If the choice were to be between the first two options, good Islamic tradition would point to the direction that the Iranian President Ahmadinejad seems to have adopted. It's been attributed to Imam Ali, the Prophet of Islam's son-in-law and nephew, as having said that there are two days in which one should not worry about dying; the day that one is destined to die, and the day that one is not.
In this fatalistic
Unless the world has
gone completely insane, there's got to be much that is going on, at least one
would hope, behind all the threats and saber rattling we hear about. So, let us
just pretend we are privy to a very secret meeting between George W. Bush and
As the curtain rises, we see the two presidents sitting across each other. To Mr. Bush's right sits Dick Cheney, and next to him is Donald Rumsfeld. On his left are Condy Rice, Porter Goss and General Pace.
To everybody's surprise, Mr. Ahmadinejad is alone. President Bush looks inquisitively over to Condy Rice, who smilingly tells the President, "Don't worry; Mr. Ahmadinejad speaks fluent English and doesn't need any handlers, either."
Bush- But I thought.... You mean he can speak for the mullahs, as well?
Rice- Apparently so, or they wouldn't have sent him here alone.
Bush- Well, in that case, I am going to dismiss you all and tackle him man-to-man.
The curtain rises again and we find the two heads of state sitting comfortably on large recliners facing each other. For this dialogue, we shall refer to Ahmadinejad as A, and Mr. Bush as B.
B- Well, President Ahmadinejad, I want to thank you for accepting our invitation. I hope you understand why we had to arrange everything in complete secrecy. Our media people would have had a field day if they knew what was going on.
A- I know. Having a crazed president of a terrorist nation here in the White House for secret talks would have been the scandal of the century.
B- You do understand the general public's perception that we have to deal with here.
A- Yes; thanks to your and your Zionist friend's propaganda machine. I am sure you are also aware of the general public's perception about yourself and your mission elsewhere in the world.
B- O, yes; I've heard.
A- So, let's assume that I am not really a crazed maniac, and I will assume you are really not an ...... what everyone in the world thinks you are.
B- It's a deal. You know, this war on terror is beginning to look like a never ending nightmare. It's not serving our interest; in fact, we seem to be serving your regional interests, instead.
A- You are right. We
should thank you for getting rid of the Taleban and Al-Qaeda in
B- Don't thank me; I certainly didn't intend it to go that way.
A- Well, you keep
saying you want to promote democracy and freedom in the region. Fine, we'd love
for you to succeed. What do you think a democracy in
B- Let's not kid ourselves: what we really want is a compliant regime that listens to us. We are not going to let go of our control over all that oil. I am sure you realize that. And, as far as Hamas winning the elections, well, as I said in my news conference, we won't deal with parties that threaten our peace process.
A- Well, so much for
democracy. Regarding the peace process, as long as the Israelis dictate your
policies, your Roadmap to Peace leads only to new or expanded settlements in the
B- Listen, we have a
lot at stake in the
A- But, things have
changed and are changing even more rapidly now. We predict that what might
guarantee your control over the
B- Do you blame us for doing whatever we can to secure our own interests?
A- Not at all. But, I hope you also understand that we will do whatever we can to secure ours.
B- So, is this your invitation to open conflict or combat?
A- Again, no. I am not talking about a sporting event where the stronger and the faster wins the purse. The rules of the game are also changing fast. I believe there are grounds for optimism, where your interests and ours could both be served. You have a lot to offer and so do we, and we don't need middlemen and agitators to come between us.
B- It ain't going to be easy with all the bad blood between us. You know this is my last term in office here. There is only so much I could do. Perhaps you could deal better with Hillary and the Democrats.
A- No, thank you very much. You may not believe this, but our hope is for the Republican Party to remain in power. You guys at least know what kind of a mess you have gotten yourselves into and what forces steered you in that direction. Just get rid of those influence peddlers and Zionist agents in those think tanks and advisory groups around you.
B- You continue to
A- I know it sounds
stupid; I agree. But, tell me why you and others in your administration, in fact
any American administration, are so sensitive about the issue of
B- Don't ask me a silly question. It is like asking me why we like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or why cheddar cheese on hot apple pie tastes so good: it is simply an old tradition, my friend, something you don't need to question.
A- When was the last time you stood on the scale and weighed yourself. Perhaps you should question your dietary habits! Your traditional habits might be killing you, my friend.
