by Pankaj Mishra, The Guardian, August 8, 2009
For the past week I have been hearing the rattle of machine guns and the sonic booms of fighter jets tearing across the sky. It sounds like Helmand province, Afghanistan, but it is, unmistakably with the frequent showers and the bleating of sheep, Pembrokeshire, Wales. Here, in a cottage on the fringes of a busy firing range on the Welsh coast, one of Britain’s longest wars does not seem as disquietingly invisible as it does in other parts of the country.
We drive across the firing range to get to the cliffs. I am slightly nervous when I see a military vehicle approaching us on the narrow road. With my dark beard and shalwar kameez I resemble the “enemy” the soldiers are being trained to fight. Who knows what apprehensions are provoked by my appearance in a military compound in the remote Welsh countryside?