Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The New Granita Tapes: Operation Iraqi Slavery


Editor’s Notes
1. This is the transcript of the second part of the 11 September 2002 meeting between Blair, Chirac and Schroeder at the Granita in Islington.
2. I now translate all references to the US Government as “the Americans”. My usage yesterday of the Wehrmacht slang “Amis” confused some readers.

Chirac. (Tapping Gauloise on glass). We are agreed on our plans for the Unholy European Empire and our roles in it, so now we turn our attentions to the Americans. They are preparing an attack on Iraq, the consequences of which will be profound. We must truthfully examine how each of us see them, and how we want to deal with them. Tony?

Blair. (Sincerely). I think that the Americans are OK. Common culture and so on. OK, Bush is right wing & I can’t stand his policies. And the US is even ghastlier than the UK. But 9/11 was terrible and retribution is the only language Johnnie Arab understands. (Chirac & Schroeder wince). They won in Afghanistan when all of my so-called experts said they hadn’t got a chance. I say keep up the good work!

Schroeder. (Emotionally). I cannot disagree more! The Americans have no conception of suffering! To them the price of war is just the death of their young men. To us it is also the slaughter or maiming of millions of innocents. And the rape of mothers, children, sisters…

Blair. (Smiling). Gerhardt, lighten up! Here's the BBC's Joke For Today. There are two men, in a bomber over Berlin, and one turns to the other… (Gerhardt starts sobbing uncontrollably). Whoops, put my foot in it again!

Schroeder. (Sniffing). Millions of powerless innocents were killed or mutilated or violated, all over Europe. I think the American loss of a few thousand people is nothing to what happened in our countries. Germans want war never to happen again!

Chirac. (Solemnly). Well, it takes two to war, and anyway I think war is OK. Death, mutilation and rape of innocents are not bad, if it is in the interests of France. In the 20th century, France directly and indirectly killed perhaps 7 Million from Algeria to Rwanda. Many more than any other free country! This is acceptable because France is the light of the world! If we fall, so does civilization! (Empties wine glass with flourish).

Schroeder, Blair. (Also empty wine glasses and look wide eyed at each other).

Chirac. (Defensively). So, we must agree to disagree on the principles of war. But perhaps we can agree on the economic and cultural front?

Schroeder. (Back in control of self). The Americans threaten us in two ways. First, as they become stronger, so the UEE must become weaker. This is an inevitable consequence of the Common European Fixed Size Cake Zero-Sum Law. Second, the economic damage to the UEE will be great if the Americans succeed in democratizing the Arab nations. We will lose our lucrative trade supplying WSMD (Weapons of Somewhat Mass Destruction) (Ed: Chirac used the French Acronym WDNPGMD, and Schroeder a very long German word that broke Babelfish. But I think the sense is clear). Not to mention we lose our sweet oil deals!

Chirac. (Lighting another Gauloise, coughing). And the Americans continue to thwart us! We beat them in Airliners, Space, and Helicopters. But then they invent new markets (often, I’m sorry to say, with the help of the British). So now we have to control, er exploit, the Internet, Information Technology, Low cost space launch, Biotechnology and Nanotechnology (Ed Note: NanoBugs nanojeer).

Schroeder. (Peering at his fancy new Samsung mobile phone). The trouble is we’re just no good at all this post-industrial stuff the Americans and the Brits keep inventing. One of my staff recently explained peer-to-peer to me. How can you control it? It’s a cancer!

Blair. (Cheerily). No problem my old, I’m abolishing them! (S explains P to P). Oh, sorreee!

Chirac. (Spreading arms). So, let us come together. Tony, do you not agree that, if you support the Americans, it will be hard for you to become President of the UEE? I say this not as a threat, but as a fact. By the time the UEE happens, it will will be over 20 countries. You need their initial support, and most of them do not like America because it liberated them!

Blair. (Looking statesmanlike). You’re right Jacques. I’m sorry chaps, I got carried away.

Schroeder. (Looking Teutonic). So are we agreed, the Americans must fail if we are to succeed. And also, we are agreed that the Americans should not be permitted go to war – either because we oppose them, or because we do not wish them to suffer.

