Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Human Torpedo

"Meet Mahmoud.

Mahmoud would merely register as a statistical blip on a population chart somewhere, but this make-believe character - a 15 year-old, upper-middle-class Egyptian that I constructed in my head - is going to matter a great deal in a decade's time. He may be the next president of Egypt, or he may turn out to be a suicide bomber.

In the last couple of weeks, policy has perceptibly shifted in Washington. While the Bush administration claims that it is sticking to the "democracy in the Middle East equals stability" talking points, its actions indicate otherwise. Even though Mahmoud has not fully absorbed the implications, those changes will play an important role in forming his political consciousness. In fact, they may map out his trajectory from teenager to murderous fireball."
Talisman Gate


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