Alexander: So Bush, what, if anything have you learned from me about invading the world?
Bush: Who are you? Never heard of you. You’re not on my summer reading list.
Alexander: I’m Alexander the Great. But you can call me Alex. I was the first guy to conquer the known world. Someone might have clued you in.
Bush: Sorry, Alex, but I’m too busy invading the world. Just sent Rummy over to South America to warn them about lefties. You can’t be too careful.
Alexander: With all the geniuses advising you, you probably don’t want any advice from me, but let me warn you about those Persians.
Bush: Never heard of them.
Alexander: I think you call them Iranians.
Bush: Oh, those guys. Gotta nuke ‘em.
Alexander: In a manner of speaking, I did. Took them out entirely. I annexed their entire empire. Now that’s how to create empire. You go in, kill everybody, and declare them your subjects. In any event, it was a preemptive strike. It was them or us.
Bush: But if they’re dead, what difference does it make?
Alexander: Good point. You might have thought about that before you attacked Iraq.
Bush: But I was bringing American style democracy to them. It had to help.
Alexander: Did it ever dawn on you that those Iranians wanted you to do that?
Bush: Why? They hate democracy. At least the ones who run the place.
Alexander: Exactly. They suckered you into Iraq so you would fail and they would pick up the pieces.
Bush: Heck, I’ve got the best intelligence service in the world. They would have figured it out.
Alexander: Are you so sure they didn’t? Did you ever hear of Aldridge Ames? He sold out to the Russians. And the Iranians have more money than the Russians ever had. You never heard of the word "mole?"
Bush: So, you’re trying to tell me that guys like George Tenet didn’t know what they were talking about because some guys down the ladder were on the take?
Alexander: It costs a lot to send your kids to college these days. Not like me. I just sat under an olive tree and listened to Aristotle.
Bush: That guy again. I had a run-in with him and everybody had a big laugh at my expense.
Alexander: Let’s face the facts. Who was it who got you to invade Iraq in the first place because he said they had all those WMDs?
Bush: Easy. Chalabi. And we gave his group tons of money.
Alexander: So how come it never dawned on you that he was an Iranian spy? I mean, he had this huge villa there and spent lots of time hanging out with his co-religionists. Those Iranians are all Shiites, just like Chalabi. You gotta wonder about your C.I.A. If they weren’t on the take, then they were just jerks.
Bush: You’re tryin’ to tell me I was sold out? And besides, Judith Miller believed him.
Alexander: He’s kinda cute. That can go along way with a doll. Hey, there’s gotta be an explanation for how they missed this. Rummy is saying that Iran is causing all the trouble in Iraq, now, worse than Al Queda. Why do you suppose that is?
Bush: Because they want to take over Iraq after we leave.
Alexander: Like "duh." Hello? They couldn’t do that while Saddam Hussein was in power and they couldn’t afford another war with him, which they could never win. So what did they do? They got you jerks to do it for them. Now, they’ve got the Iraqi police (all Shiites) knocking off the Sunnis. Hey, it’s just the beginning. If you stay you lose, because that fuels the insurgency, and if you get out you lose, because Iran wins. As long as they’ve got you pinned down there, you can’t invade Iran. And if you leave, they come in and take over Iraq. Lose, lose.
Bush: But what about democracy? That’s what it was all about. Democracy is the way to win the war on t error.
Alexander: Don’t kid me. Are you pressing the House of Saud to become, like the Iowa caucuses?
Bush: Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Alexander: You can say that again.
Bush: Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Alexander: My point exactly. Let’s be honest. You’re trying to be Rome. At least we Greeks brought civilization with us. Or at least we thought so. After I died, the Persians went right back to being what they were before. The biggest imperialists. And what you don’t seem to understand, is that they still are. Scratch an Iranian and you get a Persian. There’s a new Great Game in Central Asia, and they’ve outfoxed you. They will be the only country with both nukes and oil. You used to be, but you used up all your oil.
Bush: Like, I said, I’m going to nuke them. No way will I allow them to have nukes.
Alexander: Make one move in that direction, and you will have to deal with China, which has started conducting joint maneuvers with Russia. And because you bullied Russia by meddling in Ukraine, they’re selling all their oil to China instead of you. So you now have to go back to Saudi Arabia, hat in hand. And the House of Saud is hated. The closer you get to them and Prince Turki, the more recruits Al Queda will get. So you are in a complete box.
Bush: So, Mr. Smarty Pants, how do I get out of this mess?
Alexander: You got yourself into it, you figure it out.
Richard Cummings [send him mail] taught international law at the Haile Selassie I University and before that, was Attorney-Advisor with the Office of General Counsel of the Near East South Asia region of U.S.A.I.D, where he was responsible for the legal work pertaining to the aid program in Israel, Jordan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is the author of a new novel, The Immortalists, as well as The Pied Piper — Allard K. Lowenstein and the Liberal Dream, and the comedy, Soccer Moms From Hell. He holds a Ph.D. in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University and is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He is writing a new book, The Road To Baghdad — The Money Trail Behind The War In Iraq. He is a contribution editor for The American Conservative.