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     Volume 4 Issue 22 | November 26, 2004 |

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Fiction and Fact


Washington DC., November 2004 (Sound of intercom buzzing)
(Remote voice) Mr. President, Condoleezza Rice is here to see you.
†Good! Send her in.
(Remote voice)Yessir!
(Sound of door opening)
‡Good morning, Mr. President.
(Sound of door closing)
†Oh Condoleezza, nice to see you, what's happening?
‡Well, Mr. President, I have the report here about the new leader in China.
†Right Conda, lay it on me.
‡Mr. President, Hu is the new leader of China.
†Well, that's what I want to know.
‡Well, that's what I am telling you, Mr. President,
†Well, that's what I am asking you Condi, who is the new leader of China.
†I mean the fellow's name.
†The guy in China.
†The new leader of China.
†The Chinaman.
‡Hu is leading China, Mr. President
†What are you asking me for?
‡I am telling you, Hu is leading China.
†Well, I am asking you Condi, who is leading China?
‡That's the man's name.
†That's whose name?
†Will you or will you not tell me the name of the new leader in China?
†Yasir? Yasir Arafat is in China? I thought he was in the Middle East.
‡That's correct, sir.
†Then who is in China?
‡Yes sir.
†Yasir is in China?
‡No sir.
†Then who is?
‡Yes sir.
‡No sir.

(Moment's pause)

†Condi, you are starting to tick me off now. That's not because you are black either. I need to know the name of the new leader of China. So why don't you get me the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the phone.
‡Kofi Annan?
†No thanks; and Condi, call me George. Stop with that Ebonics crap.
‡You want Kofi?
‡You don't want Kofi?
†No. But now that you mention it, I could use a glass of milk, and then get me the UN.
‡Yes sir!
†Not Yasir, the guy at the United Nations.
†Milk! Will you please make that call?
‡And call who?
†Well, who is the guy at the UN?
‡No, Hu is the guy in China.
†Will you stay out of China?
‡Yes sir!
†And stay out of the Middle East. Just get me the guy at the UN.
†All right! With cream and two sugars... now get on the phone.
(Phone dialling)
‡Hello! Rice here!
†Rice? Good idea, and get a couple of egg-rolls too, Condi, maybe we should send some to the guy in China, and the Middle East. Can you get Chinese food in the Middle East?


I admit I had pleasure in transcribing the above year-old audio clip whose author perhaps wanted the world to have a peep into how the Bush admin went about its day-to-day business. Fascinating in some sense but understandable because the most powerful man in the world has been behaving like a bull in a china shop. Fear not, Beijing, I have no indication that it is you who is next.


Ramalla on 12 November saw rivulets of tears, a sea of humankind, an ocean of emotions, and yet the CNN commentator wondered Live on TV how would the Palestinians ever be able to govern a state if they could not organise the (simple) funeral of their leader Yasser Arafat.

The problem is the West has only one barometer with which they have always wanted to fathom the world. It is simply not that simple.

Just as we will never understand why despite US citizens having enjoyed the highest material standards of living in the world through most of the 20th century there should still be homeless people sleeping in cardboard boxes on their footpaths, hungry and begging.

Also incomprehensible is the US administration's opposition to religious bias, more specifically Islam in countries like Afghanistan and Iran, and garb them as 'fundamentalists' while Bush should go ahead and win a second term because of the wholesale support of evangelical voters. Are they not Christian 'fundamentalists'? Or have you never heard such gibberish terminology? Now is a good time as any to start facing facts.

Identical to the Christian fundamentalist, a Muslim fundamentalist also believes in certain values based on the religion Islam. Basically any religious person of every form of belief has to be a fundamentalist. That's elementary, Mr. Bush.

Are they not Christian fundamentalists, those who believe in certain values and are not open to changes; not that I personally find anything wrong with people of either conviction. Nor am I necessarily inclined to one or the other.

What is seriously objectionable here is Americans accepting Christian fundamentalism as righteous while simultaneously opposing vehemently Islamic governments because they are fundamentalists. If that leaves a sick taste of oil in your tongue it means you are an honourable person of good moral standing.

If Bush finds a crusade, reference his speech after 9/11, justifiable and a vote-winner, what is wrong with Muslims declaring a jihad? Both, one presumes, are holy wars.

It has now emerged that campaign for Bush was carried out in churches and religious gatherings. Then how can Bush, his British boyfriend and a section of the West look down on religious teachings in masjids and madrashas? You can with a pail of oil in the right hand and the holy book in another.

Just as every person bearing a Christian name is not virtuous, every Muslim is not a terrorist. Some are fighting for their motherland. They are freedom fighters; just as an American would be if he fought occupying external forces on American soil.

Just as every person wearing a cross is not a Saint, every Muslim warrior is not an insurgent. They rebel for their rights that have been wrongfully snatched.

Mr. President, let me take you to an April day in 1861 when the American Civil War between the Union and the Confederacy began. Five years later an estimated 600,000 American lives were lost, many of them freedom fighters, property worth $5 billion were destroyed, but thankfully it brought liberty to four million black slaves. But, even after 125 years the wounds of either party have not completely healed. How long do you think it will take to heal the wounds that you have opened between the Christians and the Muslims? You can start a jihad, Mr. President, but it shall take another crusade to bring back peace.

On a brighter note, an astrologer has assured us that the Bush regime shall have a happy ending. Everyone will be happy when it ends.

Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2004