Deputy Sec’y Bill Burns Inaugurates U.S. Consulate Herat

Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns officially inaugurated the first United States consulate in Afghanistan during a ceremony in Herat on June 13.

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The slideshow is also accessible here via Flickr.

According to the official presser, the ceremony was attended by Herat Governor Saba, Farah Governor Khpalwak, and Badghis Deputy Governor Sabiri—representing three of the four provinces comprising the Herat consular district.

The consulate facility opened on March 12, 2012 after almost two years of restorations.  The ceremony recognized Afghan contributions to the renovated building.  An average of 70 skilled Afghan craftsmen and carpenters worked on the project each day and substantial local products were used.  Original artworks by Herat University students and faculty and photos of Herat by David Hume Kennerly are on display in the Consulate foyer.

Remarks by Deputy Secretary Burns at the inauguration is here.

Domani Spero

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When Life Imitates Art — The Man Who Would Be King

From The Man Who Would Be King (1975) based on a story by Rudyard Kipling. Daniel Dravot [Lecturing his Er-Heb recruits while Billy Fish translates:]

“Now listen to me, you benighted mockers! We’re going to teach you soldiering, The world’s noblest profession! When we’re done with you, you’ll be able to stand up and slaughter your foes like civilized men! But first, you will have to learn to march in step. And do the manual of arms without even having to think! Good soldiers don’t think, they just obey! Do you suppose that if a man thought twice, he’d give his life for Queen and Country? Not bloody likely! He wouldn’t go near the battlefield! One look at your foolish faces tells me that you’re going to be crack troops. Ohhh him there with the five-and-a-half hat size has the makings of a bloody hero!”

Slaughter your foes like civilized men … that seems instructive, even for a movie that’s from 1975 based on a book novella from 1888.

Domani Spero