Dear Dubya: Call Ahmadinejad's Bluff!

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Hey George, word on the street is that you have your heart set on blowing up Iran. Well who can blame you since you have all those GI Joes and Cherry Bombs to play with?

Before I get into the liquid meat and carbon fiber potatoes, I just wanted to say what a fine job you’ve done in Iraq. You should be proud. How many world-historical leaders have careened through time with your legacy? Beyond a shadow of a doubt you are "Destined for Destiny."

You see… the gig is up in Iraq. One cannot improve on perfection. Oh sure there are people left alive; but you want to leave a few stragglers to tell the tale.

Even as you blew your nose on that piece of paper known as the US Constitution and converted America into a sub-prime borrower, you destroyed the fragile statehood and economy of Iraq and inspired Afghanistan to produce a bumper crop of opium. That’s one big salami for any dictator to bite off in six-and-a-half years.

Just four years after you invaded, there are four million Iraqis homeless and another million Iraqi dead. And these were the people you were trying to "liberate!" Heaven help the ones you want to punish.

So what are you going to do for an encore? Who am I kidding? Folks are lined up around the Veteran’s Hall to see the Bomb Iran Show. I know you’ve got a hard-on for this but… well… maybe there’s a better way.

Give Iraq to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Let’s face it; this guy has been a bee up the presidential butt just like Saddam. That Iranian is making you look silly. (It ain’t hard). ‘Fess up: That’s the real reason you have a hankerin’ to nuke Iran.

Having announced that the U.S. forces have lost control of Iraq, Ahmadinejad has offered to step in to fill the power vacuum. Hmm… Did you ever have any control to lose… Oh well, not to quibble, let Mahmoud have the Tar Baby.

Ahmadinejad is bluffing! Time to call.

And I’m not just talking in poker terms. Call Mahmoud on the damned phone. Here’s his number. That’s right! Ahmadinejad’s operators are waiting around the clock to take your telephone call. In an August 17th article for The First Post, entitled Tehran sets up hotline to quell dissent, Philip Jacobson reports: "…in an attempt to re-establish his credentials as a listening politician ahead of elections due next spring, Ahmadinejad authorized the introduction of a hotline to the presidential office. Ordinary Iranians who dial 111 will be free to grumble to their hearts’ content… Whether this will achieve much in restoring the president’s standing remains to be seen: his office is currently struggling to cope with some 7m letters that followed his invitation to voters to write to him about their problems."

Phew… seven million letters and now phone complaints too! I guess I can’t expect Ahmadinejad to get to my complaint about a defective Persian rug. But you’re the President of the United States. A call from POTUS might… just might… get patched through. It’s worth a shot… uh, bad analogy.

You see how busy Ahmadinejad is reading his own mail; I bet he hasn’t got the time let alone the inclination to read that of his countrymen. He’s stressed out and overworked. Imagine what the conflagration in Iraq will do to his schedule. "Hey Mahmoud! It’s al-Sadr again! You wanna take it or are you busy with that Oak Ridge Alloy?"

Next thing you do? Remove all US military personnel — Snap! — just like that. Oh… you can leave the "private contractors," they deserve everything that’s coming to them. But please stamp each solider of fortune with an official disclaimer: Private contractors do not represent the policy of the American People. Alberto Gonzales (you’ll find him in the petunia bed, Laura hired him to take care of your garden), will confirm that this would not be a lie because of the sly omission of any reference to the US government or yourself.

So, let Iran have the place. Call it a "good will" gesture. What have you got to lose?

Not so fast, you bleat. What about the reasons for the war: Oil, Democracy, and Greater Israel?

Well, I hate to break it to you but you ain’t never gonna get the oil by force. Remember the Rumanian and Russian oil fields during WW II? Did Hitler keep any of the oil fields he stole? You’re just going to end up blowing it up too. Strange as it may seem, peace and a free market usually work best in such matters.

