March 11, 2002
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In the whirlwind news not making the headlines, hidden in the bowels of secrecy, out of the figment of a gadfly's imagination, these conversations were overheard. They may or may not have actually taken place. It's unimportant. They are a dire representation of a reality that deeply saddens this author who has been to Israel, has old friends there, and, in times past, has worked in the occupied territories to develop a European-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce and met many fine and endearing people.
Bush II - Sharon
Hey Powell, get me Sharon on the phone...
Ariel? George here...
Hey Georgie boy, what's up buddy?
Look Ariel, time has come to finish the job daddy started...
You're really going to do it?
Music to my ears, as ol' Arens said. So what can I do for you today?
Well, here's the stitch, you guys are too much in the headlines. You need to cool off your cleaning operations with your Indians...
Your Indians, you know what I mean. Look, Cheney's going to talk to the Bedouins out there, keep them in line for a while, so that we can go ahead with Saddam. I need quiet on the front till then. So, I'm sending Zinni your way. You guys do some chitchat with the buffoon on the other side, you give him a couple of bones to chew on till we are done and then you'll resume the game, okay?
Sure, Georgie boy. I'll see what I can do, but I have no bone left to give. The guy did not swallow the three or four reservations Barak offered...
Well, paint it with some glowing colors; let him think you're willing to talk about the entire ranch...
Can't do that, I'd be swept out of office in no time and Bibi would be back in the saddle. Look, ask your dad, we need the whole ranch. We're already using 80 pct of its water and then there is aliya, god, Abraham and tutti quanti...
Ali... what? And don't speak Italian to me. It's already complicated enough...
Aliya... the ingathering of exiles, the law of return, you know... We need more land, especially the biblical land...
Well then, get on with it for chrisake, annex the darn thing!
Can't do that Georgie, those Indians they reproduce like ants; they are animals; they'll throw us to the sea; they're killing our kids...
Man, what a pain! Didn't you guys once say that it was "a land without a people for a people without a land," or something of that nature? ... dad told me the whole story.
Ah, ah, ah, good ol' Golda, she should have gotten an Oscar for that one. Even Hollywood could not come up with such a great line.
Anyway, can't you guys devise a final solution?
Uh, Georgie, wrong choice of words...
Uh, uh, sorry about that. I meant, this cannot go on forever, the violence and all. You must cool it down, Ariel. Reduce the violence, talk to Zinni about Tenet and Mitchell. Give Cheney some leeway, just the time to rally the Bedouins and finish off Saddam.
Will do. By the way how long did it take you to deal with your Indians?
Dunno, Dad didn't tell me. I'd say over 100 years...
Well, look, George, we've been at it for only 50 years and we run our affairs with kid gloves compared to you guys. Give us some time. We'll get there. We could do it faster if only we could operate in closed sessions, turn the mike off, like May in The Hague with Slobo. Zip... out of the news, out of mind! We could take care of the problem in a matter of days, ship these bozos to Jordan, activate our nuclear defense and be done with it.
Come on Ariel. Not right now. I've got Saddam on my plate. Just cool off for a while, okay?
Sure thing Georgie, I'll have my office issue a statement. Will the following do? "Prime Minister Sharon welcomes the initiative of President Bush, who proposed dispatching General Anthony Zinni to the region with the goal of bringing about the implementation of the Tenet plan which is designed to lead to a cessation of violence and to calm. Prime Minister Sharon values and appreciates the work of General Zinni and the efforts he has made in halting the violence, terror and incitement."
Well, what about Mitchell?
Mitchell, we don't like too much -- you know, the settlements... He is a bit like Baker, if you see what I mean...
Okay, that will do then. Thanks.
You're welcome, Georgie boy. But talk to the buffoon too. We need two to tango...
Or three, for that matter... Yeah, I know. I'll have Powell give him a little chat of his own.
Why have you decided to take on Saddam now?
Dunno, Cheney's gone. I'll ask dad.
Oh, one more thing...
So you guys are going to explore for oil and gas in ANWR?
You betcha! Did you see the statement we issued?
You mean that oil and gas there "would equal nearly 40 years of imports from Iraq?"
Brilliant strategy, especially since you guys have not been importing oil from Iraq since 1996!
