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Mr. Benjamin, PhD University of Pennsylvania, is a retired professor of history (Foreign Policy and International Relations). He is the author of A Student's Guide to History.

Intercept of walkie-talkie conversation between Ben Laidon and several assorted evildoers.

Ben – Bush’s inconsistencies are driving me crazy.  If we tell our terrorists to go back to their jobs at various ministries, body counts will go down.  Bush will then tell the American people that the Crusader team is winning and that just a few more Democracy bombs will bring victory.  So, if we lay low, the U.S. will not withdraw.

Evildoer #1 – What does this “victory” mean?

Ben – In their strange language, Victory means never having to say you have “cut and run.”

Evildoer #2 – What is this “cut and run” tactic?

Ben – I’m not sure but it must have something to do an American aversion to stabbing a victim but then running away instead of finishing him off.

Evildoer #3 – That sounds pretty cruel!

Ben – Americans are so averse to cutting and running that they will do anything to prevent it.  Their favorite tactic is to equate cut and run with defeat.  Since they define Victory as the opposite of Defeat (note how hung up they are on these Crusader terms), they must always be on their way to Victory.

Evildoer #1 – But if we stop our attacks, the Americans will say they are on their way to Victory.  If this is what they want, why should we assist them?

Ben – The Occidental mind is not very rational.  I am suggesting a tactical retreat to lure the Americans into thinking that they are winning.  They will smell Victory and will be able to exorcise the cut and run demon.  The longer they stay in Iraq, the more time we have to finish our fleet of row boats.

Evildoer #2 – If the Iranians have promised us an a-bomb, why do we spend time building boats?

Ben – To follow them across the Atlantic when they leave.

Evildoer #3 – Oh.

Ben - On the other hand, we could follow the strategy of increasing our attacks.  This would lead Bush to conclude that we were Democratic Party operatives.

Evildoer #1 – Huh?

Ben – The Americans believe that all politics is local.  If Democrats call for withdrawal from the insane position into which their neoCons have placed them, then Bush will call them the Party of cut and run.  Endless TV commercials will be created with this devastating “message.”  So, if we increase our attacks, Bush will insist on what Americans call “staying the course.”

Evildoer #2 – But won’t this also keep him from withdrawing? 

Ben – As I said before; the American mind in inscrutable.

Evildoer #3 – But then the Americans will stay in Iraq no matter what we do?

Ben – Fortunately, yes.  You see, the war in Iraq is not about us.  Its about standing tall and spreading weapons.  Also, I guess you know that our psychiatrists report that the Americans are heavily addicted to oil.  No wonder their strategies don’t make sense.

Evildoer #1 – So what should we do?

Ben – Since most of our recruits, money and weapons come from the Bagdad government that the U.S. keeps in power, we must at all costs keep the Americans in Iraq.

Evildoer #2 – That sounds easy to do.

Ben – yes, unless the American pull out their most powerful weapon.

Evildoer #3 – What is that?

Ben – we are not sure yet.  All we have heard are certain cryptic messages about something called “grass roots.”

[Signal lost at this point.]



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