posted on Mar, 27 2003 @ 04:56 AM
The room is warm and cosy.A wood fire burns in the hearth and before the fire a dog stretches lazily on a fur rug.
Two men enter the room.The dog looks up and then gets to its feet,one of the men is the dog's master and the dog greets him.The casually dressed
Texan reaches down and strokes his dog around the ears.The dog wags his tail as his master tells him he is a "good boy".The dog looks up at the
other man with him.He is an Englishman who is wearing a suit.The suit is creased from a long airplane journey.The Englishman looks down at the dog
with a tired smile but he does not stroke the dog because he is worried about hairs on his suit.Having greeted his master the dog returns to the rug
where,stretched out once more,he watches his master and the Englishman sit in two comfortabley upholstered armchairs.The Texan,the Englishman,and the
dog face each other in a triangle.
George/I hope you had a good journey.
Tony/Well,As good as any.A bit stormy over the Atlantic and a little turbulence just before we landed.
George/We have no control over the weather.If we did we wouldn't have that mess over in Iraq.
The two men paused.Normally,on these occasions, there was a little more small talk but events were pressing and uppermost in both men's minds.
George/You've read the latest military reports?
Tony/Yes,We received a copy an hour before landing I finished reading it in the car journey here.
There was no point in recriminations now.Both men knew they were shackled together on this one and breaking the shackles now,as the Englishman
knew,would only be more damaging in the long run.
George/I've already talked to my Defence boys.I'm sending another 30,000 over,mainly Heavy Armour.I know it's early and you havn't had much time
to think about it but I would apreciate it if you could find another 5,000.They wouldn't have to be front line fighting men but if we could put them
in to Uum Qasr and other towns that we will take it will free up those Marines that we both have down there.It's important that the American people
know that you're still with us on this.We can't blink now Tony.
Tony/It's leaving me a bit tight George.The British people think that the 40,000 we've deployed already are about one third or even a quarter of our
fighting army.It's nothing like that.I'll talk to my Staff.I might be able to stretch to it but too many more and people back home are going to
start noticing the gaps.
The Englishmen looked tired.The Texan did genuinly feel sorry for him."America",he thought,"really didn't have a better ally than this man but it
was important to win this quickly and then afterwards Britain would find out how America treated it's true friends,just as others would find out how
America dealt with those who crossed it."
Tony/George you're going to have to give me something to take home. I need something for the British people.
George/I thought you'd won that vote in your Parliment?
Tony/That vote,Yes,but there will be others.I can't rely forever on Parliament,especially if this goes on too long.
I need this roadmap published George.I need Europe to see us moving on the Arab/Israeli problem.
George/I'm ready Tony.I've even talked to Sharon on this and he's ready too.We're just waiting on this new guy Abbas to get his administration up
and running and we're going to publish it.I thought we were agreed on that?
Tony/Sharon seems to undermining it in public.Besides, we agreed that as soon as Abbas was named Prime Minister we would publish,then you said only
last week that we'd publish when he had formed a Cabinet,now I seem to sense that you want to go further and wait until the Administration is up and
running.George,we can't be seen to be moving the goal post.This is important.
George/Look,Sharon is just playing to his domestic audience,he's got problems too,you know?I've talked to him and he knows that this is all
inevitable.But he needs to reassure his people that this new administration is going to be effective in stopping these terrorist attacks.He needs a
small probationary period with no violence and Tony,I'll level with you,I think that's fair.No democraticlly elected leader should go into
negotiations while threatened by bombs.
Tony/George,I understand Sharons position,I really do,but these roadmap negotiations can not be put on hold indefinitely.We can not put a
settlement,that will calm the entire region,on hold because of one or two suicide bombers.We can not give a handful of extremists the power to decide
if there will be peace for tens of millions of people all across the Middle East.
George/OK,I hear what you are saying.I'll talk to my people.I'd rather not announce anything new on this Tomorrow.Right now Israel is living in the
shadow of a imminent Chemical threat.Let's leave things as they stand for now,but Tony,I want you to know that I understand what you're saying.
Tony,Are you OK?You look tired.
Tony/It's been along day already.Prime Ministers Question Time before I flew out.
George/Perhaps you should get a little sleep before dinner.We,ve got plenty of time to talk about this.
The Englishmen nodded and both men rose from the comfortable chairs.The dog looked up without rising and watched the two men walk to the door and
leave the room.
With a deep breath the dog settled before the wood fire and slept dreaming of rabbits.