Ha, ha, ha, very funny... We ain't officially but we do through oil trading middlemen. But you know, I can pretty much say and do anything I want these days, like our 150-year friendship with the Japanese -- even the yellows had a chuckle about that one! I hear they're publishing a dictionary about Bushisms... See, the First Amendment applies to me after all, Ashcroft notwithstanding. They all drink my words like holy milk. I'm having a ball! Anyway, need to go. Talk to you, Ariel, and thanks for the favor.
Bye Georgie boy; you owe me one.
Colin, I don't get it. Why does Sharon keep calling me Georgie boy? Anyway, get to Arafat and give him an earful, okay, in diplomatic terms of course. I need to call dad. By the way, did you know that we are not importing oil from Iraq? Sweet guy, this Sharon. Next time he has to come to my ranch. At least there we only shoot at quails and wetbacks. No Indians there.
Powell - Arafat
Yes, Mr. Secretary?
Mr. Chairman, it's a pleasure talking to you again. You'll be glad to hear that the president has decided we should get involved again. You know, violence is not conducive to peace. So, we are sending Zinni with clear instructions to help reduce the violence. I hope you can sit down with him and talk about a process that will lead to implementing Tenet and Mitchell. But, you need to do more, "to do a better job of reducing violence, of using [your] leadership role to reduce violence" as the president said. Do you see what I mean, Mr. Chairman? Isn't it good news?
Thank you Mr. Secretary. Interesting news indeed! Will the good general come and visit in Ramallah because, as you know, I'm being kept incommunicado by Sharon...
Details, details... Don't you worry Mr. Chairman. Zinni will take care of this. It's just that we would really want to see the violence reduced so that we can go back to Oslo...
You mean, so that the Israelis can keep settling our land and offer us a few scattered, non-contiguous cantons, with no control over water and our own borders?
No, no, Mr. Chairman, you are much too pessimistic. We are not talking about "Bantustans" here. We are serious, as always, and want to find a just and fair solution; but let's see the violence reduced now. And I mean NOW! No more kids blown to pieces in the streets of Tel Aviv or the squares and cafes of Jerusalem...
What about Palestinians kids, and mothers, and all the civilians?
Wait, Mr. Chairman. You did not let me finish. On both sides, Mr. Chairman, we want to see the violence reduced on both sides. Zinni will help pave the way back to the negotiating table where we'll revisit "Israel's painful concessions"...
Painful concessions, Mr. Secretary, what painful concessions? We have recognized the existence of Israel within 78 percent of historical Palestine in 1988. We are simply asking to get the remaining 22 percent occupied by Israel since 1967 back... What painful concessions, sir?
I hear you Mr. Chairman, I hear you loud and clear. But you know it is more complicated... So, we just all need to cool down, get back to the table and talk together like the grown men that we are. We'll make sure that the Israelis...
They kill my people...
Yes, yes, the violence needs to abate, on both sides. We'll make sure that you are free to travel again within the territories and...
Yes, yes, you know that we are in favor of a Palestinian state... I was saying there....and abroad. Won't you like it, being free of movement again? You just need to make sure that we see a reduction in the daily violence, and then everything will be fine.
Mr. Secretary, is Vice President Cheney traveling to the region?
Yes, the vice president is going to visit our Bedouins, err....our friends and allies in the region to review a few security issues. He just left for a 10-day, 12 country trip through Europe and the Middle East.
Will he stop by?
I'm afraid not, Mr. Chairman; not on this particular trip, but Zinni will soon be talking to you. Again, please, see to it that the violence is reduced and let us work together for peace and stability in the region. It is our most fervent hope, Mr. Chairman. Anyway, the president is calling on me. I have to go. Remember, just reduce the violence and everything will be fine. Goodbye, Mr. Chairman.
Bush II - Powell
Colin, did he take the bait?
I don't know Mr. President. They are cooked turkeys anyway. I can't fathom these guys. Why can't they learn from the wisdom of our Indians who have accepted their reservations and always been grateful for the generosity of our government?
Beats me. Should we let this monkey get killed?
Not yet, Mr. President. He remains a useful puppet and we have not found a credible replacement yet.
Fine. Anyway, make darn sure that the violence is out of the news or Cheney's going to have a fit. I have to go and call dad. See you, Colin.
Please give my warmest regards to our former president and your endearing mum, will you?
Sure Colin, Thanks.
Bush II - Bush I
Hello, dad? This is George...
Hi sonny boy, how're things?
Dad, Cheney's gone to see our Bedouins and there are a few things he left out of his fact sheets. I was wondering if you could help and fill me in...
