Adventures in War Zones and Disaster Areas for Journalists and Relief Workers

Torturers I Have Met

A few years ago I was splitting a bottle of Dewar’s Scotch with one of the most senior drug control police officers in the Afghan government, (drinking is an activity more common than you would think in that Islamic nation) when the conversation turned to torture. There had just been a sensational case involving theContinue

Travel Photography Tips

I’ve been asked more than once lately for a list of tips and techniques for taking good photographs while traveling. I’ve resisted adding my thoughts because there is a tremendous amount of excellent material already available on the web. Just do a search for “travel photography tips” and there you go. But, if by addingContinue

Remembrance Day — How to Remember What it is Like to Be Dead

Note – this was originally written on November 9, 1971 and published in the Gateway Newspaper and on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s radio network worldwide. I wrote this before I had any first hand knowledge of war. Now I have too much. Yet I am pleased with my younger more innocent friend for getting itContinue

Afghan Soldiers Can’t See to Read

This week in Afghanistan (Fed 23, 2011) the NATO General in charge of training the new Afghan Army, Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, said he would like to see all Afghan National Army soldiers reading at the First Grade Elementary School level by October of 2011. Think about that statement for a moment and be veryContinue

Life in Afghanistan Before the Taliban

I don’t know who took the first two pictures here but the story is that they were taken in 1968 by a British diplomat. If anyone knows who I can contact to see whether I can display these with permission I would appreciate the contact info.  And should the owner of these pictures want themContinue

The Mad Mullah of Pakistan and the Giant Afghan Earthquake

Northern Pakistan was hit by a 6.1 or possibly 6.4 earthquake this afternoon. The shaking was also felt throughout southern Afghanistan including Kabul. There’s nothing unusual about this and indeed earthquakes are pretty common in the region.  They’re caused by the ongoing collision of the Indian subcontinent with the under belly of Asia.  It’s aContinue

At Night Through Armed Checkpoints

“You no speak okay?” I nodded my head and slouched lower in our wreck of a Toyota Corolla shuddering up to the checkpoint. Snow sleeted down the mountain slope to lash through the yellow of the headlights. “Say nothing okay. Nothing.” I’d already had a lot of practice at this already, about a dozen timesContinue