The Taliban Go Into the Tourism Business

Afghanistan has two major natural resources

1. Opium

2. Rare earth metals

The Taliban lack the expertise to extract the latter, but are pretty good at the former. Still they're trying to diversify by reinventing one of their more infamous crimes as a tourist attraction.

The Taliban’s destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statues in early 2001 shocked the world and highlighted their hard-line regime, toppled soon after in a U.S.-led invasion.

Now back in charge of Afghanistan and eager to present a softer image, the militant group is running the site as a tourist attraction.

For around $5, curious visitors can wander around and take photos of the giant holes in the cliff face where the ancient Buddha statues once stood.

Under a white Taliban flag, soldiers man a booth and write out admission tickets.

It's one of the more obvious contrasts between Afghanistan before and after Biden.

But not everyone is as dumb as Biden, because the Taliban are not getting many tourists.

Few visitors arrived when NBC News was at the site, despite the Taliban's stated willingness to welcome tourists.

The problem isn't that they're welcoming tourists, it's that the tourists may not then be welcome to leave.


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