Making Markets Safe For Democracy And The Generals

     My friend Maximillian, the retired millionaire, took a break from cutting my lawn the other day to smoke a cigarette. Imported, of course, from Turkey, I think.
     “This is the importance of markets,” he announced, waving the cigarette at me. “It’s from Turkey. I have a choice.”
     “Those things will kill you, you know, Max,” I announced back at him. We announce a lot.
     “My choice, my choice. Aunt Freda smoked a pack a day and she lived to be eighty.”
     “That’s not so long.”
     “She would have lived longer if she hadn’t gotten drunk and fallen under the bus.”
     I mulled that over while he took a long drag, undoubtedly to commemorate Aunt Freda.
     “America is making the world safe for markets,” he announced, “and you Democrats and Liberals or whatever you call yourselves these days can’t do a thing about it. Even in Iraq the markets are safe.”
     “You don’t mean that thing with McCain and the body armor and the hundred soliders and five gunships?”
     He looked askance at me. “Well, nobody shot him, did they?”
     He then allowed that perhaps that was not the best example. “But what about the Dora market in Baghdad? General Petraeus has made that safe. Why, they have almost 350 shops open now.”
     “Used to be about 900,” I countered.
     “And then there were none until Petraeus and the surge,” he counter countered.
     “But we have to give each shop $2,500 so they’ll open. And keep troops there.”
     Max stubbed out his cigarette, lit another. “This one’s from England.” He sucked smoke. “Even so, the market works. Shopkeepers selling things. The great tide of commerce remaking the face of Iraq. That’s something to be proud of.”
     “Actually, Max, it was the tide of war.”
     “The same thing, my friend. One coin, two faces, but still a coin.”
     “The shops close at noon. Before, they were open until after midnight. The place was booming.”
     “But they’re making a comeback under our guidance. You have to look on the positive side. We’re making progress.”
     “The military doesn’t let cars in. They body search everybody.”
     “The price of democracy, son.”
     “One store is selling dust. Another sells sand.”
     “See? Entrepreneurs! The American way. The surge is working.”
     “Max, did you ever hear of a Potemkin village?”
     “Nope.” He stubbed out his English cigarette. “Enough of this chitchat. I have to finish your lawn and then get over to old lady Smythe’s house. Time’s a-wasting.”


One Response

  1. LOL. Excellent.


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