My grandfather recounted the story about how he and his brother Emil fought the Russsians during the first World War at the Siege of Przemysl (1915). Przemysl is a fortress town on the border of what is currently Poland and Ukraine. About 150 km south of where the Ukrainian missile hit in Przewodow. The area is also known as Galicia and was part of the former Astro-Hungarian Empire. My grandfather was part of the artillery under the Austrian Kaiser and would sight the target and estimate where the shells landed to adjust for long or short hits off target. His report would cause those manning the artillery pieces to crank the gears and wheels and adjust the trajectory and improve the lay of fire. It was also where my grandfather as an officer got into trouble with his superiors for fraternizing with the enlisted men as his brother was assigned to the same division at the front but as enlisted infantry. He was literally fraternizing. After repeated warnings they sent my great Uncle to Bukovina (see below) and my grandfather to manage a Molybdenum mine in Serbia. He was a mining engineer. His brother died in a battle against the Russians, some place in the birch trees near Chernivtsi on the border between Ukraine and Moldova; close to Transylvania. His body was never recovered in one of the furthest extents east and south of the Austro-Hungarians. In 2011, I drove through Bukovina with my wife enroute to Moldova where my wife and I were working. In Chernivtsi we noted there is still a statue to Kaiser Franz Joseph in the center of town. We stopped to remember my great Uncle Emil Kanicky.
That part of Europe, which was called Galicia and sub-Carpathian Ukraine was and continues to be the torn hem of the fabric of European history: Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Ukrainians, Russians, Austrians, Ruthenians, Hungarians, Romanians, Mongols, Turks and Kipchaks were all in the neighborhood at some point. These were the boundary lands of empires; the places where the tides of imperial history would flood and then ebb, and new boundaries drawn for control of fertile land that seemed to stretch for ever looking east and west; a sea of land. In fact, the word Ukraine means on the edge in Russian.
But this article isn’t going to immediately extemporize on the current situation in Ukraine, but rather will review how these broader-border lands held the places where the temptations to battle for control of an expanded empire have always led to failure. It is a tale of two empires that stem from the eagles’ nest of Rome. As Rome grew, political and administrative pressures divided the empire and in the year 286, Emperor Diocletian formalized the process of division. It culminated with the establishment of the Byzantine empire (Eastern Rome) around 395 AD and the evolution of the political-social entities of these two empires. One in Constantinople and the other in Rome. It was a necessary break. These divisions occasionally aspired to unity primarily through a common faith as Christianity grew but remained ever divided as represented by the two-headed eagle of the Byzantine empire. Eventually Christianity also developed a two-headed spiritual ideal of union. And oddly, the two headed eagle representing the Byzantine coat of arms seems a spiritual allegory that for powers to meet they must look away from each other. To understand empire, power had to look away from itself. It is one of those ironic paradoxes that renders to both God and Caesar their due. Perhaps even a Providential check and balance.
This two-headed eagle became synonymous with empire and was readapted throughout European history. And eventually was also adopted by the Holy Roman Empire. It is interesting to note that the word for a nobleman in German is the same word as eagle: Adler. The symbol became known as the Reichsadler or the Imperial Eagle. It represented the Holy Roman Empire from 1450-1806.
It is hard to understand the mind of a two-headed eagle. But for those raised in a world of European political duality as was my grandfather, the Byzantine part of Europe is real and ought to be strongly considered and understood. Attempts to fuse the mind of Europe have always resulted in calamity.
The Austrians assumed the same Byzantine posture in their own Coat of Arms. And that gaze westward was effective even unto chiseling the two-headed eagle on the façade of the first Cathedral in the new world: In Santo Domingo where the coat of arms of Charles V of Austria is still visible. In that pulpit, the Dominican missionary Montesinos preached for justice. That’s a long view for an eagle. But far enough to dissipate its worldly intention of dominion.
In 1815, Czar Alexander had a fancy ideal of a Great and Holy Alliance. That was a post Napoleonic political order where Europe’s empires: Prussia, Austria and Russia, would all be united under the banner of a common Christian culture stretching around the world but under a common understanding that the Prussian, Austrian and Russian two-headed eagles would gaze steadfastly away from each other. But even as the Austrian eagle tended its view westward the Russian eagle had a free sight and view to the east. And their empire extended also to the new world even as far as Alaska where the Russian Orthodox missionaries arrived. And in the pulpit of the Alaskan wilderness Saint Herman of Alaska born in Siberia preached justice and worked with the Aleuts.
