Iran News ...



By Kam Zarrabi, Intellectual Discourse


In an article posted on payvand last January, I had pointed to what in my opinion were Iran's options in response to the threats of military strikes or severe economic sanctions by the United States administration.


To bring the point home, I had put together an imaginary scenario in which the two presidents, Bush and Ahmadinejad, were discussing the issues in a private meeting, away from the eyes and ears of the media. Ah, if such a meeting were only possible!


That imaginary face-to-face discussion ended without reaching any conclusions. The late-March marker that was set by many "experts" as the date for an aerial strike on Iran's nuclear facilities by the US or Israel is already behind us and, I am sure, the prognostications for an early-summer onslaught will also prove wrong.


Perhaps there is still time for another imaginary face-to-face discussion between the two leaders that might shed some light on issues that are keeping the fuse lit under the powder keg of the Middle East.


As the curtain rises, we find the two presidents walking over to their chairs facing one another. Again, for the ensuing dialogue, President Bush is simply B, and Ahmadinejad is represented as A.


A: Your chair seems to be so much bigger and more comfortable than mine, George. May I call you George?

B: Yes you may; Mahmoud. Well, your chair fits your own size; it's not meant to make you feel inferior, if that's what you mean.

A: I don't mind, George. We have a saying that a peppercorn is also tiny but, bite it, and you'll feel its heat!

B: Are you threatening us again, like you did threatening to cause us harm and pain or wiping Israel off the face of the map?

A: A pepper corn will only sting if you bite on it, George. As we've said repeatedly, we will never start any aggression, but will make it extremely unpleasant for anybody who steps on us.

B: There; another threat! My administration takes that as a direct threat against the United States and our allies and interests in the Middle East.

A: Perhaps I should apologize that our administration also interprets both your and the Israeli's repeated direct threats against us as direct threats against us!

B: Can't you see we could crush you if we had to?

A: Of course; your Vice President did threaten that Iran would face 'meaningful consequences' if we did not yield to your demands. As one of our representatives said, 'Yes, the United States can cause Iran great harm and pain; but Iran could also cause harm and pain.' Remember the peppercorn?! Of course, I know, you call that an Iranian threat against the United States.

B: Well, little fellow, it just looks too funny to us when you try to flex your muscles, you little pipsqueak.

A: If you know that, then what's your problem with our nuclear research program? You know very well that we are in no position to be a threat to you or to anyone else who is under your protection; like your so-called friend, the local pit-bull.

B: With all that oil and gas, why do you want nuccular energy, anyway? 

A: We had all that oil and gas forty years ago, too, when your own experts told us we needed nuclear energy! Doesn't England have its own oil and coal, or Russia, or your own country?

B: But, with that technology you could potentially make a nuccular bomb; and, that's not acceptable.

A: Oh, no; that would be anti-Semitic! Anything that might neutralize Israel's military supremacy is a blatant act of anti-Semitism; just ask your Congress!

B: But, we simply cannot trust your motives or believe that you are only interested in nuccular energy for peaceful purposes.

A: I don't blame you. We don't trust you either when you say that America's mission is to spread democracy in our region.

B: Don't you agree that we all want peace, that the world wants peace?

A: Truer words were never spoken, George. There is just one problem: everyone wants peace; but they all want peace in their own terms! Who wouldn't prefer to carry out their own agendas unopposed and without resorting to violence?

B: No, no, no; I meant peace with justice.

A: That sounds wonderful, George. I would certainly agree, as long as everyone accepts what I consider to be fair and just.

B: No; there should be a universally accepted set of standards that would apply to everybody, Mahmoud.

A: Everybody; big and small, powerful and weak, rich and poor?

B: Yes; exactly.

A: George; don't you have a saying: 'Don't wish for something, lest it might come true'?

B: Dammit; you are right, Mahmoud; what was I thinking?

You are an educated man, Mahmoud; realistically speaking, what's wrong with the strong and the capable dictating what's right or just? That's the official neoconservative policy, in case you didn't know.

A: Whatever you call it, that's the way it has been, and will be for as long as the strong doesn't have to pay too high a price for it.

B: So, why not be a good guy, agree to our terms and accept what we demand.

A: Simple; because we don't think you'd be willing to pay the price for what you think you might gain.

B: Oh, yah? Who do you think will be the loser if push comes to shove?

A: We, of course; but also you and the rest of the region and even the world.

B: So, no winners; ha?

A: I didn't say that. There will be one winner, at least in the short term: Israel.

B: Israel?

A: Israel!

B: That's what I thought you said; Israel!

A: Just look at who the pit-bulls in your Congress and Administration are who are pushing for war and sanctions against our country; check out their backgrounds and affiliations.

Common, George; don't pretend like you don't know how your foreign policy has been hijacked by the Israeli lobby.

B: Then, you know how my hands are tied in trying to do what's best for my own nation.

A: But, of course, George; you cannot afford to be labeled anti-Semitic; can you? We can see how the Democrats are courting the "Lobby" and its supporters in the mass media and the entertainment industry to get ready for the next elections. You simply cannot afford to be honestly patriotic; can you?

B: What good is being patriotic and lose the chance in the elections? You've got to get in first, and then try to be patriotic.

A: The problem is, once you get in, you must try to stay in to implement your patriotic policies. How could you formulate and implement policies if those who must legislate or approve your policies know what it takes for them to stay in office and get reelected?

B: Now you've got it. Aren't you having the same problems over where you come from, Mahmoud?

A: Now you've got it, George!

B: By the way, I heard you are a believer in the coming of your Mahdi, your Islamic Savior.

A: Well, we had to come up with something to balance out your own Messianic visions, George.

B: Could I look forward to another meeting like this soon, Mahmoud?

A: Yes, I think so; as long as you keep your pit-bulls on a short leash, George. In the meantime, don't get conned into doing anything stupid that would hurt both our nations.

... Payvand News - 5/3/06 ... --

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