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bentley
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Re: Changez Khan



ziki wrote:
The response to this was already posted elsewhere on this forum. I just want to add that I can see the possible 'thought-connections' and why the name was used for the character in the book.
Just reading through the link that you (bentley) posted here some key words can be excavated easily (i.e. war, destruction, empire, pride etc.) and it also brings out the opposites. Changez of the book might not be that daring, ruthless. I wonder what kind of war did he lead, both in US and possibly back in Lahore.

For me personally the suspicion, the not knowing, the possible hovering near death of some kind (physical or psychological) are themes that are most prevalent.

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 05-11-200706:47 AM






Thank you for your response. I saw the response you mentioned and did not see how it fit. I have no idea what war if any he led unless you are speaking of an internal one. He did grow a beard and was menacing with the beard while in the US and did pick up a tire iron..but aside from these crazy behaviors..I really did not see any violence on his part at all. I suspect that Changez had become a crazy fellow himself as x-tempo stated. But the relationship to Ghenghis Khan still escapes me.

What Changez truly was in Lahore is another thing...one Eastern reviewer of TRF saw the meeting of the American in Lahore to be a Daniel Pearl like meeting..I have to admit that I did not see that when I read TRF and still don't. I never saw Changez as the violent type; just a person getting crazier by the minute who pigeonholes an American.

Suspicion was a major theme...and I think purposely so.
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bentley
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Re: definition

[ Edited ]

ziki wrote:
In some post there was a mention of a definition of terrorism.

Here is US take on it:

http://www.terrorism-research.com/




Yes, I posted it elsewhere..however, this is another good url.

Message Edited by bentley on 05-11-200711:19 AM

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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Changez Khan

The Daniel Pearl angle is an interesting one that personally resonates more to me than the operative/agent explanation does. The lone CIA agent making a "hit" never rang true to me, but a reporter tracking down a lead and ending up in a compromising position certainly seems plausible. Perhaps he was reaching for his tape recorder?
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bentley
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Re: Changez Khan



PaulH wrote:
The Daniel Pearl angle is an interesting one that personally resonates more to me than the operative/agent explanation does. The lone CIA agent making a "hit" never rang true to me, but a reporter tracking down a lead and ending up in a compromising position certainly seems plausible. Perhaps he was reaching for his tape recorder?




Paul..that is a very interesting perspective you raise about the American.

Then it is a question of who was hunting whom. The metal may have in fact been a tape recorder. So then the American was the one in real trouble at the hotel gate.

I could believe the above and maybe his editors were calling him worrying and vice versa worrying about his whereabouts. But I think Changez asked him what he did...didn't he? And if it was an interview, wouldn't Changez have known that.

Fun to discuss though.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Changez Khan



bentley wrote:


PaulH wrote:
The Daniel Pearl angle is an interesting one that personally resonates more to me than the operative/agent explanation does. The lone CIA agent making a "hit" never rang true to me, but a reporter tracking down a lead and ending up in a compromising position certainly seems plausible. Perhaps he was reaching for his tape recorder?




Paul..that is a very interesting perspective you raise about the American.

Then it is a question of who was hunting whom. The metal may have in fact been a tape recorder. So then the American was the one in real trouble at the hotel gate.

I could believe the above and maybe his editors were calling him worrying and vice versa worrying about his whereabouts. But I think Changez asked him what he did...didn't he? And if it was an interview, wouldn't Changez have known that.

Fun to discuss though.




I don't remember Changez asking the American what he did for a living. If so, did the American answer? Maybe Changez wasn't who he intended to interview. Maybe he didn't know who he was to interview. I don't remember the exact details about Daniel Pearl, but perhaps the American was just told to show up at a certain time and place and just happened to run into Changez. So, although Changez certainly has some split feelings over America, could he have in fact saved the American in the end by not detaining him?
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bentley
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Re: Changez Khan



PaulH wrote:


bentley wrote:


PaulH wrote:
The Daniel Pearl angle is an interesting one that personally resonates more to me than the operative/agent explanation does. The lone CIA agent making a "hit" never rang true to me, but a reporter tracking down a lead and ending up in a compromising position certainly seems plausible. Perhaps he was reaching for his tape recorder?




Paul..that is a very interesting perspective you raise about the American.

Then it is a question of who was hunting whom. The metal may have in fact been a tape recorder. So then the American was the one in real trouble at the hotel gate.

