the nobs by telling the truth! Not in my sight, old chap- it's just not cricket.
Great Game, eh?
Send the Royals to set a good example. Let them be sundered by high exlosives, be burned to the point where their family can't recognize them or have them mentally scarred for the rest of their life. Fat chance of tha!
I am a veteran of Vietnam. I was a grunt in 1968 and knew it was bullshit then as I do today. I curse war and those that cause them. But money is money.
Comments are closed.