The Yanks are coming [Archives:2003/09/Focus]

February 3 2003

By Hassan Al-Haifi
“You can’t be serious that the Americans are just going to give the Iraqis all that they have got!” said Mahmoud to his boss at the car repair shop, as they sat during a small coffee break looking at all the cars they have to finish repairing.
“What, do you think the Americans are going to be afraid that the Arab armies will pull out all their massive military hardware they have been accumulating all these years to defend their helpless brethren in Iraq, or they will close the faucet of the oil that turn the wheels in the American industrial citadels” remarked Foad sarcastically to Foad’s other colleague at work, before their boss had a chance to answer him.
“Come on you guys, I am sure the United States is keen on making sure that 22 Arab nations are not upset, after all twenty states are a lot of countries to worry about.” Ali, the workshop owner was trying to get his employees worried about the inventory of cars they had to complete rather than what happens out in the Fertile Crescent.
“Ali, we have an American president whose only relish in life is to see ‘bombs away’ at anything that moves with a Moslem, or particularly an Arab scent to it in this world. He doesn’t take care who gets upset or frowns upon his heroic action to avenge the death of all those helpless souls, who died on 9/11. Yet, all you want us to worry about is all those junky cars we have to keep running, even though most of them are begging us to tell their owners to retire them, as they have had it running around our terrible roads!” said Mahmoud. Mahmoud had a flare for chiding at his boss, without getting him angry.
Ali replied to his employee: “Look, Mahmoud. I’m just as concerned as anybody in these streets is about the poor fate that is about to hit our brothers in Iraq. I really feel sorry for those Iraqis. They have had to endure so much tragedy over the past 30 years. Just imagine; three wars in three years for nothing that they have to be punished for. First that ferocious war with Iran, that drained the life out of not just the Iraqis, but also the entire Gulf region, including the Iranians, who did nothing to bring this war upon them. Then came the senseless war over the miscalculated invasion of Kuwait, which the Iraqis were railroaded by, God only knows what to carry out. Not even the Iraqis seem to understand why such actions could bring them an ongoing state of tragedy for more than a decade after that. Then, a continuous undeclared war on them began, as American and British pilots have a field day for target practice for more than 12 years after that. Now they are threatened by a force of some 200,000 + American and British troops ready to go on a witch hunt in Iraq for the Iraqi leader, who surprisingly seems to be the least stirred by all the events unfolding before him so dramatically”
“Yeah, Ali, you just about summed the whole situation up” said Foad, not wanting to be left out of the talk that has the whole Arab world busy in conversation continuing, “I have a feeling that the whole matter is a continuing conspiracy to give the Zionists a free hand in the Holy Land to do whatever they like with our Arab brothers in Palestine, while everybody is busy watching what will happen in the Gulf. Look at Sharon carry on in Palestine as if he has a free license to unleash his bigotry and hatred at the Palestinians, thanks to our deadmeat Arab leaders, who have lost all sense of national affinity or Islamic cohesiveness.””Foad, you really should not expect much of our Arab leaders, for they have their own worries to think about, just wondering which one of them will follow Saddam. The American president and his war mongering administration staff have just declared that they are going to ‘clean up’ the whole region from the Atlantic to the Khyber Pass. Iraq will be the launching pad of the biggest sanitation project since our great Mayor of Sana’a went to really show the world how clean Sana’a could be if somebody really cared.” Mahmoud went on one of his famous knack for giving outrageous similes to describe events.
“Hay, you guys, I think it is time we get back to work on these jalopies sitting there in the yard. War seems to be as imminent as it could be, and our Arab Summit is about to give its stamp of approval to it in their meeting in Cairo. Judging by our customers’ pressure, it seems that everyone knows that war is imminent and nobody has the faintest idea how it will end”. The entrepreneur remembered that he has to meet his deadlines for his customer, no matter what Uncle Sam does in the Gulf.
Mahmoud started to rise, following his boss toward the work yard and then said: “The way I see it, things are going on with our destiny controlled by others, while we have nothing to do with deciding how it all should be heading.
“What does it matter?” asked Foad, we are all going to the pit anyway, even George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein! I just don’t want to be there to see when both of them meet.”