I could believe the above and maybe his editors were calling him worrying and vice versa worrying about his whereabouts. But I think Changez asked him what he did...didn't he? And if it was an interview, wouldn't Changez have known that.

Fun to discuss though.




I don't remember Changez asking the American what he did for a living. If so, did the American answer? Maybe Changez wasn't who he intended to interview. Maybe he didn't know who he was to interview. I don't remember the exact details about Daniel Pearl, but perhaps the American was just told to show up at a certain time and place and just happened to run into Changez. So, although Changez certainly has some split feelings over America, could he have in fact saved the American in the end by not detaining him?




He asked him first about his build, but then was more specific later on. He asked what he did?

But the American did not answer or Changez just went on with his monologue not waiting for the answer (or maybe the answer did not come).

I do not remember the details of Daniel Pearl either..but I believe they ran into each other on the street (Changez and the American). I think it is all hypothetical..if let us say that Changez did not detain the American and if the waiter etc did not have guns..maybe.

But then again, I was in the camp believing the American was an operative and did have the gun and Changez was not that innocent. I do think that there was trouble at the end whatever the outcome. I just never saw Changez as the executioner or the killer himself.

Then the question is why listen to somebody for four hours that you are not meaning to interview. Like I said, some things just do not seem believable. But the tape recorder is plausible at the very least (the glint of metal).
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bentley
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Re: Reporter theory



bentley wrote:


PaulH wrote:


bentley wrote:


PaulH wrote:
The Daniel Pearl angle is an interesting one that personally resonates more to me than the operative/agent explanation does. The lone CIA agent making a "hit" never rang true to me, but a reporter tracking down a lead and ending up in a compromising position certainly seems plausible. Perhaps he was reaching for his tape recorder?




Paul..that is a very interesting perspective you raise about the American.

Then it is a question of who was hunting whom. The metal may have in fact been a tape recorder. So then the American was the one in real trouble at the hotel gate.

I could believe the above and maybe his editors were calling him worrying and vice versa worrying about his whereabouts. But I think Changez asked him what he did...didn't he? And if it was an interview, wouldn't Changez have known that.

Fun to discuss though.




I don't remember Changez asking the American what he did for a living. If so, did the American answer? Maybe Changez wasn't who he intended to interview. Maybe he didn't know who he was to interview. I don't remember the exact details about Daniel Pearl, but perhaps the American was just told to show up at a certain time and place and just happened to run into Changez. So, although Changez certainly has some split feelings over America, could he have in fact saved the American in the end by not detaining him?




He asked him first about his build, but then was more specific later on. He asked what he did?

But the American did not answer or Changez just went on with his monologue not waiting for the answer (or maybe the answer did not come).

I do not remember the details of Daniel Pearl either..but I believe they ran into each other on the street (Changez and the American). I think it is all hypothetical..if let us say that Changez did not detain the American and if the waiter etc did not have guns..maybe.

But then again, I was in the camp believing the American was an operative and did have the gun and Changez was not that innocent. I do think that there was trouble at the end whatever the outcome. I just never saw Changez as the executioner or the killer himself.

Then the question is why listen to somebody for four hours that you are not meaning to interview. Like I said, some things just do not seem believable. But the tape recorder is plausible at the very least (the glint of metal).




Paul..the fundamentalists indicated that no American reporter would enter Pakistan
safely and the fundamentalist group which captured him claimed that Pearl was a CIA agent. Musaharraf had claimed that he was killed by a British born double agent and the person who killed Pearl was I believe a British born individual of Pakistani descent.

I forget all of the particulars now but posted some urls..it seems that Pearl was lured into meeting with a fundamentalist leader of some sort but of course that interview never took place. Maybe this was a situation like the above..if so..then Changez was not an innocent bystander. A reporter is possible but Changez was making the American out to be a cia agent or an operative of some sort and that he carried a gun. That was the impression anyways..but then again these are all theories with not much to hang your hat on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Pearl

And Jim Lehrer:

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/pearlstories022202.htm
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Re: Changez Khan

[ Edited ]

bentley wrote: I saw the response you mentioned and did not see how it fit. I have no idea what war if any he led unless you are speaking of an internal one. He did grow a beard and was menacing with the beard while in the US and did pick up a tire iron..but aside from these crazy behaviors..I really did not see any violence on his part at all. I suspect that Changez had become a crazy fellow himself as x-tempo stated. But the relationship to Ghenghis Khan still escapes me.

