War Correspondent David Axe, promoting his new graphic novel, is asked “Of all the fucked-up places you’ve been, what’s the most fucked-up of all? Why?”
Chad, by far. Even in Somalia, I felt like there was a fairly clear division between “danger” and “safety.” When I was with my fixers, I felt safe. In Chad, I never felt safe. In that country, violence visited me everywhere: in the capital, when corrupt cops hijacked my car; in a Catholic mission in Sudanese border country, when heavily-armed child soldiers hopped the fence and tried to break into my photographer’s and my rooms as a gunfight erupted all around us.
I think it’s actually a bit hard for us, living in a country of established law and order, to understand just what it’s like to live in a place where it is, very literally, every man for himself. That one bit “I never felt safe” lingers with me a bit. I wonder just how much our Peacekeepers could have accomplished in such a nation. “Nation” being a very generous word.
I mean, how do you fix it? It’s a whole different level to Iraq and Afghanistan.