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Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt
Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt
President Hosni Mubarak to his security forces: ‘Unleash the gangs on horseback and camels to break up the demonstrations. They’ll never guess that they’re following my orders. They’ll be seen as my loyalists.’ (Sinister laugh)
Head of Security Forces: ‘Yes Sir.’ (Salutes and exits the room)
Mubarak picks up the phone on his desk and dials.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: ‘Hello.’
Mubarak: ‘Hey Mahmoud, it’s Hosni. I’m having a bit of a problem here in Egypt, and was wondering if you have any advice for me?’
Ahmadinejad: ‘Yeah, I can relate. Well, let’s see, I was able to pummel the protesters of the June 2009 elections – which we all know were democratic (laughs) – with my reliable basij militia. Oh, and I also authorized snipers to kill individuals, including Neda Agha-Soltan.’
Mubarak: ‘I know. I saw the film ‘For Neda’ on YouTube, and I was very impressed. I like your tactics Mahmoud, but unfortunately, I rely too much on US foreign aid, and Barrack is shaking his finger at me. I wish I could assign snipers on the rooftops. But, I instructed my gangs to break a lot of bones, like the Israelis did during the first Intifada.’ (Sighs) ‘You know, it was a lot easier when we could always blame Israel for everything.’
Ahmadinejad: ‘I know what you mean. But what you’re doing right now in Tahrir Square is not too bad; just try to pummel them as hard as you can.’
Mubarak: ‘I will. If there’s anything we’ve learned from British colonialism is the old divide-and-conquer tactic.’
Both men burst into laughter.
Mubarak: ‘I also instructed my men to go after the **** journalists. The American CNN reporter Anderson Cooper got beaten today.’
Ahmadinejad: ‘Anderson Cooper, yes, he is remarkably handsome.’
Mubarak: ‘Mahmoud, remember, you stated publicly that there are no gays in Iran.’
Ahmadinejad: ‘Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me. Hosni, I’m rooting for you – go get ‘em.’
Mubarak: ‘Thanks, Mahmoud. I will crush them.’
Mubarak ends the call, and then dials another number.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin: ‘This is Vlad.’ (In heavy, serious voice)
Mubarak: ‘My friend Vlad, it’s Hosni.’
Putin: ‘Hello Hosni. How’s the sun in Sharm el-Sheikh? I’m sure the water is warm.’
Mubarak: ‘The sun is very bright, but I really can’t go outside because of the security situation that the damn protesters have caused. Say Vlad, I have a couple of thorns in my side, one of them is Mohamed Elbaradei, another one is potentially Amr Moussa, and Ayman Nour and Saad-eddin Ibrahim. I really want to take care of these thorns. Can you spare some of the radioactive poison that killed Alexander Litvinenko? I could really use some.’
Putin: ‘I’ll look into it.’
Mubarak: ‘Thanks buddy. Talk to you later.’
Mubarak ends the call, and then dials again.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il: ‘This is the Dear Leader.’
Mubarak: ‘Hi K, it’s the Pharaoh. How’s it going?’
Kim Jong Il: ‘Not too bad at my end, my friend.’
Mubarak: ‘I saw with great admiration how you anointed your son for succession.’
Kim Jong Il: ‘It’s easier here since we are a totalitarian state. All you Middle Eastern authoritarian leaders really need to learn from us.’
Mubarak: ‘I agree. Do you have any advice about how to deal with the Western pressures?’
Kim Jong Il: ‘Just announce that you have nuclear weapons, and everyone should back off.’
Mubarak: ‘That’s a great idea, K. I’ll even announce that we have deployed nuclear warheads on camel-back, and I’ll threaten to unleash the camels in the streets of Cairo.’
Kim Jong Il: ‘Camel-nukes! I wish we had so many camels.’
Mubarak: ‘I’ll send you some, K.’
Kim Jong Il: ‘Thanks. I see you have borrowed some of my policies about letting people go hungry and depriving them of socioeconomic development.’
Mubarak: ‘Yeah, K, I promise to give you credit as my inspiration. You know I couldn’t go all the way like you did, because I rely too much on US foreign aid.’
Kim Jong Il: ‘I know, that is your one weakness. But, I’m sure you’ll find a way around the human rights nonsense.’
Mubarak: ‘Thanks for your support, K. Talk to you later.’
The call ends, and Mubarak dials again.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia: ‘Yes?’ (Sound of chewing food)
Mubarak: ‘Abdullah, it’s Hosni.’
King Abdullah: ‘Hosni, my brother, you really need to conduct public beheadings. That will shut them all up.’
Mubarak: ‘Believe me, I wish I could. How’s your arthritis? My joints are really aching. I’m turning 83 in May. I’m so excited about my upcoming birthday. I asked my wife to get me suitcases of cash.’
King Abdullah: ‘I’ll be 87 this year. I’m sure I can go on forever.’
Mubarak: ‘You’re singing my song!’
King Abdullah: ‘We’re not allowed to sing here.’
Mubarak: ‘What should I do about the American and Western pressure?’
King Abdullah: ‘It’s too bad you don’t have a lot of petroleum like we do. If we’re threatened, we just snap our fingers and the Americans come to our defence.’
Mubarak: ‘We have the pyramids.’
King Abdullah: ‘Can you market them as a commodity that no one can live without?’
Mubarak: ‘I am the Pharaoh after all, I’ll find a way.’
King Abdullah: ‘Good. Are the casinos still open in Cairo? My nephew and his friends want to gamble – they got the urge baaaad.’
Mubarak: ‘The main casinos are closed, but I will arrange to set one up especially for him and his friends here in Sharm. Does he need anything else?’
King Abdullah: ‘A few sex slaves would be good. Make sure some are adult males, he likes to beat them to death inside elevators.’
Mubarak: ‘Consider it done. Bye.’
The call ends. Mubarak puts his feet on top of his desk and leans back in his chair, puffing on a cigar.
Somewhere in Europe, a group of nongovernmental organizations are meeting in crowded offices.
One of them picks up the phone and dials.
International Court of Justice: ‘Hello.’
NGO Coordinator: ‘Yes, we are a group of NGOs with countless Egyptian activists and lawyers, and we wish to demand an arrest warrant for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. We want justice to prevail.’
Dr. Hayat Alvi is an Associate Professor at the US Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island and the views expressed are her own. Email.
As part of its editorial policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spelling and date formats to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND.Editor, MEI@ND: P R Kumaraswamy