Problems of empire in Europe invariably turn very negative when the heads of the eagles turn toward each other and start pecking at each other. Where there is great irony there may be Providence. And such is the case with the two-headed eagle. Global imperial power ought always to be in opposition regardless of the iteration of empire, even if the aspiration of empire is manifest in commercial and financial union. Its resolution is spiritual and symbolized by the ever-extended horizon where imperial power is diffused. If there is a riddle inherent in the symbol perhaps it would sound something like this: At the place where sunrise and sunset meet there is a place where empires greet.
I was struck as we were looking at the map of the region of Ukraine. If you draw your fingers across Luhansk and Kharkov; across the Dnieper to Volgograd or Poltava or Kursk you see how close those fields of battle are and how empires have been defined by these borderlands. It occurred to me that perhaps the perch and nest of that two-headed eagle was defined on the Dnieper and each ought look the opposite direction. I was also struck by how close Volgograd is to disputed area in Eastern Ukraine or Western Russia. This seemed important as it represented the extension and defeat of the Nazi attempt to control additional resources necessary for fulfilling the ideal of a Third Reich, a wicked single headed eagle which disregarded the spiritual dimension of Rome. Volgograd is the former Stalingrad where some of the greatest casualties of the Eastern Front of World War II took place between the Nazi Germans and the Soviet Red Army. It is important to remember that the Russians were bravely fighting the advancing Germans in the region only 80 years ago.
But history repeats itself under a seemingly benign quest for unity that again has the eagles turning toward each other. It is the globalist objective to control the vestiges of that Holy Alliance envisioned by Czar Alexander but by starring down the Russians and asserting a single system of financial and political control: a single headed eagle perhaps more terrible than the Nazi eagle. The closer two magnets of the same charge are united the more they repel each other. These eagles’ heads are not made to look at each other; they are not meant to be united politically. What is happening in Ukraine is an emergence of the Sisyphean strategy that seeks to unite two empires. American drones and HIMARS missiles are flying within 200 miles of Volgograd and threatening encroachment in NATO. We are on the same path as that of the Nazi eagle. This isn’t where our American eagle should nest. A line must be drawn as a kind of Greenwich Mean Time but for politics, but it is somewhere out there on the edges of empire, in Ukraine. The globalist vision to have one dominant global empire means that one head must be cut-off. The need to take over Moscow is just too tempting, and this is essentially what is happening. Ukraine is not about independence. It is about the final hurdle to global dependence. These efforts to build empire always end in destruction. Such was the case with battles of Poltava and Borodino and Stalingrad. And even in Przemysl as my grandfather attested. Putin has drawn the line of advance at the regions he just annexed. For him and for many on that side, it is a fire wall against the globalist expansion and preservation of his idea of empire.: it is their eagle. For the globalists on this side, dominating Moscow means the completion of a fully unholy global union: it is their eagle. Neither are our eagle.
Look and learn:
We don’t really know what the fallout will be from the forces that are now joining battle. But it doesn’t seem wise to be part of these two-headed eagle banners. Is there a critical mass of change that will cause two opposing forces to truly explode in the battle fields on the edges of empire? It may be that Putin fails and falls like Humpty Dumpty and with him breaks the Faberge eagle egg or the Soviet rotten egg. I think it is a grave mistake however to presume we can push out that egg of the two-headed eagle and put in that nest the eggs of the single-headed WEF Cuckoos. A European commonwealth is a very heavy crown to wear when there is no faith. Perhaps a crown of thorns on the rest of the world.
Our American Eagle is a wonderful strong symbol. We must not make the naïve mistake to assume that we should be nesting near Kiev. The affair going on in Ukraine is not just an aspiration for Ukrainian independence, it is a European global affair. It is an opportunity for the stretching of the talons of power and another representation of that political aspiration for European unity and it is very dangerous. We must render to God what is God’s and we must remain true to our trans-Atlantic purpose; keep powers separated by looking away at the horizon. We have our sight fixed here. That’s why our eagle is single-minded.
Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867. In 1869 the first non-Alaskan Russian Orthodox Church was consecrated in San Francisco. This Church in San Francisco should be the meeting place of a peace between Moscow and Brussels; for the sake of Ukraine and for America and for the sake of freedom. In that Church we may all re-find our purpose and the new hope for the world. America is at that horizon and represent the unity of empire as the two-headed eagles intended: east and west meet as their gaze joins back on the other side of the world in a geometry of globalism that is may be more righteous; perhaps holy.: dissipated on the horizon. This isn’t a colonial aspiration. It is how the powers of governance have moved; it is the history manifest in irony. And where there is irony there is truth. West and East shake their fists at each other on the Dnieper; East and West shake hands on the Colombia River. It is a long way to go for peace. And that is the way it ought to be.