What Changez truly was in Lahore is another thing...one Eastern reviewer of TRF saw the meeting of the American in Lahore to be a Daniel Pearl like meeting..I have to admit that I did not see that when I read TRF and still don't. I never saw Changez as the violent type; just a person getting crazier by the minute who pigeonholes an American.

Suspicion was a major theme...and I think purposely so.




Internal war but also he was at war with his surroundings, he was not at peace with what he had, where he was. Changez's violence was covert, he was a hypocrite. I am uncertain how his return to Pakistan influenced him.

Whom did he become after he returned back home? Was he the harmless professor? He was more controversial than that, wasn't he?



ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 05-11-200705:09 PM

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tape recorder?



PaulH wrote: Perhaps he was reaching for his tape recorder?


With that timing-?-to hit Changez over the head with, you mean?

ziki
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Re: Changez Khan

[ Edited ]

PaulH wrote: So, although Changez certainly has some split feelings over America, could he have in fact saved the American in the end by not detaining him?





A tad too romantic for my taste...
Changez as a good guy or a bad guy? What if he was both, good and bad?

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 05-11-200705:00 PM

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Mariposa
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Re: Changez Khan

I don't know...Just when I thought I knew what I was talking about...up comes Changez Khan. So maybe Changez has nothing to do with "changes" at all...How funny is that?

So who is Changez Khan? Some kind of warrior hero type? And how does that relate to the book? Does our Changez have the seeds of becoming a warrior hero and that is why he has to be eliminate?

And yes, I still think the American is a CIA agent and the phone calls (hourly if I recall) are to check up on him and make sure he is still alive. Where is his back up team? I think I have heard of agents in deep cover where there is no close at hand backup team.

I think one of the points of the book is to show how events can radicalize someone.

One other point. Bentley states in a few places that this book is no love song to America.

There are many kinds of love songs. Some of them are of rejection, hurt feelings, broken dreams. A love song does not have to be traditionally romantic. It could be a love song to something/someone you believed in who betrayed you. So in that sense, the book is a love song to America, an America that seemed to be full of opportunity and hope and then shed its skin to show that there was no heart... no heart for outsiders, immigrants, people with dark skin who spoke other languages, and so on.

Just another thought to consider.

Lizabeth
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Re: Changez Khan

[ Edited ]

dianearbus wrote:
I don't know...Just when I thought I knew what I was talking about...up comes Changez Khan. So maybe Changez has nothing to do with "changes" at all...How funny is that?

So who is Changez Khan? Some kind of warrior hero type? And how does that relate to the book? Does our Changez have the seeds of becoming a warrior hero and that is why he has to be eliminate?

And yes, I still think the American is a CIA agent and the phone calls (hourly if I recall) are to check up on him and make sure he is still alive. Where is his back up team? I think I have heard of agents in deep cover where there is no close at hand backup team.

I think one of the points of the book is to show how events can radicalize someone.

One other point. Bentley states in a few places that this book is no love song to America.

There are many kinds of love songs. Some of them are of rejection, hurt feelings, broken dreams. A love song does not have to be traditionally romantic. It could be a love song to something/someone you believed in who betrayed you. So in that sense, the book is a love song to America, an America that seemed to be full of opportunity and hope and then shed its skin to show that there was no heart... no heart for outsiders, immigrants, people with dark skin who spoke other languages, and so on.

Just another thought to consider.

Lizabeth




Hi Lizabeth.
great post. Thanks.

Interpretations

Personally I think that anyone is free to interpret the cues in any way s/he wants to. Like using keys on the piano, you play your own music. I can't think it is against Mohsin's will, otherwise he would write the story differently. IOW He didn't provide a sheet of music, he provided an instrument and the reader works it best s/he can. :smileyhappy:

Love song of America

The dream of America didn't become a reality for Changez. Instead of the "welcome brother" attitude there is a sudden need for defense and protection on the US part.
The appreciation of America is not exactly a Walt Whitman song anymore.

There is an initial elation in Changez (which is an unrealistic inflation) and then the air goes out of him. Many immigrants go through that process, being thrown back and forth between appreciation-will and resentment.

