January 11, 2010

Brandon and Shafiq’s Excellent Adventure

Neely Ahmed Rasul

Just wait till Malkin and the radical right get a hold of this.

According to the NYT article, Brandon Neely — a former Gitmo guard suffering from guilt and regret — happened to look up some former prisoners on Facebook; apologies and well wishes were exchanged; and now, world peace! (And, a BBC special.)

It’s guaranteed this photo will inflame the haters and, at the least, cause Mr. Neely to have to unlist his phone number and sign up for a PO box. But the picture does more than help humanize and personalize the knee jerk “Terror War,” in what otherwise continues to mutate in a blind, endless and paranoid “us vs. them.”

It also makes you wonder how much youth, at the grassroots, taking fuller example of social networking, can actually undermine some of the extremism and hate coming from the older demographic on both sides of the religious and cultural wars.

(photo: Jeff Overs via The New York Times. caption: Brandon Neely, center, was a Guantánamo Bay guard, and Ruhal Ahmed, left, and Shafiq Rasul were prisoners.)

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Michael Shaw
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