PJ O’Rourke brings a useful perspective to modern day Afghanistan:
In Kabul I was met at the airport by M. Amin Mudaqiq, bureau chief for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Afghan branch, Radio Azadi. “Our office is just down the main road,” he said, “but since it’s early in the morning we’ll take the back way, because of the Suicides.” That last word, I noticed, was pronounced as a proper noun, the way we would say “Beatles” slightly differently than “beetles.” And, in a sense, suicide bombers do aspire to be the rock stars of the Afghan insurgency (average career span being about the same in both professions).
“The Suicides usually attack early in the morning,” Amin said. “It’s a hot country and the explosive vests are thick and heavy.”
I’d never thought about suicide bombing in terms of comfort. Here’s some guy who’s decided to blow himself gloriously to bits and he’s pounding the pavement all dressed up in the blazing sun, sweat running down his face, thinking, “Gosh this thing itches, I’m pooped, let’s call it off.”
“It’s the same with car bombs,” Amin said. “You don’t want to be driving around the whole day with police everywhere and maybe get a ticket.”
Imagine the indignity of winding up in traffic court instead of the terrorist equivalent of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Go and read it all. In the midst of humor there is truth.