I also think that the demanding attitude of many immigrants is unrealistic. They come from poor conditions, with hopes and think that the other rich country owes them. Are they in a paradise without demands? I could sense that in Changez. It is a kind of regression that happens. To balance that havoc in their minds is critical. They need to find their place in the society, a way to contribute and build a new life for themselves and their families. At that point even if the will is there, they find many limitations. They can't run for the president next time around no matter what is written in the books. Often a heavy duty desilluion sets in. Changez's got a smiling start but he couldn't keep up the pace & appearances.

So the song itself is an indirect account of opportunities connected with many conditions. But there are also potent possibilities of "outsidership" for all non Americans and that is no news. It was amplified in a most unexpected way after 9/11.
We hear the story from the protagonist who is a Pakistani 'visa immigrant', so we hear his thoughts, no Erika's or Jim's. That sets the frame. The book is brief and what could it achieve right now other than heads up, discussion, attention, reflexion? Certainly not any evaluation yet.

USA as Changez Khan

What became of Changez after his return to Pakistan? We do not really know. He doesn't tell us. He speaks about his past, not about his life as it is. He became a stranger even to us. We know that he taught at the university. There is a cue that he spoke up in a way that might not be appreciated. How much hurt does it take before you fight back? Would he join the terrorists? Or would it be absurd to suspect him? We do not know for sure and this very atmosphere of uncertainty sets the frame for the story. Indeed the "L'étranger".

Were all his dreams dead, gone without any explanation, as Erica? Did it then matter if even his body was dead? What would he live for? Was he living like dead in Pakistan after the lost possibilities in USA? Why would he?

I am not sure if these existential questions are important in the contex, they are certainly not highlighted, but they are there. The private Changez exists in a given political setting.

Is USA as Changes Khan? Expanding its "rights" without reason?
I am not sure. After some time it gets tiring to ask questions and you tend to look for answers that are hidden in them. In so doing everyone might end up with his/her own version of this story.

My version?

After his return nothing was immediately very easy. Given the facts it can't be. Finding his way Ch. was not an actively engaged terrorist. But where is any line? What makes you into a terrorist? Ch. was pleased with the attack...if he spoke to the waiter as a friend was the waiter connected to a cell? Perhaps both Ch. and the American were set up. Perhaps Ch. now said and did things he thought were right from his POV of being a Pakistani and he found his platform. This could again make him inconvenient on both sides. Or was he a hypocrite even now? The possible suspicion killed him, the impossibility of friendship, too. Then this can be both tangible or seen as a metaphor. Dunno. Too much of the story the way it is written is left to speculation. I still didn't settle on any final version, if there is one to be found :smileyhappy:

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 05-12-200705:48 AM

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bentley
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Re: Changez Khan (Response to Lizabeth)


dianearbus wrote:
I don't know...Just when I thought I knew what I was talking about...up comes Changez Khan. So maybe Changez has nothing to do with "changes" at all...How funny is that?

So who is Changez Khan? Some kind of warrior hero type? And how does that relate to the book? Does our Changez have the seeds of becoming a warrior hero and that is why he has to be eliminate?

And yes, I still think the American is a CIA agent and the phone calls (hourly if I recall) are to check up on him and make sure he is still alive. Where is his back up team? I think I have heard of agents in deep cover where there is no close at hand backup team.

I think one of the points of the book is to show how events can radicalize someone.

One other point. Bentley states in a few places that this book is no love song to America.

There are many kinds of love songs. Some of them are of rejection, hurt feelings, broken dreams. A love song does not have to be traditionally romantic. It could be a love song to something/someone you believed in who betrayed you. So in that sense, the book is a love song to America, an America that seemed to be full of opportunity and hope and then shed its skin to show that there was no heart... no heart for outsiders, immigrants, people with dark skin who spoke other languages, and so on.

Just another thought to consider.

Lizabeth




Changez (Genghis)?:
Lizabeth..I am not sure that I buy the explanation that was given..that is why I put it out there. I read and reread the question and answer and I have no idea why an editor would think that it is a good idea for the one named character who does all of the talking to be named the urdu language version of Genghis Khan. It frankly did not fit for me. Changez is the urdu language version of Genghis. What is even more odd is that one article pointed out separate from the Genghis Khan debate that Mohsin Hamid's wife's last name happens to be Khan. That was gleaned from one of the articles (another meaningless detail I guess). I cannot see the connection frankly and I thought about it for awhile.

