Thursday, June 19, 2014

Iraq Faux Pas: The Next Trick

by Meg Sonata

A friend of mine used to say, “Now, for my next trick....” when he dribbled hot sauce on his favorite tie. The purpose of this phrase becomes obvious: deft recognition that the speaker has committed a faux pas, a social error that cuts the speaker from his gang's pool and holiday parties.

French may offer the international language of diplomacy, but in American English, the art of speaking the truth slant becomes poetry, the achievement of Emily Dickinson, a spinster who never traveled to Iraq or presumed she knew how Iraqis should celebrate their social events.

God knows—in whatever language He speaks now in the West—Senator Dianne Feinstein could use a translator for her proclamations. As reported by CNN, she declared: “The Maliki government, candidly, has got to go if you want any reconciliation," under their headline: “Chorus grows for al-Maliki to go.”

So, we're speaking “candidly” now? Okay, let's begin by acknowledging we've heard this chorus before. We heard the ranting rise—let's see, how long is the list?--over Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Libya—and, if we're speaking “candidly,” that same chorus now grows for US leaders to be more than bobble-heads.

Yes, while job openings may appear slim, there's always an opportunity for Mr. or Ms. Fix-it in the US. Now, credentials for this position in Iraq remain the question: How many Americans know World History back to the seventh century? How about the Roman Empire? You good on that, too?

Grievances in the Middle East run clear back to the Great Pyramids. These include whether they should still be standing, who should stand over them waving a banner, and who has a right to export wonders of the ancient world—from East to West, and even West to West.

Step forward, applicants for the Mr./Ms. Fix-It position in Iraq. Oh please, lecture us again. We are holding our breath to see how many sentences you can construct with out-sourcing to shock and awe us. A competition for faux pas comes with the territory; the records for faux pas are just outstanding!