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The London Telegraph reports that Afghanistan plans to make money off of the war that liberated the country from the oppressive rule of the Taliban -- by transforming the notorious hideout of al-Qaeda in the mountains into a tourist trap:
The Afghan authorities plan to invigorate the country's fledgling tourist industry by developing Osama bin Laden's Tora Bora mountain hideout as a visitor attraction.
Dr Hassamuddin Hamrah, the man in charge, believes that the caves which once housed bin Laden and his fighters, together with the remains of mangled Russian tanks and crashed helicopter gunships from the 1980s, will prove a tourist magnet. ...
"We have plans to make a tourist site at the Tora Bora caves. Many Americans wish to go there," Dr Hamrah said. "Our main problem is lack of budget so we are approaching the private sector. We request that anybody, any company, who is interested should contact us."
He added that three Japanese tour company bosses had already visited the site, high in the White Mountains near Jalalabad.
Don't get me wrong; I don't begrudge the Afghanis any honest effort to build a free-market economy. Somehow, though, I have trouble visualizing Tora Bora Land, complete with rides and concession stands in an area that the US military found to be almost inaccessible. Besides, the atmosphere has to be pretty grim in that area, with tribal warriors not far away in Pakistan and the continuing presence of NATO troops to guard against any reinfiltration.
The Afghanis are looking for investors. I wonder if Disney has any interest in that location for a Southwest Asia Disneyworld? They could build a separate, nearby zone and call it the Taliban Adventure, where no one gets to sing or play and roving bands of morality police beat you senseless if you laugh. At the main park -- the one called Terroristland -- the atmosphere could be much more loose, with a song on everyone's lips:
It's a world of torture with lots of deaths,
it's a hopeless world full of cut-off heads,
There's the evil we share
As we bomb everywhere
We're Al Qaeda, after all!
Sounds like a wonderful idea. I know many people want to spend their leisure time taking the Lunatic Bombthrowers Tour. With any luck, the Afghanis can corner the market.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Captain's Quarters blog has a great commentary on some Afghanis plans to turn the caves which bin Laden and the Taliban once hid out in . . . into tourist attractions. Gotta love the creativity. [Read More]
Tracked on December 3, 2004 11:45 PM
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