Today the American and Iranian ambassadors to Iraq hold official talks in which they are scheduled to drink Iranian beer, play lots of Texas Hold ‘Em poker and insult each other’s mother in both Farsi and Arabic. But here is how it ought to go down:
Iranian Ambassador Hassan Kazemi-Qomi: Greetings, my most venerable American friend.
U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker: Cut the crap, falafel breath.
Kazemi-Qomi: Ha, ha, ha! Good one. Nice to see you, old friend.
Crocker: I wasn’t joking. Your breath smells like hamsters. And I’m not your friend. Get your hand off my waist.
Kazemi-Qomi: Many apologies, worthy American colleague. I am displeased to see that relations between our countries have soured since our last meeting.
Crocker: I’ll give you sour. See this picture? That’s what’s left of one of our Humvees after an encounter with an Iranian-made improvised explosive device. We know it was made in Iran because it says “made by crypto-Nazi totalitarian madmen right here in beautiful downtown Tehran.”
Kazemi-Qomi: It says no such thing, of course.
Crocker: You’re right, it doesn’t. We tortured, no, scratch that. We gently persuaded the sh** out of some poor bastard until he led us to the people who made it. Guess what? They speak Farsi.
Kazemi-Qomi: You can’t prove that. You can’t prove anything.
Crocker: No, but I can easily arrange it so that every Iranian in Baghdad dies in a “suicide bombing.” Sunnis hate Iranian lackeys.
Kazemi-Qomi: My country does not supply arms to the insurgency. We are neutral in this conflict, as you know.
Crocker: This picture shows a cache of Iranian-made weapons we uncovered two weeks ago. I think we’ll kill one Iranian “spy” for every weapon, what do you think?
Kazemi-Qomi: Those? Those aren’t weapons. They’re, ah, parade floats. Boy they look convincing, don’t they?
Crocker: That must be some parade. Do you shoot the spectators when it’s over or as it moves along?
Kazemi-Qomi: We shoot no one, they are merely props for the weekly “Death To The Great Satan Parade.” All in good fun, of course. You know we would never condone any act that leads to the death of even a single American citizen. Except for dirty, lying CIA spies unconvincingly playing a journalist or academic.
Crocker: Look, either stop the traffic in weapons over the border…
Kazemi-Qomi: Or what, my friend? You’ll call the E.U.? They LOVE us over there! And don’t even think about calling the U.N. We’re on the Human Rights Commission! They love us almost as much as they loved Saddam!
Crocker: Or we’ll shave Mahmoud’s beard, dye all of his clothes pink and replace every one of his CDs with the Spice Girls. And some other stuff I can’t talk about. Did you know that Navy Seals can kill you about 1,000 different ways?
Kazemi-Qomi: We both know you wouldn’t dare send the Seals across our border. The United Nations would not approve, and look what trouble your president got into the last time he did something without U.N. approval. Besides, we are not afraid of your Seals.
Crocker: Oh, yeah? See that curtain over there?
Crocker: It’s not a curtain.
Kazemi-Qomi: Don’t be absurd, Mr. Crocker.
Crocker: It’s three Seals dressed in curtain fabric. See that lamp? It’s a Seal, too. And that side table?
Kazemi-Qomi: It’s the same with all of you Americans. You threaten more than you can deliver. And eventually, no one is afraid of you anymore.
Crocker: Show yourselves, boys!
Crocker: Now, about those four American hostages we know you have….