Tuesday, April 12, 2005

IED (Improvised Explosive Device)

The photo is of an IED that was found near the entrance to Kabul’s airport. It is very simple, a large pressure cooker filled with explosives and a motorcycle battery for a detonator.

Afghanistan has been at war for decades. Unless you have been there you will have trouble understanding the amount of ordnance scattered around the country, how almost every building and road is bomb and shell damaged, and the number of Afghans on the streets who have lost limbs to IEDs, land mines and other ordnance. Yet Economic Man lives. The markets are full of food and other goods for sale and there are street vendors on every corner selling everything from phone cards to U.S. dollars.

When I first arrived in Kabul I would see the rug dealers placing their rugs in the street so the cars would drive over the rugs. I learned that used rugs were more valuable than new ones and what better way to quickly turn a new rug into a used one than a few hours of cars and trucks driving over it. Reminded me of visiting Maine Antique shops and seeing things marked “age unknown”.

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