- By Blake Hounshell
Blake Hounshell is managing editor at Foreign Policy, having formerly been Web editor. Hounshell oversees ForeignPolicy.com and has commissioned and edited numerous cover stories for the print magazine, including National Magazine Award finalist "Why Do They Hate Us?" by Mona Eltahawy. He also edits The Cable, FP's first foray into daily original reporting, and was editor of Colum Lynch's Turtle Bay, which in 2011 won a National Magazine award for best reporting in a digital format.
Blake joined Foreign Policy in 2006 after living in Cairo, where he studied Arabic, missed his Steelers finally win one for the thumb, and worked for the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies. Blake was a 2011 finalist for the Livingston Awards prize for young journalists for his reporting on the Arab uprisings, and his Twitter feed was named one of Time magazine's "140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011." Under his leadership, in 2008, Passport, FP's flagship blog, won Media Industry Newsletter's "Best of the Web" award in the blog category. Along with Elizabeth Dickinson, he edited Southern Tiger: Chile's Fight for a Democratic and Prosperous Future, the memoirs of former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.
A graduate of Yale University, Blake speaks mangled Arabic and French, is an avid runner, and lives in Washington with his wife, musician Sandy Choi, and their toddler, David. Follow him on Twitter @blakehounshell.
The Libyan strongman has been erratically working toward a rapprochement with the West, including abandoning his fledgling WMD programs, cooperating on counterterrorism, and opening up his country to oil investment. Even his execrable human-rights record has improved.
It’s not exactly clear whether the elder Qaddafi himself is driving this process, or whether his son Saif al-Islam — who hangs out with the Davos crowd and talks a good game on democracy — is the brains behind this operation.
But as Schenker points out, Muammar is his own worst enemy. He’s like that unpopular kid in your high-school math class who makes everyone laugh by saying outrageous things, but still doesn’t have any friends (yeah, OK, that was me). And by comparing the Security Council to al Qaeda and suggesting that swine flu was cooked up in a laboratory, he’s only reinforced that image today.
There’s one reason, though, that Qaddafi’s bizarre remarks today won’t leave him completely isolated. Anyone have a wild guess?
Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
Ben Pauker is executive editor at Foreign Policy. Ben came to FP in May 2010 from World Policy Journal, where he was managing editor from 2007-2010. A native of New York, he grew up in Brazil, Australia, and Thailand and has written for Harper's, the Economist, and the Chicago Tribune, among other publications. He is the co-founder of the Gastronauts, the world’s largest adventurous-eating club, and, in the course of reporting but mainly to see if it was possible, has smuggled small arms out of Central Africa.| Interview |