First We Took Afghanistan. Then We Gave Them Iraq

First we took away Al-Qaeda’s base in Afghanistan. Then we gave them a new one in Iraq. Strip away the treachery and deceit, murder and mayhem of the last twelve and a half years, and that’s all that remains. In 2001, we went to war to chase Al-Qaeda out of Afghanistan. I was there. I watched the bombs fall, and I saw the bodies. Al-Qaeda were holed up in the poorest country on earth. They practically had to run their global jihad out of a cave. They were out on the fringes, cut off … [Read more...]

The Worst Airport in the World

News of the outrageous queues people have been forced to endure at passport control at London's Heathrow airport recently reminded me of the worst airport I ever flew into. Because, national disgrace though the UK Border Agency is, immigration at Heathrow still doesn't come close to arriving at Tajikistan's Dushanbe airport, where a customs official once asked me for $5,000 in cash to be allowed into the country. It was 2001, after 9/11, and The Independent  sent me to Afghanistan to cover … [Read more...]

View from a Terrace

Where do I begin? I'm sitting on the terrace of my apartment in Delhi. It's early evening and the light is already fading, but it's still warm, and the leaves are falling all around me. The leaves fall in spring in Delhi, which seems strange to some one like me who grew up in Europe, and associates the fall with the nights drawing in, huddling around the bonfire for warmth, and the death of the year. But here it is the summer everyone fears, summer is the season of death, and even the trees are … [Read more...]