The attacks of 9/11 were the biggest surprise in American history, and for the past ten years we haven't stopped being surprised. The war on terror has had no discernible trajectory, and, unlike other military conflicts, it's almost impossible to define victory. You can't document the war's progress on a world map or chart it on a historical timetable in a way that makes any sense. A country used to a feeling of being in command and control has been whipsawed into a state of perpetual reaction, swinging wildly between passive fear and fevered, often thoughtless, activity, at a high cost to its self-confidence.
Stamp, your name is to be Laura. I'm sharing my name with you. I'm putting my power into you and you must do my work. Don't listen to anyone but me. You are to be my command laid on my enemy. You'll make a hole in him through which he'll drip away until he runs dry. As he drips out darkness, we'll smile together, me inside, you outside. We'll crush him between our smiles.