Karl Rove’s Memo to Bush on the Middle East
Note to the humorless: Satire Warning
M E M O
From: Karl Rove
Re: State of the Union and the Middle East
Problem: The big steps toward open parliamentary elections in the Arab world have happened in Morocco, Jordan, Yemen and Bahrain. We didn’t have much to do with this. And they were actually way more democratic and less problematic elections than the ones we just pulled off in Iraq. What was that? I hear they didn’t know the names of the candidates! (I kind of like it. Imagine how much easier it would have been to sell a Republican president in 2000 if we hadn’t had to say who he was. No offense.)
Solution: You could mention Morocco, Jordan and Bahrain with some sort of heavy hint that we were behind it all. Taking credit for local developments that we paint as positive is cost-free. It is not as if Abdullah II is exactly going to complain. And we won’t mention about how they still have that secret police.
Problem: We depend heavily on the Saudis, who run an absolute monarchy, and on General Musharraf in Pakistan, who refuses to take off his uniform even though he insists he’s a president, now. Some people might think that’s out of line with our
“democratization” policy. I have to remind you again, W., that policy is only for the regimes we don’t like. The others can stay like they are. The scare quotes are there for a reason.
Solution: Praise them for arresting al-Qaeda operatives. It has the advantage of being true. Hell, the Pakistanis have arrested far more of those guys, with FBI help, than Rumsfeld ever did. The Saudis only got down to business when al-Qaeda started trying to kill the princes, but better late than never.
Problem: We really want to take out the mullas in Iran. But we don’t have anything on them. They were cooperative in Afghanistan and Iraq. They haven’t done anything to us for years. They haven’t been involved in terrorism for years, either. The Hezbollah thing in southern Lebanon was mostly just a struggle to get the Israelis back off Lebanese territory. We don’t have any proof they have a nuclear weapons program.
Solution: This one is easy. We’ve already proved with Iraq that you can just hint around or lie about a regime that the public doesn’t like, and there are no bad consequences. So just tell them that Iran is the major sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East and that the Iranians are all busy concocting nukes in their basements with their cuisinarts. Nobody will ask “what terrorism, exactly?” or “what proof do you have about a weapons program?” No one will even bring up our own reliance on the terrorist group, Mojahedin-e Khalq, which was hand in glove with Saddam and has killed hundreds of innocents with bombs. MEK is giving us excellent reports on the Iranian nukes. We haven’t had a source this good since Ahmad Chalabi. If we don’t mention them, nobody else will.
Problem: During the past few years, Sharon gratuitously destroyed a lot of police stations and other security infrastructure in the Occupied territories and now we’re going to have to pick up the bill for them. It’s like having a hyperactive five-year-old in a crystal shop, and we’re liable for everything he breaks. You’d think the Israelis, who have a per capita income of $17,000 a year, could pay for their own sprees of destruction.
Solution: Tell the American public that we are giving $350 million to the Palestinians for democratization and to help out that nice Mahmoud Abbas. Isn’t he an Abu Something, too? Forget it, they’re all Abus. It will confuse the public if you bring it up. Anyway, we won’t mention we’re cleaning up Sharon’s mess, and nobody else will.
Oh, and remind them about that crisis in Social Security. I’m working on inventing some other crises. I love it. Tell them there’s a crisis and they’d let you sell their grandchildren into slavery. A crisis in social security. That’s rich. Wait till I tell you about the next one.
Oh, and W. Try to give them the impression you’ve done something about those CEO cronies of yours that stole the public’s investments and retirement accounts to the tune of billions. Everyone knows we put Martha away. Tell her again I’m sorry about that when you talk to her in April. But it was either someone high profile like her or Ken Lay, and Ken plays too good a game of golf to let him disappear for years behind bars.