I also saw many reviewers who viewed Changez (pronounced with a hard g)as meaning changes and all of the changes he went through. It was the reader who pointed out what an unlikely name it would be due to the fact that this was the urdu language version of Genghis and he had killed so many Muslims. What I have been able to read is that he converted to Islam as did many of his followers (I guess the Mongolian people). Like I said it does not add up. The reason the author gave and his response is in the Question and Answer section. I guess everybody will have to make up their own mind on this one.

Love Song and Immigrants
Yes, I agree that there are many love songs about a love that did not materialize like the you lost that loving feeling type..but they lament the lost love not paint it as an evil empire who is insufferable. The language was definitely not about a lost love..to me there was no love lost between him and America and between him and Underwood Sampson either. To me Changez was a very angry man, mad like xtempo posted, who did not have one ounce of loving feeling expressed for American (there were some soft remembrances of Erica) but not of America itself. And aside from the profiling incident which he described with his teddy bear boxer shorts on and what happened to other people's cars at the site they were working at..there were not many horrible incidents that anybody could blame America for. Let us fact facts, it was Muslim fundamentalists who caused the 9/11 attacks. And Jim and others were reaching out to Changez and he rejected them all. I think Changez comes off looking very bad in this novel; if he is believable at all. I think America showed Changez a lot of heart and I think Changez just dumped his job, his responsibilities and shafted his friends, his employer and Jim his boss. They all reached out to him. America showed a lot of heart giving Changez the opportunities he had and he blew them; he is responsible for what happened to him, not America. America is a country which is made up of all immigrants and has been a melting pot since the very beginning. I also posted elsewhere how much money and aid America gives to immigrants, students and those overseas. It is an unbelievable amount. Frankly, with the growing resentment among those who receive this aid, maybe America should turn its attention to its own citizens, cities and health care. It doesn't seem to be appreciated in the long run does it.

Our country is made up of a lot of immigrants who had dark skin and/or spoke different languages. I just think the book was filled with the same whining that you hear when folks cannot cut it and want to then blame their parents for their failures..never seeing what part they played. If Changez had just done his job like he had, he would have still had the job he so coveted. He could have easily finished the project (it wasn't too long), not shafted his employer or his boss, had a discussion with his boss about some of his issues at that time and left on good terms without hurting anyone including himself. He could then have gone back to Pakistan without any regrets and turned towards what he wanted to do next with his life (not hurting those who helped him). He would have ended up in Pakistan without all of the broken glass. BTW, I am not for illegal immigrants either..but Changez was not one of these so we cannot fault him for that.

Events can Radicalize

I agree that clerics and mosques did use this event as an attempt to show how they hurt Goliath with their slingshot and gloat over the misery that they caused. I think that at that point they thought that America could be vulnerable to these kind of horrendous attacks. I cannot call it religious zeal because one would never think that a religion would deliberately call people to kill others especially innocent people just going to work and many not Americans but from other countries.

I think that at the time of 9/11 the world cried with America over the attacks and America had the good will of the world for the most part. However, the second Iraqi war (another event) has caused problems in the world and more radicals. The first Iraqi war to help Moslems in Kuwait had the backing of the world; but not this second one. So I guess each event can stir up different kinds of public opinion at different times.

Regarding the Ending

One thing that I do remember from TRF was that the American was reaching into his pocket when he felt threatened by the hotel gate. I doubt that he would be going after his tape recorder at that point in time and a phone wouldn't much help him either. What I really think is that the author took many different real events and blended them together in his novel changing the incidents themselves to create suspicion. Real events influenced this novel (9/11 at the very least). So the American could have simply been a reporter "like Daniel Pearl" who was lured into going to interview a radical and was then intercepted (maybe purposely by Changez) who brings him for tea so that he can be waylaid by others. It could be that they were going to label this innocent reporter an agent to use him to bargain for the release of Pakistanis held prisoner. And that he too was never a CIA agent as the radicals ALSO claimed that Daniel Pearl was. Everyone knows that Pearl was never a CIA agent either. It was simply a ploy to try to give their killing spree some legitimacy which it never had.

I think there were many other allusions and events that were woven into this novel, but not factually so it really is anybody's guess what happened. I just feel that at the end that somebody got killed...but the reporter aspect does seem in part believable.

