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Kabul Korrespondence

Fresh, factual, and funky view of Afghanistan and the surrounding Central Asian region

Word of advice..........

Friday, January 22, 2010

posted by Travis, 4:54 pm | link | 4 comments |

First day back in Oz

Monday, January 18, 2010

Im back in Oz and I spent the first day with my family spinning records and doing BBQ.

posted by Travis, 6:09 pm | link | 5 comments |

Iran: the policed state

Saturday, January 16, 2010

posted by Travis, 6:46 am | link | 5 comments |

We found him !

Bin Laden has re-surfaced:


Bin Laden is just a Google search away
By Kevin Huffman

I'm not sure why critics say that the government isn't serious about the war on terror. We are spending $128 billion this year in Iraq and Afghanistan in a proactive effort to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here.

It goes without saying that the most important thing is to get Osama bin Laden, hence our stepped up presence in Afghanistan. And just to prove how serious we are about getting him, last week the State Department released an updated image of what bin Laden might look like today. The picture shows an older, grayer version of the al-Qaeda leader, with a shorter beard.

The FBI noted that it had used “cutting edge” technology to develop the image. Unfortunately, it turns out that “cutting edge” means a web browser, Google Images and panorama stitching software. On Saturday, the agency made the embarrassing admission that its forensic artist found an image of a Spanish politician and merged it with a decade-old bin Laden picture and presto – now we know what we're looking for! Obviously, you have to account for potential changes in beard and hair, so if you see someone who looks vaguely Spanish or Arab or both, with short or long hair, a short or long beard, maybe fifty-ish, give a holler.

This leads to a number of questions. First of all, where does one apply to be a forensic artist for the FBI? I'm less interested for myself than for my 11-year-old daughter, who is really good at Google Images searches and Photoshop.

Second, if we are going to dummy up a random guy and call him bin Laden, can we try to find someone other than an elected official who has been outspoken about U.S. policies? Honestly, this is very North Korea of us; around the world, people are shaking their heads and wondering how stupid we think they are.

But most important, if we are going to send 100,000 young people into Afghanistan to fight on our behalf, can our intelligence apparatus throw just the tiniest bit of additional resources into a serious bin Laden effort?
posted by Travis, 6:03 am | link | 0 comments |

A sad day in Melbourne music scene

Thursday, January 14, 2010

posted by Travis, 3:32 pm | link | 0 comments |

Not good news from Sudan

Sunday, January 10, 2010

posted by Travis, 5:45 pm | link | 0 comments |

War Reporting, Hollywood style

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Truly amazing craftsmanship:

posted by Travis, 4:23 pm | link | 0 comments |

Well done to Kabul Dreams

posted by Travis, 11:53 am | link | 3 comments |

Not a good year for Journos in Afghanistan

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Here is a round up of 2008

- Jan. 14, 2008: Carsten Thomassen, political commentator and war correspondent for the Norwegian daily newspaper Dagbladet, died during an attack on the Serena Hotel in Kabul.

- June 7, 2008: Afghan journalist Abdul Samad Rohani who was working for the British Broadcasting Corp. and the Afghan news agency Pajhwok, was abducted in Helmand Province. He was found dead the following day. Reporters Without Borders stated that he had apparently been tortured and then shot three times.

- Oct 12 to Nov. 8, 2008: CBC reporter Mellissa Fung was kidnapped by bandits while travelling to a refugee camp outside Kabul. She spent a month in captivity, most of it in a small hole.

- Sept. 9, 2009: Sultan Mohammad Munadi was an Afghan journalist, reporter, production manager and translator/fixer for the New York Times. He died during a British Special Boat Service special forces raid meant to rescue him and reporter Stephen Farrell, who were both captured by Taliban forces near Kunduz four days earlier.

- Dec 30, 2009: Michelle Lang, 34, a reporter with the Calgary Herald, was killed along with an unknown number of soldiers while travelling with a Provincial Reconstruction Team.

- Other journalists who have died in Afghanistan include Ulf Stromberg from TV4 in 2001; Abdul Qodus from Aryana TV in 2006; Karen Fischer, a freelancer, in 2006; Christian Struwe, a freelancer, in 2006; Ajmal Naqshbandi, a freelancer, in 2007; and Zakia Zaki from Sada-i-Sulh in 2007.

The list is not complete and does not mention the journos injured or kidnapped, lets hope it does not grow too much in 2010.....
posted by Travis, 10:36 pm | link | 15 comments |