Blair, Chirac, Schroeder. (Mutterings of agreement, clinking of glasses).

Chirac. (Frowning). So now let us turn to Iraq. You may not realize this, but France is the Muslim world’s oldest ally - since1536! We are comfortable with them & do not wish to see their societies overturned, in particular that of our ally and my patron Mr. S Hussein.

Schroeder. (Jumping up). 1536! Swine hound, so that’s why you missed the Siege of Vienna in 1683! (Curses in untranslatable German, then pulls self together). OK, sorry, we must look to the future. So, Tony and I wish to stop the Americans and you Jacques wish to beat them.

Chirac. (Smiling evilly). Correct, and all we need to do is undermine them so that they lose confidence on their ability to go to war with Iraq. When they don’t fight, you two are happy, and by not fighting they lose, so I am happy!

Blair. (Crinkling brow). Ye-es, I think that’s right. So how do we stop them?

Chirac. (Ticking off points on fingers). Easy, face them with another Vietnam. Restrict them to Iraq, then ship in weapons and fighters from no-go areas (Syria & Iran). Attack them only during TV prime time and rely on the US Media to put the worst spin on all setbacks. Hope for an American atrocity, and failing that invent one. Produce an appeasing Democrat (easy - they all are) to take out Bush in 04.

Schroeder. (Uneasily). Of course we do not wish a war to happen, just to present it as a scenario to deter the Americans!

Chirac. (Creepily). But of course!

Blair. (Eagerly). So, no harm done!

Schroeder. (Doubtfully smoothing his hairpiece). But Iraq, Iran and Syria need time to set up the scenario. The Americans will be ready in a few weeks!

Chirac. (Even more creepily). First we make sure that the Americans have bad logistics, by preventing Turkey becoming a base. I will do this with one phone call – if the Turks don’t agree, bye-bye UEE membership! Not that they’ll get it anyway! (All laugh nastily).

Schroeder. (Now laughing, laughing). Then we use the UN! Germany will soon chair the Security Council, so timing is great! Kofi is of course with us (although Jacques, the villas in Antibes must be transferred quickly!).

Blair. (Enthusiastically). And one of us will pretend to ally with the Americans. Then insist that they must first gain UN Security Council approval!

Chirac. (Raising both arms) And then the other two of us will promise to support the Americans, but only after proper UN debate!

Blair. (Excitedly). And of course we’ll renege on our promises, so the Americans won’t get Security Council approval anyway!

Chirac. (Smoothly). Buys us 6 months, easily. Which gives us time to move our WSMD to our friends in Syria. Exactly so! (Glances at Blair). Just in case the Americans go ahead and attack, of course, which they won’t!

Blair. (Doubtfully). I seeee, so we’d really be doing the Americans a favor. Well I’m the one with the Special Relationship, so I guess I’ll have to be the “Ally”, right? Would look good in the polls too, hmmm…

Chirac. (Smacking table). Right! But (and this will not happen), if the Americans do go to war, you Tony will be with them. Then your Army must fight poorly, to avoid casualties!

Blair. (Reassuringly). Don’t worry Jacques; if we end up in a war, the British Army will cock it up. I’ve spent most of the past 5 years’ defense budget on our useless Eurofighter Job Creation Boondoggle (all giggle). So our forces have no equipment! And in the unlikely event they win, I’ll charge them with war crimes! You know, calling prisoners nasty names, that sort of thing.

Schroeder. (Cheering up). And about time too!

Blair. (Earnestly). But I do need your assurances that you’ll stop any war happening. Because I’d really hate to get in Rumsfeld’s bad books for not delivering. Did you know he sits in meetings with a funny laser gadget on his shoulder? Projects three red dots wherever he looks. Often on my nose. Like in the video my kids watch all the time. Prendergast? Pride and Prejudice?

Schroeder, Chirac (in unison). Predator! Don’t worry, Tony, we'll keep you safe from Don! (Giggle together).

Chirac. (Fulsomely). Splendid, magnificent, all agreed. What do we have to do to get a decent French drink around here?

(Ed: At this point the recording ceases, I believe because the waiter put a jeroboam of Mumm Extra Dry Champagne on top of the fragment of Polenta in which NanoBugs were hiding).