Israel will do just fine. They’re building a wall! What’s it made of, dollar bills? Yeah, I know, that’s all the dollar is good for — that and toilet paper.

As for democracy… what can I say? You’re funnier than Soupy Sales!

But wait, you squeal. What would happen if you pulled out all the troops? It would be another Vietnam slaughter fest? Whoa there cowpoke! You say we can’t have another situation like that. Some people would say that there was no analogy between Vietnam and Iraq.

Remember that April 13, 2004 Press Conference?

Question: "Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, April is turning into the deadliest month in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad, and some people are comparing Iraq to Vietnam and talking about a quagmire. Polls show that support for your policy is declining and that fewer than half Americans now support it. What does that say to you and how do you answer the Vietnam comparison?"

POTUS: "The analogy is false."

You’re not trying to make up your own reality again, are you?

Who would run the place, you whine? Stop clowning around! You’re killing me! Nobody runs it now so why bring up that little detail? Could Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government start to function? You will never know unless you give Maliki a chance. If you’re such a big al-Maliki fan cut him lose. Let him do his job. And if he gets toasted by some "radical" freedom fighters… well… that’s democracy! That’s one way to make sure your "vote" gets counted!

Oh but, what about the Shi’ite clerics, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim and Muqtada al-Sadr? Heaven forefend that people who believe in God should have a role in government!

What your advisors won’t tell you, probably because they don’t know is that devout Shi’ites pledge their loyalty to individual clerics. Ponder that. Are the Iraqi followers of Sistani, al-Hakim or al-Sadr going to follow Ahmadinejad or the Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei? That would be like offering a double Black Russian (vodka and Kahlua, so it’s got alcohol and caffeine) to Brigham Young. No way.

When it comes to considering loyalties, let’s not forget the 1980—88 Iran-Iraq War. Oh… I’m sorry George. You probably didn’t know about that since in those years you were… uh… how shall I put this delicately? Drunk as a skunk. In a nutshell, US policy was to play each side off the other while selling weapons to both. Ask your Dad about it.

On Dec. 20, 1983, the Washington Post reported that Donald Rumsfeld, then Ronald Reagan’s Special Envoy to the Middle East, "visited Iraq in what U.S. officials said was an attempt to bolster the already improving U.S. relations with that country." Greasing Saddam’s palm with gifts of medieval spiked hammers, a few pistols and some golden cowboy spurs, Rumsfeld also gave Saddam the official US handshake of approval.

But then, in 1987, there was this teenatchee scandal where US arms were smuggled through Nicaraguan Contra rebels to Israel and on to guess who? Iraq’s greatest enemy: Iran.

Saddam must have been mighty impressed by that pageant of two-faced Yankee ingenuity — Grandpa Prescott Bush would have been proud! Writes Jim Lobe, Saddam developed a " u2018complicated’ view of the U.S. While he derived u2018prestige’ from being an enemy of the U.S., he also considered it to be u2018equally prestigious for him to be an ally of the United States — and regular entreaties were made… to explore this alternative’."

With all that fancy American footwork, no wonder that in 1993 a confused Saddam tried to bump off Bush the First.

Looking back, a lot of folks died in those years. I’ll bet you a dinner for two at Sodolak’s Country Inn the memory is fresh in the minds of Iranians and Iraqis alike. So do you really think the Iraqis are going to welcome an Iranian occupation with open arms? Guess again. Hey they don’t like your occupation!

So it’s time to declare: "Mission Accomplished!" Bring our boys and girls home now. Let Iran fill the power vacuum in Iraq created by America’s departure. Give Ahmadinejad the heady sensation of spending Iran’s lifeblood and treasure on a country run by people whom once Woodrow Wilson called "ungrateful."

Let’s double dog dare Ahmadinejad to see if he can do a better job. This will save you the trouble of having to blow up Iran… oh I know, it won’t be as much fun. C’mon, we can watch Apocalypse Now instead.

Elizabeth Gyllensvard contributed to and edited this story.

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