AK-47; want cream or sugar with that?

An old high school friend of mine married a pro-Western Afghan she met while running a hospital in Pakistan. For several years they lived in the US, but following the fall of the Taliban they moved to Afghanistan, hoping to help with the rebuilding of that country.

Since their return there, they’ve opened the Kabul Kafe, an Afghan “Starbucks” that attracts an international clientele. And they adopted a baby Afghan girl, now two. Unfortunately, that country’s national security has slowly deteriorated. E-mails and photos from them subtly tell the story. There is a photo of their beautiful child with big Asian eyes staring intently at the camera, sitting on the knee of a haggard but smiling, toothless man wielding an AK-47 (“Our house guard”). Another photo of the Kafe, complete with staff: host, cook, baristas, and shooters. Yep. Four more dentist boycotters with AK-47s and personas suggesting they’ve got the necessary “experience.” They greet you at the door.

In 2007 a US friend visited them to help with the grand opening of their cafe – prior to their hiring the shooters. He related this anecdote: “We were sitting there drinking coffee when in walked eight South African mercenaries (freelance hired guns) toting automatic rifles and pistols. I could see their jeeps out front – with armed guards. G… (our high school friend) calmly walked over to their two tables and said, ‘Guys, we don’t do guns here. If you want to put them in the back room until you leave, that’s fine, or you can put them outside in your jeeps…’

“Dead silence fell over the two tables,” the friend continued.” Then there was mumbling and some bad-looking eye contact going on as the English-speaking ones translated to the French and Dutch-speaking…then more mumbling. Finally, they all stood in unison and took their guns outside, and came back in.” He paused and added, “I could see they had their pistols under their clothes.”

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2 Comments on “AK-47; want cream or sugar with that?”

  1. Joseph Belle-Isle Says:

    That sounds like a strange group of mercenaries-that would disarm. For any reason. I knew grunts in SE Asia and I’m sure the WWII and Korean war guys were the same as far as their weapons went- They would have to be dead to be seperated from their weapon. Strange things happen though.

  2. Joseph Belle-Isle Says:

    That Joe Belle-Isle sure is one smart fellow!


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