A good time to sleep

 

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Category: International Date: 30 Mar 03


Picture this: I am sitting at the bedside of a man who has been in a coma since the fall of 2001. He slipped into that enervated state just after hearing President Bush declare war against terrorism, and Osama bin Laden.

 

It was a good time to go to sleep. As he’s imaginary, I make my inert patient easy on the eye, a cross between Denzel Washington and Nik Cage. Directly in the line of his eyes is a television monitor kept on all these months in the hope that he would hear or see.

 

It’s now replete with images of war: bombs, butchered POWS, busloads of corpses, dead pregnant women, crushed buildings.

 

He stirs, looks at the television and back at my face hovering over him.

 

“What’s going on?” he demands, miraculously in sharp command of all his senses.

 

I prepare him for the senseless butchery on television by telling him a joke on the e-mail circuit.

 

“You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the Swiss hold the America’s Cup, France is accusing the US of arrogance, and Germany doesn’t want to go to war.

 

“War?” he asked, looking at men in gas masks on the screen, remembering his emotionally-dead father who had a leg blown away in Vietnam.

 

Gently. Could sudden excitement trigger another long sleep. I wasn't taking chances.

 

“Okay,” I stalled, “you missed the Oscars. Michael Moore’s used up the 40 seconds of his acceptance speech thus: “We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious President. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons.”

 

But he’s not listening. He’s watching TV.

 

“Wait. That isn’t Afghanistan. It’s Iraq!”

 

“Yes,” I reply.

 

What’s the link between Al Queda and Iraq?” he asked, fetchingly propped on his elbow.

 

“Nobody knows,” I reply.

 

“Some people think the American President thinks the Q in both words is the missing link. Others say ‘it’s the oil, stupid!’

 

“What do you mean oil?”

 

“It’s the only logical conclusion. The Media Monitors Network put a piece together called Isn’t it strange? They found these “facts” (fact and fiction these days are mixed so I can’t vouch for them) strange:

 

The Bush family acquired their wealth through oil.

 

Bush’s Secretary of Interior was the president of an oil company.

 

George Bush Sr now works with the “Carlyle Group” specialising in huge oil investments worldwide.

 

Condoleeza Rice worked for Chevron who named one of its newest supertankers after him.

 

Dick Cheney worked for Halliburton — a giant oil conglomerate, in the pipeline construction business and received a US$34,000,000 as a farewell gift when he left.

 

There is more oil and gas in the Caspian Sea area than Saudi Arabia, but you need a pipeline through Afghanistan to get the oil which UNOCAL, a giant American oil conglomerate wanted to build. It spent US$10 billion on geological surveys for construction and courted the Taliban for their support.

 

All of the leading Taliban officials were in Texas negotiating with UNOCAL in 1998, but when they changed their minds, and awarded the project to a company from Argentina, they became the most evil people in the world. In mid-July 2000 Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary was told by senior American officials that military action would be waged against Afghanistan by Mid-October. Then came the 9/11 disaster after which Bush “decides” to go to war against Afghanistan even though none of the hijackers came from Afghanistan.

 

Bush refused to reveal “proof” that Bin Laden was behind it saying it was a “secret” even after the Taliban offered to turn in Bin Laden in return for evidence.

 

Bush establishes a new government in Afghanistan led by Hamid Karrzai, a former UNICAL employee.

 

Bush appoints Lakhdar Ibrahimi, a former chief consultant to UNOCAL as a special envoy to represent the US to deal with the new government.

 

The US quietly announces they will support the construction of the Trans-Afghanistan pipeline and there is an agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan to build a gas pipeline from Central Asia to Pakistan via Afghanistan.

 

“How many dead”?

 

“On Wednesday more than 1,000 Iraqis troops, up to 500 Iraqi civilians although witnesses say the death toll was likely to be higher.”

 

“And the UK/US coalition troops?”

 

“About 50 or so.”

 

“The reaction from Downing Street and the White House?”

 

“Determined to keep their deaths to a minimum the US/UK troops lay down heavy covering fire as they go through towns, while insisting they are sparing civilians. In one instance, after Marines killed scores of Iraqi troops in busses and trucks they searched their luggage and all they found were two small handguns, and a wallet which contained wedding pictures, an (Iraqi) army membership card and a picture of the England World Cup soccer team. In the US they are praying for the soldiers who are fighting for “American Freedom”, (but I don’t see Iraqi men killing their civilians).”

 

“It’s a crazy world,” he said.

 

“Wake me up when its over,” he added, and quietly slipped back into a coma.

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All Articles Copyright Ira Mathur