Friday, September 04, 2009

J.D. Johannes on Kabul

J.D. Johannes has an essay and links to his pictures of Kabul. I never saw the New City when I was there in the 1970s, but it resembles Beirut at the time. Supermarkets? Not in Kabul then.
With the threat of a planned attack reduced the only remaining threat is randomness—being in the wrong place at wrong time when a bomb goes off—or random opportunity.

The only mitigation to that is SA or situational awareness and an exfil plan.

One of the last things you want to do on the streets is hook and jab with an attacker. The better option is to shove and run or trach punch and run. The best option is to see what is coming, change directions and flee into the most crowded place you can, squirt out of the crowd, dive into a taxi cab, throw some money at the driver, change shirts, put distance between you and the threat.
While keeping an eye on one's back, check out the stores:
To the Taliban and others of like mind, the ills that have befallen Islamic countries can all be blamed on their falling away from the true nature of Islam....The cure is living like Mohammed and his followers did in the 6th Century AD.

The Taliban pick and choose what they will accept from the west. Technology is fine because it is a tool. The medium is allowed as long as the message is Islam. But it is impossible to control every message through every medium. The pervasive western message seeps in.

As H-JD and I entered the auto-parts section of Kabul I found the ultimate symbol of how far the western imagery and message have seeped.

We stood in front of shop selling tire rims. Not just normal, sturdy, bland rims that could survive the rutted and pot-holed streets Kabul but shiny chrome rims. They ranged in size from the 24-inch style glorified by American hip-hop artists and rappers, to 14-inches. There were spinners, spokes, gloss black, machined black and every other manner of blinging dubs.

The Taliban’s fight is not just against NATO and the Afghan military and security services. Their battle is also against the weight of the all pervasive western pop culture.

In Kabul, pimp my ride is winning.
Unfortunately, as Johannes says, kabul is only a small part of Afghanistan.

The whole essay is worth a read. Here.

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