Heart

As far as heart and not to be political, I have to say that I doubt there is any country which gives more to others than America. I think that the Brits and some other countries also give a lot. But many do not give one farthing to others (in fact not even to their own citizens) which is a shame.

But like The Road, it is only a novel so we get out of it what we can.

I think what I got out of it was that I got to hear what a Pakistani patriot might sound like in their views of the West. I felt that it was not flattering and I do not believe that it was well grounded; but I read it and I guess then I listened to it. Hamid gave this position a voice through his novel. I thought it was interesting; I do not feel moved like I did with The Road.

Your points are very interesting. I doubt just like The Road that we will have many answers. One thing that I did which I found interesting was to visit the author's own website...mohsinhamid.com

I found the interviews and the articles to be interesting and they presented different perspectives worth contemplating on a variety of topics including Pakistan. I found the site illuminating and very interesting reading if you have the time.

Regards,

Bentley
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bentley
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Re: Changez Khan (Response for Ziki)


ziki wrote:

PaulH wrote: So, although Changez certainly has some split feelings over America, could he have in fact saved the American in the end by not detaining him?





A tad too romantic for my taste...
Changez as a good guy or a bad guy? What if he was both, good and bad?

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 05-11-200705:00 PM






Ziki, my feeling is that the above is a distinct possibility. I also felt that Changez was both those things by the end of the novel (a good guy and a bad guy - that was part of his conflict).

I do not think that anything can save a country except itself and its citizens and the good will of others (global community).

And how good or bad Changez would appear to be would be dependent on who was doing the judging?
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Re: Changez Khan (Response to Ziki's post)


ziki wrote:

bentley wrote: I saw the response you mentioned and did not see how it fit. I have no idea what war if any he led unless you are speaking of an internal one. He did grow a beard and was menacing with the beard while in the US and did pick up a tire iron..but aside from these crazy behaviors..I really did not see any violence on his part at all. I suspect that Changez had become a crazy fellow himself as x-tempo stated. But the relationship to Ghenghis Khan still escapes me.

What Changez truly was in Lahore is another thing...one Eastern reviewer of TRF saw the meeting of the American in Lahore to be a Daniel Pearl like meeting..I have to admit that I did not see that when I read TRF and still don't. I never saw Changez as the violent type; just a person getting crazier by the minute who pigeonholes an American.

Suspicion was a major theme...and I think purposely so.




Internal war but also he was at war with his surroundings, he was not at peace with what he had, where he was. Changez's violence was covert, he was a hypocrite. I am uncertain how his return to Pakistan influenced him.

Whom did he become after he returned back home? Was he the harmless professor? He was more controversial than that, wasn't he?



ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 05-11-200705:09 PM






Ziki, I also think that Changez was a hypocrite; but I gave him a little bit more rope because I honestly felt that he had a meltdown, was a bit mad like Erica and hated himself most of all.

And like you I do not think he was a harmless professor. But I also asked myself if he would be the executioner; I do not think so. I think he would be the front person, the person who could set up the foreigner. Everything seemed too convenient including just happening to be on the street and taking the foreigner to tea and then spending four hours talking to a complete stranger. I asked myself why and how that event could possibly have happened from both points of view: both the American's and Changez's.

Regards,

Bentley
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bentley
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Re: tape recorder?


ziki wrote:


PaulH wrote: Perhaps he was reaching for his tape recorder?


With that timing-?-to hit Changez over the head with, you mean?

ziki




That is a good point. But I do think that Hamid wove together different real events including the Daniel Pearl incident, 9/11 as a backdrop to increase suspicion etc.

I doubt that a tape recorder would have saved the American at the end; I was thinking it was a gun and that might have helped someone and not others.
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bentley
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Re: Changez Khan

Ziki wrote:

Ch. was pleased with the attack...if he spoke to the waiter as a friend was the waiter connected to a cell?

_______________________________________________________________________________


I think that is an interesting point. I stated in an earlier post that the waiter was angry about something and wasn't following them for any innocent reason.

The American had concluded as you recall that Changez had set him up and had arranged for him to be followed by the waiter and others. Changez denied it.

But one thing was clear, I agree with you that the waiter and Changez knew each other and they spoke to each other as friends. Changez had a part to play in this situation and was certainly not an innocent, though I still do not see him pulling the trigger.

