“Oh oh.”

“What now?”

“Looks like we’re having another ‘They hate our freedoms’ moment.”

“’They hate our freedoms?’ Oh, what Bush said when….”

“Yeah—when 9-11 eleven happened. The definitive answer. And no reporter in that room followed up on it then when he said it or later.”

“They aren’t that crazy about our culture.”

“True that—some. But I would have guessed American, or Western, policy had—I don’t know—something to do with the anger.”

“The propping up of dictators and all that?”

“Saddam was our boy once.”

“I read somewhere that Saudi Arabia is actually worse than Saddam was, as far as individual liberties are concerned.”

“Jordan’s no picnic either. Or Egypt. And these guys are our top buds – well, Muslim buds – in the region. And let’s not forget actually toppling a democratically elected gov or two, using their resources for our benefit mainly, and on and on.”

“So our record in the region isn’t sterling. Is that an excuse to kill three thousand – innocents?”

“Not saying that. Just saying that when you hit someone, a lot of times they hit back. The intelligence community has a term for that.”


“That’s why I like talking to you. You read.”

“I try to stay informed.”

“You should know too then that they expect the blowback. That’s all in the contingency plans. They won’t come on TV and say that. They leave it to the ‘journalists…’”

“Please don’t do that quote mark thing with your fingers. Very annoying.”

“My bad. But they leave it to the reporters to give us the narrative of pure evil. Jamal wants to blow you up because he has this thing for a screwing a lot of virgins together.”

“You’re not saying it’s not evil – a lot of what they do?”

“What are you – from Fox or CNN?”

“Ha. I could be from the CIA.”

“There’s a dif? Hey, the response could be, is often, very evil, very barbaric.”

“Like the cutting off of heads? ISIS. I get it. The new ‘They hate our freedoms’ moment.”

“I mean, ‘What’s wrong with those dudes? They had a bad day or something? From whence does all that evil come?’”

“Let me take a stab—policy.”

“Shock and Awe is more than a phrase, you know. A lot of them were killed, well, because they didn’t like somebody’s freedoms, or somebody was mean to somebody’s daddy or whatever. That oil? Incidental. But they were bombed and people died—many of them, uh, innocents. The ISIS dudes are Sunnis barred from or thrown out of power after the smoke cleared—momentarily.”

“The Shia we helped become prime minister didn’t help much.”

“It’s so hard finding a good puppet these days. Now, these are some obviously crazy motherfukas but crazy motherfuckas barred from access—in no small reason because of us.”

“A lot they’re killing they see as traitors, right?”

“I can think of only one group that doesn’t go after traitors.”

“Don’t get started now. So where do you think this is headed?”

“Oh, we’ll keep bombing.”

“And up the threat of…”

“Blowback. Hey, I just report this stuff.”