Yale and the Taliban 
Monday, February 27, 2006, 05:36 PM
The New York Times Magazine published an extremely interesting article on a former member of the Taliban who is now a freshman at Yale. This guy was not simply some random punk -- he was an ambasador at large who represented the Taliban in countries around the world, including the United States. Several years later, he has a different view on many issues and would like to one day bridge the gab between Islam and the West. It was one of the most encouraging articles I've seen in a long time.

One thing the United States needs to do to help improve it's image abroad, is stop making obtaining a student visa such a nightmare. Certainly we have to watch who we let into the country, but current delays are due to bureaucratic incompetence more that actual security concerns. The issue may get tossed aside because it doesnít directly affect voters (because we're citizens), but my guess is that a graduate from an American university is much less likely to spend the rest of his life hating America than someone who pursues his education elsewhere. And right now, it isnít just the Middle East that has an abundance of America-haters. International ill will isn't simply going to disappear -- it's going to require some effort on our part to eradicate.


Monday, February 27, 2006, 08:56 PM
One of my favorite kinds of Americans are those who start off in a villified role in life, and totally turn themselves around and become outstanding citizens. Maybe a year ago I read or heard about a guy who had been trained by the Taliban and sent over here to carry out some mission. After being over here for a while, he totally abandons his mission and is instead spearheading something like interfaith talks within his town's community, with appreciation and understanding being big themes, if I recall.

Basically, he seemed to have gone from the guys were told to hate, to one of the very best of us. The more people there are like that, the better the outlook of the future, IMHO.

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