Daily Archives: March 10, 2009

Gideon Rachman

My flight into Kabul this morning was absolutely packed. I was slightly surprised to discover that there are so many regular flights into the Afghan capital, given the security situation here. But there are, in fact, three or four connections a day from Dubai. (I also noticed that there are now several commercial flights plying the Dubai-Baghdad route.)

I flew in on Kam Air – a new Afghan carrier. The name made a French journalist travelling with me laugh – she pointed out that Kam (spelled differently) is French slang for drugs. The people on the flight were almost all foreigners – I spoke to an Irish security contractor, a Gambian aid worker and an American military man, returning to Bagram air base. Coming through the arrivals hall (a rather grandiose description), there was also a big sign for employees of Blackwater, the notorious US security company. Read more

Gideon Rachman

She appeared at Barack Obama’s inauguration in a magnificent hat. She even sang a song. But who would have guessed that Aretha Franklin would be such an acute guide to the new US president’s foreign policy? Read more