Perhaps you remember hearing things about Uzbekistan, such as: it was catapulted to "important American ally" status after 9/11 for its border with Afghanistan; they employ torture there; by torturing I mean "boiling a man to death" torture; these and other human rights abuses were brought to light by a British ambassador Craig Murray; Craig Murray was basically forced to resign. Well, it is more complicated than that. He was forced to resign, he thinks, because he stumbled upon the American "extraordinary rendition" program, whereby terror suspects are flown for questioning to countries where they can, say, boil people. But it did not help that also, he was sort of a drunk who left his wife for an Uzbek heroin addict's daugher who stripped at a North Korean club and was dating a 19-year-old American soldier when first she laid eyes on him.:
He took a seat in a booth with two Russian girls, but he kept looking to the stage, where she was dancing. Meeting his eyes, she thought, "Who is that old foreigner? Does he have any money?
Murray's thoughts were more lyrical."As I caught her glance, I felt she was drawing me into her very soul," he writes in his 2006 memoir, "Murder in Samarkand" (called "Dirty Diplomacy" in the 2007 U.S. edition). "She looked lost and anxious, like she really didn't want to be there. She defied the impossible by exuding, at the same time, such ripe sexual attraction and such innocent vulnerability. Her body invited sex while her eyes screamed, 'Save me.' "
Oh, sigh. Could you even read that whole sentence? I couldn't; sentiments like that from old men are like...watching sex scenes when your parents are in the room.
So now they are together, albeit broke, in London; she made a play out of her life story, he sold his memoir rights to A Mighty Heart director Michael Winterbottom.
She doesn't love him; he doesn't ask her to; he wonders if she's incapable of love; she doesn't know; he adores her; it's probably fair to say his teenage children do not. He babbles on just like any expat dude about cultural relativism to excuse his philandering. But it doesn't matter, he's found true romance, and heroism. If only that were true. Does he think it's true ? You hope he doesn't. You'll never know until she leaves him.
Great story, though.
The Envoy And His Navel Liason [Washington Post]