Whereas the position of the author of “September 11” rugs (such as this one from the Rugs of War catalogue) is always ambiguous …
… unfortunately – for whatever reason – this butane lighter seems clearly celebratory. It’s for sale on eBay.
The vendor says it was purchased in Afghanistan during a tour of duty in the US Army; it has attracted bids of over $200 US.
UPDATED TO ADD: After a spirited bidding war, the lighter ended up fetching US$797. As is not unheard of on eBay, the same vendor is now offering another “guaranteed one of a kind lighter” for sale. Thanks to our friend Max Allen for the tip-off, and also for the link to Wikipedia’s entry on Asadabad, which says:
Asadabad has been the scene of a number of incidents since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan began. U.S. forces set up a provincial reconstruction team there in February 2004. The birth place of Sayeed jamal-udin Afghani.
Asadabad is one of the few Afghan cities still run openly by the Taliban. The Taliban rulers of Asadbad passed laws during the reign of the Taliban in Kabul saying that as long as they are in office they cannot be arrested for crimes of any kind. This arrangement is made possible by the mayor’s tribal relations to Afghan president Hamid Karzai.
Due to the proximity of the Afghanistan/ Pakistan border, Asadabad deals with a fairly large amount of trade goods destined for other places.
A FURTHER UPDATE: the latter auction received two bids of US$25, failing to meet the vendor’s reserve.