Friday, February 22, 2008

A World Away

I listen to the audio version of the New York Times nearly every weekday morning. Monday the 18th I heard a story which made me do an audio double-take.

The story by Taimoor Shah and Carlotta Gall was headlined:

At Least 80 Are Killed in Afghan Suicide Bombing

Aww.. that’s horrible, 80 people.

Another piece of the story (skipping down a couple of paragraphs):

“The governor of Kandahar Province, Asadullah Khaled, said 80 people had died and more than 90 had been wounded….

“’This is the action of the enemies of our country,’ Mr. Khaled said. ‘They do not let Afghans enjoy their lives and have a peaceful life....’"

Fair enough. But what kind of peaceful life were these poor victims enjoying at the time of the carnage? Back to the first line of the story:

"...A suicide bomber blew himself up in a large crowd gathered at a dogfighting event just outside this city in southern Afghanistan, killing about 80 people and wounding more than 90 others in the country’s worst single bombing since 2001...."

Dogfighting? What the fuck? I’m not a borderline crazy animal advocate like my lovely wife but dogfighting? Uncool. Granted you shouldn’t be blown up but it woke me up to what kind of backward country Afghanistan still is.

Incidentally I never knew dogfighting was one word. I guess it’s like horseracing but Word doesn’t like it. Oh well, you learn something new every day. Like this:

“...Thousands of people were watching the dogs fighting, including young children and old people. Some people were selling things like oranges and tea and other food from stalls. People had come from different parts of Kandahar Province....”

Perhaps we could introduce more humane sports while we are hunting for Bin Laden. Imagine Tomahawk missiles with payloads of basketballs, baseballs, and even footballs.

Hey, perhaps Michael Vick could play quarterback for the Tora Bora Titans when he gets out of the pokey.

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