Wednesday, April 23, 2003

FRENCH DIPLOMACY IN ACTION - A one-act play

(Or should it be French Diplomacy Inaction?)

Did you hear about Jacques Chirac calling Bush last week - completely out of the blue? I fantasize that it went something like this:


Scene: Oval Office, The White House. The President is by himself, jacket off, tie loosened, shoes off, feet on desk, watching the war on Fox News Channel.

The phone rings once, twice, three times, ...

He turns the volume down on the TV and picks up the phone.


W:Yeah?

Secretary: Mr. President, it's the French President on your private line.

W: No shit? You sure it's not another one of those Los Angeles radio stations?

Secretary: Uh, no sir, it's definitely him. I already had the NSA do a voice analysis, so he's been waiting about 10 minutes.

W: Christ, OK, I'll take it ...

(Stands up and picks up the phone)

This is the President.

JC: George, is that you?

W: Who the hell else do you expect to get when you call this number.

JC: Well, it used to be Ms. Lewinsky, but excuse me, Mr. President, this is President Chirac. How are you this evening?

(Uncomfortable silence)

JC: Mr. President, I would like to talk about Iraq.

W: You're about a month late, Jack.

JC: Yes, yes, I realize how you feel, but the most important part of the War is yet to come.

W: Oh, you mean the putting a couple hundred thousand of your best warriors in harms way part? Or the seeing them tortured and abused on al Jazeera part? Or the bringing the body bags back home part? Or the having to listen to sniveling weasels like you part? What the hell part are you talking about?

JC: I'm sorry you feel that way, but I still believe further inspections and diplomacy could've worked, if we'd only ...

W: (Interrupting) What part, Jack?

JC: Sorry, sorry, I keep having these flashbacks.

I believe that now is truly the time for diplomacy and we French have a tradition of hundreds of years of finely crafted skills in the diplomatic arts. Never forget that all diplomats used to speak French - it was the language of diplomacy.

W: Sure, and the first language in Haiti, a handful of African nations and a bunch of other places you turds fucked up over the past two hundred years.

Get to the point, Jack or I'm outta here.

JC: Mr. President, you must admit that, of all the countries in the World, France has the most experience in dealing with Iraq. We have done business with them from day one. And we know where many bodies are buried, if you know what I mean.

W: I don't, but go ahead.

JC: George, we know who did what, and to whom, and we have pictures - literally.

W: Let's get to Monty Hall time, Jack.

JC: Monty who?

W: Like I said before, get to the point. You obviously want something and you've wasted almost two minutes of my time without telling me what's in it for you.

(Impatiently) WHAT DO YOU WANT?

JC: George, why do you insist on getting to the point! You will never learn. Diplomacy is about discussion.

W: (Screaming) TEN SECONDS, JACK!

JC: OK, OK. As you would say, here's the deal.

France has had on its payroll every prostitute (male and female) in the country of Iraq for many years. Every liason was recorded, most on videotape. You could use these to identify who really knows what because they all liked to talk and brag. You could use them in negotiations with those you've now arrested.

You could (and I can assure you of this) use them to find weapons of mass destruction.

And all I require is that France receive a fair allocation, say 35% of all contracts being awarded for the rebuilding of Iraq. We'd prefer that they be related to the oilfields, but ...

W: STOP! Who gives a rat's ass! I know about your tapes. You think we've been asleep over here, Jack? I've got a tape of just about everything louder than a fart that anyone of any importance in Iraq has ever said to anyone else in the past 15 years. You think we just rely on satellites, you dumb shit.

And let me bring this a little closer to home. You remember what you did on January 22nd this year, a little after 2.00 in the afternoon?

JC: George, I do not know what you mean. I don't remember anything out of the ordinary on January 22nd!

W: Maybe not out of the ordinary for you, but it's been a long time since I jumped into bed with a guy who's the feature performer in Cirque du Soleil ...

JC: Mon dieu! How could you, when, ... why?

W: ... especially in a three-way with John Cretin. Christ, how does he get off claiming he's Canadian? He acts more French than you do. Aw, never mind. You're both road kill, anyway.

Look, Jack, no offense old buddy, but your nickel just ran out and if I were you, I'd be negotiating a good severance package.

All I know is if France wants to supply someone to clean all the friggin' porta-potties in the oilfields in Iraq, you might have a shot at it. Other than that, you'll pardon the pun, you won't get "Jacques shit".

And lose this number.

(Loud sound of phone being hung up.)

JC: Merde!

(Sound of toilet being flushed.)

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