Afghanistan, the unromantic view

Pankaj Mishra reports from Afghanistan:
“Much of Kabul is built of mud. And when it rained before last Christmas— relieving a long and severe drought— the whole city seemed to melt. The piles of sludge on its unpaved lanes rose, as though in a slow-moving tide, until it spattered everything: the big white Land Cruisers of aid agencies and Afghan ministers, the beat-up yellow taxis, the bombed-out palaces of western Kabul and the bullet-pocked huts on steep hills, the fortified foreign embassies and UN offices, and even the high billboards exhorting Afghans, in idiosyncratic English, to ‘national reconciliation and peace.'”

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