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Satire: Conversations with the Enemy By: Judith Weizner
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, May 19, 2004

OK, Ahmed, please have a seat right here. You'd rather stand? Yes, I know the new directive says I can't put you into any stressful physical positions, but sitting on a sofa is hardly stressful. All right, so sit on the floor.

Now. We want you to tell us where you put the bombs. We know you put them somewhere. Where?

Well, for one thing, if you tell us, you'll feel better. You'll know you've done the right thing. Isn't it important in your religion to do the right thing? Doesn't it tell you not to kill innocent children? If these bombs go off, innocent children will die. Maybe even some Muslim children. So you can see it is really doing the right thing to tell us where they are so we can prevent that.

That's debatable. Think. The children you kill may be your own. No?  No children.  Well, think of your family, then. Your wife.  No wife. Your parents.  Surely you have parents. Dead, are they? Well, a pet, a favorite camel.You wouldn't want anything to happen to her, would you?

Yes, unfortunately, that's right. In a certain sense, I can't make you talk.  But in the absolute sense, no one can ever really make anyone else do anything, now can he? It has to come from within.

That's right, I'm not allowed to deprive you of sleep.  No, I'm not allowed to hit you. I can't even yell at you. But why would I want to do that when I know that deep down, you really want to help me prevent this catastrophe for your own people. It will be, you know.  When those bombs go off, you'll get the United States really mad at you and there's no telling what may happen then. So why don't you just give me a hint?

I have an idea.  Let's play a game.  I'll name a continent and if you don't blink I'll know the bombs aren't there. Asia. Europe. North America. Aha! North America. Now.  I'll name some countries and if you don't blink I'll know there aren't any bombs there either.

What do you mean you don't want to play?  No, I don't think it's a stupid game. One way or another you have to tell me where you put the bombs.

Now, as I said before, I will name some countries and you will only blink if that is where the bombs are. Don't you understand - I'm giving you a way to save face. This way your friends will never need to know you gave up information. You can still honestly tell them you didn't talk, even under duress.

OK.  Ready? - the United States. Open your eyes. You only have to blink, not shut your eyes. Open up. I can't tell what you intend to tell me if you keep your eyes closed. It will go a lot better for you if you cooperate with me, Ahmed. I can get very testy when people don't cooperate.

You don't get it, do you? I have power over you. I can keep you here for the rest of your miserable life. I can make that life hell. Just think - you tell me where the bombs are and I let you go home. Doesn't that sound good to you?  If you have to stay here I can see to it that you lose your cable privileges. And you never know but that the chef might decide to over-cook the por..I mean lamb chops. Do you think you're man enough to handle that? Dry lamb every day for the rest of your life? Where did you put the bombs?

Look. If you blow up America you'll destroy all those SUV's and you'll lose a big part of the market for your oil. Do you want that? What do you mean you don't care? These bombs cost money, you know.  Maybe you don't get it because you're just a low-level bomb-carrier, but somebody has to pay for those and you can bet he cares. Yes, low-level. That's exactly what you are. Don't kid yourself. You're no big deal. Nobody cares about you, Ahmed.

No, that is not what they mean by name-calling. I can tell you all day long that nobody cares about you, not even your camel, and you just have to sit there and take it.

And another thing - if those bombs go off and all the Americans are dead, whom will you hate then, hmm?  Have you ever thought about that?

I didn't think so.  Now we're getting somewhere.  Where did you put the bombs?

No, I hadn't looked at the clock. Well, don't think I'm finishe d with you, Ahmed. I'm going to be seeing you again right after your massage.

Judith Weizner is a columnist for Frontpagemag.com.

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