B- I know what you
are getting at. It won't be easy and can't be done overnight. Just listen to our
mass media, news, entertainment, everything; even in our Congress you won't hear
any serious criticism of the Israelis. If you are not 100% supportive of
A- Is that why your
Democratic rivals had such a show of support for
B- To get elected or
reelected you need the financial and propaganda support of that lobby. You
cannot cross them once you are in office, either: your ship will be torpedoed
and sunk. I don't really believe Hillary Clinton is an
A- Believe me, I understand all that.
B- Now, it's your turn to tell me why your state is championing the Palestinian cause. You are not Arabs, and not even of the same sect of Islam as the Palestinians. They have nothing to offer you but headaches and liabilities.
A- What has
B- But, you are assisting and supporting terrorist groups like the Hizbollah and Hamas.
A- We don't think
they are terrorist organizations, neither does most of the world. Well, ok;
let's say we are supporting terror groups. But, aren't you and many of your
congressmen supporting the MEK, the group that your own administration has
labeled as a terrorist? They are a thorn on our side, just as the Hizbollah and
Hamas are thorns on
B- But, Hamas terrorists kill innocent civilians in the name of a political cause.
A- You are right;
attacking non-combatants for military or political gains is an act of terrorism.
How many non-combatant civilians do you think have died in
B- Now, wait just a minute; collateral damage is different from intentionally targeting innocent non-combatants.
A- You mean like
intentionally targeting non-combatant populations in
B- That was war, damn it; when two nations are at war, there are no non-combatant populations.
A- I don't know if
you have heard this story about Alexander the Great. A pirate who was
terrorizing the seafarers in the
B- But, why do you think you need the support of the likes of Hamas or Hizbollah, anyway; for what?
A- Just in case you
decide or, I should say,
B- Is this also why you are pushing for your own oil bourse?
A- Yes; and, why shouldn't we? You hurt our economy; we'll try to hurt yours.
B- You don't seem to be bothered much by our military capabilities. You are either a fool or honestly believe your Allah will protect you.
A- Not really. I am
a practical man. I've figured if you were sure you could do it, you would have
attempted by now! In fact, I believe your basic dilemma is trying to keep your
B- Tell me honestly, are you trying to make a nuccular weapon?
A- Why should I reveal to you a critically vital secret that would put my country's strategic defenses in jeopardy? If I say yes, we are developing a nuclear bomb, it would give you and the Israelis a legitimate reason to put us under international pressure. If I say no, the Israelis will become emboldened to strike at our facilities with greater confidence. I think ambiguity here is our best policy; keep on guessing.
B- Do you really
trust the Chinese or the Russians to back you up in case the Security Council
decides to impose sanctions on
B- We know that it will be a matter of time before you learn how to make a nuccular bomb.
A- Well, we officially deny that allegation, and the IAEA has found no evidence that our nuclear projects are headed that way.
B- I think you are lying now and cannot be trusted.
A- This is not
lying; it is insisting on remaining ambiguous. I actually like the idea that you
are not sure whether we are lying about our nuclear programs or not. Our
officially stated position is, and has always been, that we are only interested
in nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. By the way; you actually lied during
your news conference the other day while responding to a journalist's question
about our nuclear program. You said
B- I said that figuratively; you understand?
A- No, I don't understand. You stood there and lied to a group of journalists.
B- Let's cut through the chase here. What will it take for you to have us or the Russians provide you with the nuccular fuel rods for your nuccular power plants?
A- Why should we have to? We have the guaranteed right under the NPT to be able to make our own fuel?
B- Simple; because that way your nuccular programs will become perfectly transparent and not subject to our suspicions.
A- But, is that what
serves our best interests? You are asking us to give up our legal rights. Well;
what do we get in exchange? You asked what it would take for
B- That's a tall order. Correct me if I am wrong: You want us to basically admit that we've been wrong all along about our dealings with your country. How likely do you think that would be even if I agreed with you?
A- Look at the
alternative: You cannot succeed by force; and any political or economic pressure
would force us closer to your current and future rivals in the East. You need
our assistance and support in
B- Don't quote me, please; but, you do make some sense. However, I don't believe I have the time needed for retracting the "axis of evil" thing I called your country four years ago, which I have repeated over and over again to this day.
A- We know where your speechwriters come from and who they work for. I am sure you do, too.
B- Well; what if the Democrats come to power in our next elections?
A- Now you understand why we insist on retaining our ambiguity regarding our defense capabilities.
B- So, what's next? I am told you are flying back home right after this meeting; the meeting that never took place.
A- I never left
... Payvand News - 1/27/06 ... --