It is late one night, and in the Presidential Palace in Damascus, Syria, the Red Phone rings:
PUTIN: Salaam aleikem, Bashar! It seems that we have fooled the World, and particularly the Americans, once again!
ASSAD: Yes, Vlad, we surely have done so! Can you imagine, they think we cannot conceal enough chemical weapons such as nerve gas to exterminate Washington, D.C.!
PUTIN: Watch that stuff about exterminating Washington, Bashar -- that is my job! (laughs) Actually, I like that city -- and anyway I think that Obama and the U.S. Congress do not need any help doing in Washington!
ASSAD: Still, those United Nations weapons inspectors will be a bit of an annoyance, and may cramp my style.
PUTIN: Your style of Genocide is out-of-date, anyway. We stopped that obvious stuff after Stalin died.
ASSAD: Sure, now you former KGB guys use your polonium-poisoned umbrellas -- right out of a bad James Bond flick!
PUTIN: Let us not quibble, Bashar -- we do not want to spoil this triumph over the West and the Americans, do we?
ASSAD: No, Vlad, that is for sure! Besides, I enjoy seeing those pretty new UN vehicles driving around sucking up lots of my good Syrian gasoline with its heavy taxes. So, the UN weapons inspectors will help make me even richer. And meanwhile they could not find their butts with both hands behind their backs! (laughs)
PUTIN: That is a good one, Bashar! I must share it with our Secret Police, the ones we do not have anymore! (laughs)
ASSAD: Was your Foreign Minister Lavrov in on our poison-gas-inspection-and-removal hoax?
PUTIN: What do you think, Bashar? Does a camel have cohones, as they say in your country?
ASSAD: Actually, Vlad, I have never heard that before -- I must share it with my camel-herding pals! But you are mixing your metaphors a mite.
PUTIN: Mixing, Schmixing, who cares? When it comes to world affairs, what we are best at is Nixing -- we have managed to Nix any real prohibition on your future use of chemical weapons. Kerry bought the deal, hook, line, and clinker! Luckily for us, we do not have to worry about Hillary any more until 2016! Otherwise, were she still American Secretary of State, she would undoubtedly have questioned our scheme in Syria.
ASSAD: Hillary in 2016 is likely to be your problem, Vlad, not mine. By then I will be relaxing in Monaco or the Grand Caymans with all of the wealth I have extracted from my own people -- and for fun, laughing at the UN! Come visit me in my Retirement Palace, I am sure that your visit would be a Real Gas! (laughs and hangs up phone)
Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)