Drop someone off at the airport here and you’ll be searched three times before getting into the parking lot. Kabul is a city of sandbags and armed men, both on foot and in big, shiny, assertive, urgently-honking vehicles. In Kabul much life is lived opaquely — behind barbed wire and thick metal doors and high walls.
Early on we are told that, according to the Red Cross, the area is enduring the worst security situation in 30 years. Those with a stake in how things are dread the talked-about (and fanciful?) departure of international forces – of the invaders and occupiers — for fear of civil war. Some seem to prefer the devil they’ve come to know this past excruciating decade to other devils harder to predict, harder to identify.
Our little delegation is severely restricted in our movements – we keep a low profile: we don’t linger outside those high walls. We stay inside until our driver arrives and then quickly hop in the van. We may not even be able to get beyond Kabul – a tan, dusty, decaying, sprawling town with what must be some of the densest, scariest, least regulated traffic on the planet. (Not once in our two weeks here have we stopped for a red light.)
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