I have to agree that it is anybody's guess how this novel ends. I wouldn't sit across from a person I thought was going to kill me and who had a gun and talk to them like a long lost friend for four (4) hours. Maybe Changez was conflicted about setting the American up and getting him killed and was delaying the inevitable. Like the last meal that a convicted man has before he is electrocuted (sort of like dead man walking).
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(Response to bentley)



bentley wrote: I also posted elsewhere how much money and aid America gives to immigrants, students and those overseas. It is an unbelievable amount. Frankly, with the growing resentment among those who receive this aid, maybe America should turn its attention to its own citizens, cities and health care. It doesn't seem to be appreciated in the long run does it.




I am not sure how one quantifies an 'unbelievable amount' without any given parameters.

There's a certain danger in phrazing things this way. What growing resentment are you talking about?

http://usinfo.state.gov/scv/Archive/2006/Jan/06-818145.html


Also numbers have to be seen in proportions. How much is the US military budget? What is a structural problem and what is a problem of money etc.? Simplifications like this fuel biazed judgmental statements.

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/browse.html
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/02/20070205-3.html
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bentley
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Re: (Response to bentley)


ziki wrote:


bentley wrote: I also posted elsewhere how much money and aid America gives to immigrants, students and those overseas. It is an unbelievable amount. Frankly, with the growing resentment among those who receive this aid, maybe America should turn its attention to its own citizens, cities and health care. It doesn't seem to be appreciated in the long run does it.




I am not sure how one quantifies an 'unbelievable amount' without any given parameters.

There's a certain danger in phrazing things this way. What growing resentment are you talking about?

http://usinfo.state.gov/scv/Archive/2006/Jan/06-818145.html


Also numbers have to be seen in proportions. How much is the US military budget? What is a structural problem and what is a problem of money etc.? Simplifications like this fuel biazed judgmental statements.

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/browse.html
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/02/20070205-3.html




Ziki,

If you look at the thread called The Book as a Whole: American Life you will see the parameters and cited urls with the stated amounts and comparisons. Rather than repost it here again; it might be easier to look at that thread because it was already cited elsewhere previously. I think the amounts and the comparisons speak for themselves and America is definitely pulling its own global weight.

I would refer to that previous post first.

And I do think America needs to understand the benefits of spending so much money abroad and not spending it on rebuilding its own infrastructure like that destroyed in Katrina. Why not spend money sent overseas in part to rebuild New Orleans for that matter. Many private citizens have been helping to rebuild New Orleans. Our cities do need some attention. And believe me I am for helping others as much as we are able. I am not sure how the billions spent in the second Iraqi war is helping anyone but everything else that America has done in the first Iraqi war (helping the Kuwait Muslims) and also in the Serb/Bosnia conflict I was certainly for.

I think you have to look at what you are giving to whom in balance. I think what I posted on the other thread is a balanced view.

Regards,

Bentley
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bentley
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Re: (Response to zig - reviewed orals you posted)

[ Edited ]

zig wrote:


Bentley wrote: I also posted elsewhere how much money and aid America gives to immigrants, students and those overseas. It is an unbelievable amount. Frankly, with the growing resentment among those who receive this aid, maybe America should turn its attention to its own citizens, cities and health care. It doesn't seem to be appreciated in the long run does it.




I am not sure how one quantifies an 'unbelievable amount' without any given parameters.

There's a certain danger in phrazing things this way. What growing resentment are you talking about?

http://usinfo.state.gov/scv/Archive/2006/Jan/06-818145.html


Also numbers have to be seen in proportions. How much is the US military budget? What is a structural problem and what is a problem of money etc.? Simplifications like this fuel biazed judgmental statements.

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/browse.html
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/02/20070205-3.html


Hello Ziki,

I reviewed your urls..and I am likewise very interested in aid to foreign students and encouraging students here to study abroad as well.

In fact, I have been helping friends and families to do just that. So I think we vigorously agree on that point.

As far as military spending, etc., since I am not for the spending on the current Iraqi war I am not sure the point you are making. I think that the Iraqi war is straining our economy and diverting money that could otherwise be spent on infrastructure or even on some additional foreign aid that would benefit others.

I am just not sure I see the benefits concerning this second conflict or its origins. Then again, like yourself, the only thing we can do as citizens is to vote for change where we see it is necessary or not.

Regards,

Bentley

Message Edited by bentley on 05-12-200709:46 AM

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