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IN OLD DAYS DICTATORS WOULD GET CASH, B-52 AND FLIER MILES, TOO

Since all the morning television shows are doing it, I have decided to hire a panel of political pundits to help explain to my readers what is going on in Washington.

Two of them are twins - Gloom and Doom Lynchpin, the upbeat syndicated columnists. The panel also includes Theda Parrish, "Playboy's Correspondent of the Month," and Salty Benzhoffer, White House stringer for the National Dynamite, the supermarket tabloid with a circulation of 40 million.We decided to have our discussion in my office. I started by asking, "What should we have done about Haiti?"

Gloom spoke first. "I think we should have sent Marion Barry there as High Commissioner. If we had done this before the mayoral primaries we could have solved both the Haiti and the Washington problem at the same time."

Doom disagreed. "No matter what Haiti has done it doesn't deserve Barry. By the same token, no matter what Barry has done he doesn't deserve Haiti."

Theda said, "That's why they would make such a good pair."

I asked Salty, "What do you think?"

"Look, we pay the CIA zillions of dollars to control Fourth World countries like Haiti. If this had been the old days, one of our agents would have gone to the three Haitian strongmen in power and said: `Congratulations, you have each won $30 million in the Publishers sweepstakes. The money will be deposited in a Swiss bank account if you get out of the country in 24 hours. We'll fly you on a B-52 to any warm location in the world and credit your Frequent Flyer mileage account with 5,000 miles."'

Doom asked, "What the American people can't understand is, how can we mount a billion-dollar rescue operation against Haiti, but we are unable to control one street in the Bronx?"

Gloom explained, "The reason for that is we can get our GIs into the Bronx, but we can't get them out."

"Maybe they should send former President Carter, Sen. Nunn and Gen. Colin Powell to 125th Street and talk the gang leaders into giving up," Salty suggested.

Theda said, "Can we please go back to Haiti which, unlike the Bronx, is something Americans can understand. The way to get Haiti on its feet is not to send in soldiers but a battalion of dealers from the Mohawk nation to teach them how to run gambling casinos."

Doom insisted, "I still think that the generals would have given up sooner if we had promised to put them on the `David Letterman show.' "