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The Iraq Study Group's unwritten conclusions
Posted by Avi Perry
It was a long day. The Iraq Study Group has just issued their terrific ideas marinated by their highly seasoned conclusions. I was mad and discouraged. Taking it to the night, I was ready to disregard the real world and sink into the dream zone - the one which provides occasional relief by letting raging thoughts burst out of my system into some black hole only to vanish forever.
In my dream, I have just arrived at my dentist. I drifted into the clinic, eased into the torture settee (the dentist has a different name for it), and let the white apron wearing Old Nick pound on my teeth. I closed my eyes and helped my thoughts carry me back in time, into the days I took part, along with old Jim Baker and the aging Lee Hamilton, studying the Iraq situation and planning a change in course.
I could hear the dentist's voice above my head. The roguish face was half masked. I would not have to bear his breath. Good God. "So, I hear that you are recommending a breakthrough peace process between Bush and Bin Laden," he announced. "I don't know, but this idea does not sit well with me. What would you offer to this holy man in return for peace?" he asked.
I could not bear the ignorance pouring out of the unthinking infidel. Does he know that we, in America, have means? If we promise to stop checking airline passengers, especially the ones who look forward to life in Paradise, isn't Bin Laden going to like us? And what about the planned luncheon at the commencement of the peace conference? I personally made sure they did not forget the humus. Osama loves it.
I looked at him pitifully. This dentist may be a good doctor, but when it comes to politics, he was absolutely clueless. "This is only the first episode in a far-reaching peace process," I countered. "We are looking to get Iran involved by offering them a nuclear bomb at a Christmas discount. There is no need to reinvent the wheel and spend all these cultured resources on something that someone else had already mass produced."
"But how will that gift advance the peace process?" he asked. "How will it change course in Iraq?"
I could not talk. The smiling sprite had his iron tools inside my watery mouth.
"Are you going to consult with the Israelis on that nuclear thing?" he inquired.
I wanted to jump out of my seat. I wanted to yell - "You are slow and thick!!" But, I was prisoner of my own teeth and my horizontal position.
"I thought that peace must be achieved through negotiations between the parties," he continued. "And Allah's messenger's brother, Mr. Ahmadinejad, sounds serious about wiping Israel off the map."
I fixed my eyes on this dim-witted little man who dared lecturing and criticizing. I was truly annoyed, but I could not speak. I could not brew justice or unveil the truth. I could not tell this blubber mouth to his face that 'Israel is the root cause of all the troubles we, God Blessed Americans, endure in Iraq, North Korea, Afghanistan, Venezuela, etc.' I was unable to assert that the Israelis should not sit at the same table where serious negotiations for the future of their country was taking place. This stubborn bunch of Jews would only demand fairness, guarding their own human rights, unmindful of Islamic desires for booty and revengeâ€¦ Simply unacceptable!
I finally gathered my courage, lifted my hand, and pulled the tools out of my mouth. "You are only a dentist, for God's sakeâ€¦"
But the rascal did not budge. He inserted the tools back while impeding my comeback. I could hear him yet again. "How could little Israel, the only democracy in the Middle-East, be responsible for Shi'ites' murderous rampages on Sunnis and vice versa?"
"Hey," I finally said. "If Israel gives up land for peace, including Jerusalem, Haifa, and Tel Aviv, then the whole Arab world would have no one to blame for their own misery. Can you imagine Islam without an enemy? What kind of religious teaching are they going to practice? What will replace the emptiness? It will finally become a true "Mission Accomplished." I was excited. Water was shooting down from my open mouth and onto my paper apron as I was trying to drive sense into this bonehead dentist.
"You see," I continued to lecture. "Palestine was a wasteland before the Jews came and transformed it. How dare these damn people of the book convert an uninhabited region into a land of milk and honey? Don't they know that Paradise is merely in Heaven?"
He was not listening. This dentist went on, his hands inside my mouth, and his head nodding in disapproval. Then, out of the blue - "We are done," I could hear his voice. I opened my eyes feeling the freshness inside my mouth, and watching the prince of darkness hovering over my head, while his smile was extending across three time zones. "You are good for 6 months," he declared. "Here is a bonus. A new toothbrush..."
The alarm clock woke me up. Thank God, it was only a dream. A new day was making a start. I realized that the right people in Israel and the US would dismiss the great wisdom emanating out of Neville Chamberlain's students. These old men must have forgotten that Israel and Czechoslovakia are in two different continents, and that Bashar Assad is an ugly SOB who does not scream in German, and does not even have a moustache.
Jim Baker must have felt like a brain surgeon who brought a comatose patient - the course in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East - back to life. He knew that change was inevitable. His committee had been brought into being for the unique purpose of instigating change.
What else could he do after being charged with an impossible mission? He could hire Tom Cruise, or call James Bond and have them take care of business.
Or he could try to be "original" - Blame the Jews...
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