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“I'm not ready to let the youthful part of myself go yet. If maturity means becoming a cynic, if you have to kill the part of yourself that is naive and romantic and idealistic - the part of you that you treasure most - to claim maturity, is it not better to die young but with your humanity intact?”
“The problem is that no matter how good your intentions, eventually you want to kill someone yourself.”
“If blue helmeted UN peacekeepers show up in your town or village and offer to protect you, run.”
“Iwent to school with African-American girls during my entire adolescence in Michigan and never noticed them as potential girlfriends, never even wanted to meet them. How did that happen? I'm nine thousand miles from home and a pernicious wall of segregation I never noticed in high school suddenly materialises. A young man should travel.”
“At daybreak on the first day, thousands of Cambodians are already calmly waiting outside my polling station. They squat on the ground, silent and patient. We didn't expect this at all. We thought they would fail to understand how democracy works. We thought they would be afraid of the Khmer Rouge. We thought they would passively accept their fate. We were wrong.”
“I was hell-bent on being an effective humanitarian in Cambodia and Somalia. But a naïve fog is finally lifting. Revealed is a train wreck of illusions, the depravity of someone else's war, the futility of a competence stillborn there. To understand this you have to become this.”
“I'm not convinced that it's worth it. How many Cambodians ever asked for a $2 billion election? Nighty percent of them are rice farmers. I lived with them, watched them die at the hospital, and never was the word "election" mentioned. That money would repair hundreds of roads and bridges and pay for tons of seed and fertilizer. And clear a lot of landmines.”
“Israelis are a mix of North African, Levantine, and Eastern European, which inflames the politics but does amazing things for the women.”
“Meanwhile she's coldly interrogating me with her eyes. She's definitely in charge of this house and this moment. This must be Chloe.
She escorts me to a table full of people and presents me. She introduces them briefly. This one's from Morocco, that one from Italy, he's Persian--I'm not exactly sure what that means--this one's from "the UK." They're all in their twenties, poised and dismissive. They don't know or care who I'm supposed to be at home or where I went to school. They're measuring something else I can't see and don't understand.
They nod and turn back to each other. They seem to be waiting for a cue from Chloe to release them from having to feign interest. She introduces herself at substantially more length. Her father is Chinese and her mother is Swiss; she grew up in Hong Kong and "in Europe."
I grew up in Michigan and in Michigan. But she didn't ask.”
“If blue-helmeted U.N. peacekeepers show up in your town or village and offer to protect you, run. Or else get weapons. Your lives are worth so much less than theirs.”
“Be careful, he says, the official US position will be that they refuse to negotiate for hostages, but they may try to enlist the U.N. to do it.”
“He did well, but he couln't afford the blood for a transfusion.”
“Then he just blurted it out, with no preparation. 'The truth of it is that whether your mother arranged our marriage, or whether it was all an illusion, I must be horribly obtuse, because I can't talk myself out of being in love with you.”
“The forces that motivate jpgm to write reviews are the same ones that inspire people to edit Wikipedia articles: everyone wants to contribute, and everyone has something to contribute somewhere.”
“Eis a pessoa que eu quero. Olá, pessoa! Não me ouve.”
“The opposition’s means, used against us, are always immoral and our means are always ethical and rooted in the highest of human values. George Bernard Shaw, in Man and Superman, pointed out the variations in ethical definitions by virtue of where you stand. Mendoza said to Tanner, “I am a brigand; I live by robbing the rich.” Tanner replied, “I am a gentleman; I live by robbing the poor. Shake hands.” The”
“That is my story, simply told. Please do not ask again. I have told you in order to issue a warning. I have been damaged. Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.”
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