The Afghan prelude: the overthrow of the Taliban in the aftermath of September 11 | Voices | The Independent:
After almost a quarter of a century of war, Afghanistan has become a land of donkeys and tanks. Most Afghans live in conditions of terrible poverty. On the main road between Kabul and the mouth of the Panjshir valley, we meet two men waiting with donkeys and broken down carts for passengers. In countries such as Afghanistan I often look at people’s shoes to see how poor they really are. In this case the two men, called Abdul Hamid and Abdul Haliq, are wearing the cheapest green plastic sandals. But there are only three of them. Abdul Haliq has lost one plastic sandal and is too poor to replace it.