May 30, 2006
BILL ROGGIO has made it to Afghanistan, and sends this report:
The good news is I've safely landed in Kabul. The somewhat bad news is the UN flight to Kandahar is booked, so I will head down there on Monday. But there is plenty to do in Kabul, and I've already dug around a little bit about the violence in the city yesterday after a US vehicle killed 1 to 3 Afghans during a traffic accident. The consensus among the folks I spoke to is the protests after the accident were staged by groups waiting for such an event to happen. I made the comparison to the reaction by some Islamist groups in Afghanistan (and elsewhere) after the Muhammad Cartoon riots, where the "spontaneous protests" were anything but. there was agreement on this point. I will likely post about this tonight or tomorrow.
I drove through the city twice today, and it is an interesting place. The city is scarred from decades of combat, however you can see people are working to rebuild. Shops are open, people and traffic are on the streets, and there are signs of new construction and rebuilding/repair projects. I saw several "land/title offices," as well as signs for rooms for rent. Security is tight, and it seemed as if police were on every corner, no doubt a reaction to yesterday's events. Unfortunately my camera was packed away, but I'll get some shots tomorrow.