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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Kabul and Jalabad Road

BBC documentary about life for a contractor in Afghanistan. Most people have no idea of the amount of politics and reality distortion inherent in daily life there. The tactics displayed are typical of some of the early groups there when the main requirement for recruitment was any type of military or PD experience. Nowadays its more selective with extensive vetting. Probably because of incidents like Jack Idema's arrest. Secondary IEDs are almost  Di' Rigueur, the Taliban never stopped learning and improvising. Otherwise the river of Afghanistan just keeps on rolling.
The reporter stopped by a souk downtown that I am familiar with. One of the items shown for sale was a 1873 British Enfield. The price would probably be ridiculously low by our reckoning but exorbitant by an Afghani's.  Afghanistan is the place where empires go to die as did the British and Russians before us. The item above, an anitque brass samovar, came from this souk and when I got it home and cleaned it I discovered a Cyrillic stamp and engraving of Czar Nicholas and dated 1889. I think when Russia withdrew from Afghanistan a Russian soldier had to leave it behind. It may well have been in his family for generations. It will be interesting to see what kind of American paraphernalia turns up in this same souk 25 years from now. Maybe we will see an XBox games and MREs or a rusty M4. Enjoy the documentary.