What was that recent Middle East conference at Annapolis all about? I'll tell you what it was about. It was about waving red meat at tigers, knowing full well that they would never be able to reach it. Teasing caged tigers? A BAD idea. "But there's a CAGE around them," cries George Bush. "They are behind bars. They are helpless. I can do whatever I want." No, George, this isn't the same as when you were a child and you put firecrackers in frogs' mouths and blew them up. These are TIGERS, for goodness sakes. Stop teasing the tigers.
Every time a Palestinian child is deprived of an education, you are creating a tiger. Every time an Iraqi child misses a meal, you are creating a tiger. Every time a child on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border is orphaned, you have created a tiger that is starving and tormented and blinded with rage. Sure you got nuclear weapons and tanks and Howitzers and machine guns and tasers and prisons and ways to limit food supplies and ways to cut off amenities and steal oil and bomb the be-Jesus out of refugee camps and set loose the Janjiweed and instigate Shock and Awe. You can do all that. You can create tigers and then you can tease them. Why not? They're in a cage.
But wouldn't it be far better to make FRIENDS with these tigers? To feed them and treat them nice? Or better yet, stop creating these tigers altogether. Stop producing more and more tigers just looking for any opportunity to pounce. Every time you deprive a child of safety and stability and trust and learning and love, you are not just teasing a tiger, you are CREATING a tiger. Not a good idea.
Yes, George, I DO realize that Arabs aren't tigers. But it still would be a good idea if you stopped poking sticks at them. Why? Because someday you too will be behind bars -- and then you too will know how it feels to be teased and tormented. And when -- not if -- this finally happens, all of your weapons and money and power won't be able to save you....
- Photo: The slums of Kabul -- where there are very few standpipes for water and they burn tires in kilns to make bricks