Why don't you ask Condee? We've trained her well...
She's got the day off, dad.
Okay then, shoot.
Why are we going after Saddam? I thought he was pretty well contained.
He is. Even the adulterous usurper and his Madeleine did a good job. The bully is a chicken shit but he's boxed in, can't even go to the loo without us knowing his entire diet. We've kicked his little ass hard. But you have to think 15, 20 years from now. It's all about who will need the oil. Think Asia, think China. That's where the real challenge is. If Sharon has a problem with demography in his garden, think about our own. Alaska won't do it -- it's just a sideshow for a few votes and a few more bucks in our coffer. No, think forward. These guys multiply like enzymes. The entire world will be yellow and brown by the turn of the next century. Think about that. We need to be at the center of the "control matrix." We have Saudi Arabia. We need Iraq, and then Iran and Libya. They have the oil. We need to control it. That's, in a nutshell, why you're going to take him out and Cheney's on the stump... And don't worry, the Dems get the same picture. Lieberman will kiss your ass anytime (not just Dan's, believe me!). This is a non-partisan issue.
But, but I thought we had new technologies on the way to take care of the problem...
Time to grow up, sonny boy. Check out the evidence. Go and read (you still have time to read, right?), so go and read the seven-part report by Anthony Cordesman for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. They are friends; you can trust them. There is no alternative to oil, period. You just have to play the game with the liberal bullshit. Give them a few crumbs and they too will kiss your ass. Then they'll go and sing an aria for a better world. Meantime, we'll stay on top.
So we need to play a friendly dance with all those Bedouins or smash them as the need arises. I get it. But then, why do we have to side with the Israelis time and again? After all, the Jewish community at home doesn't even vote for us...
Son, it's much, much more complicated. I told you, it's a non-partisan issue. The Israelis -- at least their elites and their cadres are westerners. They are like us. They are settlers, land clearers, pioneers. They make the desert bloom. They are entrepreneurs, businessmen, a forward-looking people. They dress like us; they speak like us; they know how to play ball, like us. They are dealing with an indigenous population as we had to in the past. We can identify with them and them with us. It's not a marriage of convenience like with the Bedouins. And they serve our interests in the region...
Hmm, this flies well over my head, dad. But the blood baths, the hatred, all this mayhem, where is it going to lead us all?
You can't know it all, son. No one can. Some things are beyond comprehension and control. Why do you think we told you to have the Pentagon devise a new strategy against at least seven nations, to be prepared to use nuclear weapons against China, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Syria and Russia? Look at the countries. Keep your eyes on Asia and be prepared. We have vested interests in this game... Anyway, time to go, son. Uncle Dick will further your education upon his return. You're doing a great job on the home front. People love you and dissenters are either muffled, hiding in fear, or jailed by Ashcroft. The future is bright. Keep having a ball. Love you, Son.
Thanks Dad, love you too and hug mum for me.
Later on in the White House Private Quarters: George and Laura
So, how was the day, Georgie?
Another tough one at the office... Talked to Powell and Sharon and I called dad to clear a few details. It's awfully complicated, this Middle East thing, you know. Hope it does not blow up in our face... What I can't understand is that both Sharon and dad call me "boy," Georgie boy or sonny boy. Where did they get this from?
Oh, don't sweat, Georgie. There is no complicated situation that a good night sleep won't untangle. As to the "boy" thing, why don't you ask Kennie...
Uh, uh, better go to bed. Good night, sweetie.
Here we are at the dawn of the third (Gregorian) millennium and we still are not learning. Blood baths, whether you call them acts of terror or of retaliation, are just that, blood baths. The color of blood is red all over the world, from Jerusalem to Kabul, from Baghdad to Aden, from the WTC to all the tragic fields of horrors. Blood has no morality except in the sickened minds of deranged people who let their emotions and their vested interests do the talking.
Sickened minds talk about destroying a village in order to save it. Sickened minds can rationally and coldly consider using nuclear weapons. Sickened minds truly believe in some god-given (their god) higher values and higher calling. Their messianic enterprises overtaking all their senses, they are colorblind, unable to appreciate the rainbow of life. The world is black and white to them. Then, when night comes, they go to bed, satisfied.
The result is red.
And the question remains, shall we ever learn?
[Note: for those of you who can read French, the poem lxxx, by Charles Baudelaire in Les Fleurs du Mal, closely illustrates this author's present sentiments.]
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