Did it “open a rare window” and “raise troubling questions,” too?

by Joshua Foust on 2/5/2010 · 1 comment

Dig the cliches:

Afghan border guards never search him, even though he passes through this bustling crossing four or five times a week. “What searching?” said Mr. Abdulmalek, a 34-year-old clothing store owner who like many Afghans has only one name. “There is no searching.”

Other Afghans say they can easily enter Pakistan by bribing guards on either side of the border with the equivalent of less than a dollar, or by paying taxi drivers a similarly token amount to drive them across. The guards do not ask those in the taxi for identification or search the trunk.

Funny thing: if you switch some nouns—replace “Afghans” with “Mexicans,” and “Pakistan” with “United States,” for example—you’d also have a reasonable approximation of North America as well.

Maybe next week the New York Times will get back on its feet.


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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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{ 1 comment }

reader February 5, 2010 at 11:30 am

I was once crossing a foot-bridge over the Rio Grande into Texas with a big bag of cheap/over-priced souvenirs slung over my shoulder. Now mind you I was a young male, who had gone over to Mexico for a relatively brief period of a couple of hours and I was wearing sandals, shorts, and a rope-necklace, and my hair was sort of long. The border people just waived me on by. If I were a goose-stepping authoritarian type I would have been horrified. But I like to think that at least fortress America is still just a dream in the hearts of my fascist inclined fellow citizens.

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