© 2011 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles™
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(Written 13 April 2011)
Holy Smokes! If I could tell you all a quarter of what I've experienced in the last couple of days, you wouldn't believe it! Seriously, I was really going to diminish the amount of Afghanistan material I post, but seriously, you just can't make this stuff up!
I'm currently at Spin Boldak, helping out with the transition of site managers. Spin-B, as it is affectionately called, is 6 klicks from the Pakistan border, and the town nearby is the main crossroad between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Gem and opium smugglers, white robed warlords, heavily armed black masked operators, threadbare goat-herders, and weary truckers, all converge from all points of the compass in this small area. Whether it's hash and opium from the interior, explosives and human cargo from Pakistan, exotic spices and homegrown rice, or stolen coalition supplies going in either direction, the majority of it flows, untaxed by the governments on either side, through this dusty and chaotic border town.
Hmmm, perhaps untaxed isn't the right word...
The local strongman and warlord, Razziz, lives comfortably in a fortified compound carved by slaves long ago out of the side of the ancient mountain, and just inside the English drawn Pakistani border. Afghan or Pakistani, Pashtoon or Persian, it doesn't matter; he is the de-facto tax-man around here, and woe be it upon anyone that tries to avoid his "revenue" agents.
All business dealings, legitimate or otherwise, run through him. Nothing, and I mean nothing, happens around here without his knowledge and approval. Those that run afoul of his rules, soon find themselves sans head, and feeding the ever slinking jackals on the gritty, dusty plains. Any mafia Don would be envious of his control.
If you doubt me, suffice it to say that when a rocket was launched at Spin B recently after a very long hiatus, three disembodied Taliban heads were delivered, wrapped in fine Afghan woolen shawls, to the base with apologies for the disturbance. Razziz doesn't take lightly to being disobeyed, or made a fool of.
His guards, hard, tough men with piercing eyes and sun leathered skin, patrol the streets of the area, easily identifiable by their outfits and adornments, if not just by their physical presence. Chests criss-crossed with bandoliers of 7.62 ammo and serviceable AKs in hand, they maintain the iron grip of Razziz in this province. Even the Talibanannas don't dare cross him.
It's all about the business.
And good ol' Raz knows how to dispense largess as needed. Recently, some of the black masked fellows received a small token of appreciation from Razziz; a dozen sheep, and three peacocks.
I'm telling you, you just can't make this stuff up...
Albert A Rasch
Member: Spin-B Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...
Though he spends most of his time writing and keeping the world safe for democracy, Albert was actually a student of biology. Really. But after a stint as a lab tech performing repetitious and mind-numbing processes that a trained capuchin monkey could do better, he never returned to the field. Rather he became a bartender. As he once said, "Hell, I was feeding mice all sorts of concoctions. At the club I did the same thing; except I got paid a lot better, and the rats where bigger." He has followed the science of QDM for many years, and fancies himself an aficionado. If you have any questions, or just want to get more information, reach him via TheRaschOutdoorChronicles(at)MSN(dot)com.
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