"...always with the bombing bombing bombing. I get so sick of it, Secretary Clinton. Sometimes I wish that Pakistan could get back to the things we're really good at, like fighting India. But no, al-Qaeda is taking all of our time, and I... Excuse me, but would you please explain to me the reason for your grinning?"
"I don't know, President Zardari, it's just that I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where al-Qaeda is and couldn't get them if they really wanted to."
"What? Hard to believe? Are you calling me a liar? Because that would be most unstatesman like."
"Unstatesman like? Moi? I'm the very picture of statesmanship. As a matter of fact, they call me Secretary of the State, kind of like they called Frank Sinatra Chairman of the Board. You do know Frank Sinatra, don't you?"
"Ring-a-ding-ding, indeed I do. I have read about his many whores. But I tell you in all honesty that he cannot hold a candle to Mehdi Hassan."
"Never heard of him."
"Ah, you Americans are so secular. To imagine that you have never heard of Mehdi Hassan, the King of Ghazals... It is as though if something doesn't originate in your own country, you pretend it doesn't exist. They used to say that Mehdi Hassan had the voice of... Excuse me, but you are once again displaying that shit-eating grin."
"Oh, sorry. You just had me thinking that there's someone in your country that I'm quite familiar with."
"Who is that?"
"Osama bin Laden. But I guess you wouldn't know anything about that, because there are soooo many great hiding places here in Pakistan."
"I feel as though you are being condescending."
"Absolutely not. Heaven forbid. I mean, who's going to recognize a six and a half foot maniac hooked up to a dialysis machine? That's like finding a needle in a haystack."
"Needle in a haystack? What a quaint but apt expression. Finding a needle in a haystack would be very difficult indeed."
"It sure would, President Zardari. Of course, the smaller the haystack, the easier it gets. I guess that what I'm getting at is that if you want to see your territory shrink, that's your choice. Not a particularly good choice, but what the hay?"
"You are making a bad pun at my expense."
"And, of course, a tiny little haystack doesn't need nearly as much American money as a big haystack. Like India."
"Yes. Your point, while not subtle, is taken. I must tell you, Secretary Clinton, that I much preferred the political style of your former president George Bush."
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Posted by mark hoback at 1:46 PM