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One Week in November



Scene 1: A young boy wearing army fatigues who looks no older than 17 bobs his head to Lady Gaga's "Telephone" and sits at a desktop computer in a drab office. On the computer screen flash the words: TRANSFER OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION in bold red letters. Numbers accompany each flash of text, 85%....90%, and then, oh no! Footsteps…the young soldier sits up straight and still in his chair.

An elderly lieutenant played by George Clooney walks over and stands behind the computer screen. "What are you up to there Private Manning?" he asks, slightly leaning forward about to take a peek.

The screen flashes 95%.

"Just watching Lady Gaga on Youtube, Sir." Manning replies and begins humming the Telephone chorus and resumes bobbing his head as he sees the soldier beginning to lean further forward.

The screen flashes 100%. The elderly soldier recoils from the computer at the sound of Manning's humming and walks away shaking his head while muttering under his breath, "Don't ask. Don't tell."

End Scene

Although this scene may not be 100 percent accurate, based on the conversation between soldier Bradley Manning and his fellow-hacker, Adrian Limo, it is most likely how Hollywood will portray Manning getting his hands on the classified foreign policy material whose release has caused a maelstrom across the globe. The events being reported in the media this week are cinematic gold.

Scene 2:

A motorcycle speeds through streets of a developing country with storefronts covered in Arabic weaving in and out of honking traffic. The driver, played by Angelina Jolie, begins to slow down as she looks forward and spots two identical black sedan cars stopped side by side at a traffic light. She reaches into her leather jacket pocket and pulls out a round, flat metal object. She presses a red button on the object and it begins to beep. Just as the light turns green she drives level to both of the sedans and sticks the object to the trunk of the car on her left before pulling out an identical object, pressing its red button, and sticking it on the hood of the car on her right. Her motorcycle then accelerates rapidly as two large explosions take place behind her engulfing the intersection.

End Scene

Although this scene is technically inaccurate – the two cars that were blown up by men on motorcycles in Tehran Monday morning took place in separate parts of the city – Salt works alone and it will have to suffice for cinematic purposes.

Scene 3:

A Chinese man and an American man dressed in suits sit on opposite sides at a large wooden rectangular table. They look each other in the eye while tea is poured for them by a beautiful Asian woman wearing a red Qipao. After the tea is poured the woman exits the room, closing the oak doors behind her.

The American man leans back, cocks his head and says, "So how did our Dear Leader look?"

The Chinese man crosses his hands, rests them on the table and replies with a heavy accent, "He appeared to be in reasonably good health and still had a sharp mind, but told us that things are not going so well at home."

The American man grunts in approval and looks thoughtful before asking, "What do you recommend we do?"

The Chinese man takes a sip from his tea and lets out a sigh before replying, "We wait."

"How long?"

"Not long. Our younger leaders are more comfortable with reunification. As long as you keep up your end of the bargain (he rubs his thumb and index finger making the symbol for money) we’ll keep ours.

End Scene

These are the times we live in that sometimes feel like everything is speeding up to a dramatic end. Hopefully the writers of this plot will leave room for sequels.

Image I

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The Economic Observer's editorial staff are always on the look out for interesting, fresh and high-quality China-related content. Whether it's the latest buzz on Weibo, links to insightful articles or updates on the latest books and reports, through China Buzz we'll keep you in the loop about what's going on in the world of Chinese politics and economics.

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