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« Barking Dogs (John Ballard) | Main | Die, wicked trope, die I say! (John Ballard) »

September 16, 2012


John, did you read this blog post of mine? You may have because it was among the finalists in a 3 QD politics competition.

The Arab Spring may have to first go through a couple of prolonged bitter winters and scorching summers before it segues into a mellow autumn. But who knows? A mix of ignorance, poverty and religion is never a guarantee for text book social outcomes.

Wonderful essay, Ruchira. But no, I didn't read it until now. At the time that was written I had embedded myself as far into the front lines as the Internet would allow me to go. The last thing on my mind was US foreign policy and implications for the president. I was confident then, as I still am, that Barack Obama is the smartest, most circumspect, fully informed president we have had in my adult life. Somewhere in the back of my mind I felt he knew everything that was going on and was deliberately keeping hands off (for a change). Every time I saw another report, video or photo of what was unfolding I was amazed that for the first time in my memory we were watching popular revolts, without anybody chanting anti-American slogans or burning American (or even Israeli) flags. The absence of anti-American images was surreal because the regimes being overturned were all sustained by the US!

About that time this is what I was doing. When I was not on an assignment I was glued to the keyboard.

And besides, it was clear by then that Wael Ghonim and the critical mass he had inspired had their hands firmly on the throttles in Tunisia and Egypt and my excitement was palpable. It was like being present at the birth of a baby.

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