I visited Afghanistan as a journalist in 2007. Driving through Kabul wearing bulletproof vests in a civilian vehicle felt like a mix of Mad Max and the Dark Ages. It was worse than expected. The buildings looked fragile and barely habitable – possibly as a result of the Soviet Union's war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. We drove past a bus wreck from which smoke rose. The driver told me that a suicide bombing had taken place there a few hours earlier. The stench was even more nauseating. . .
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