Brother Socrates and Kids: The War in Iraq

Zulfiqar Haiderali

A Platonic dialogue inspired by Ibn-e-Insha's Urdu Ki Aakhri Kitaab (circa 1971) that was retracted by the "editors" of over bizarre protests from some "readers."

Brother Socrates engages kids in a dialogue, answering their innocent questions regarding the War in Iraq, Osama Bin Laden, ISI, the House of Saud, etc.

Q) Brother Socrates, why everyone hates America these days?

A) Because America invaded Iraq and got rid of Saddam Hussain.

Q) Why did America do that?

A) Because America said Saddam was going to attack America.

Q) Was Saddam going to attack America?

A) No. Saddam could only attack Kuwait .

Q) Why did Saddam attack Kuwait?

A) Because Saddam said Kuwait was his breakaway province and wanted it back.

Q) Is America also an Iraqi breakaway province?

A) No. America is the world's most powerful country.

Q) So why did America think Saddam was going to attack it?

A) Because America thought Saddam had nasty WMDs.

Q) Was America scared of nasty WMDs?

A) No. America has more nasty WMDs than the rest of the world combined.

Q) Then why was it scared of Saddam?

A) It was not.

Q) Then why did America get rid of him?

A) Because "the world is a better place without Saddam."

Q) Was the world a less better place with Saddam?

A) Saddam didn't matter then.

Q) What mattered then?

A) Osama Bin Laden.

Q) Why did he matter?

A) Because he killed thousands of Americans in their own country.

Q) Why did he do that?

A) Because Americans were stationed in Saudi Arabia .

Q) Why were Americans stationed in Saudi Arabia?

A) Because the House of Saud had asked them to.

Q) Why did the House of Saud want Americans in Saudi Arabia?

A) To save it from Saddam.

Q) Was Saddam also going to attack the House of Saud?

A) He was stopped from doing that.

Q) By who?

A) By America.

Q) So Bin Laden wanted Saddam to attack Saudi Arabia to remove stationed Americans?

A) No, Bin Laden hated Saddam.

Q) Then why did Bin Laden want Americans stationed in Saudi Arabia out?

A) Because Bin Laden said the Americans were protecting the House of Saud.

Q) Does Bin Laden hate the House of Saud?

A) Actually the House of Saud gave Bin Laden all the wealth he has.

Q) So now Bin Laden hates the House of Saud only because Americans are stationed in Saudi Arabia?

A) No, all stationed Americans are now out of Saudi Arabia.

Q) So no one hates the House of Saud anymore?

A) No, both America and Bin Laden hate it now.

Q) Why Americans hate House of Saud now?

A) Because now Americans think it financially helped Bin Laden kill Americans.

Q) And before this America thought House of Saud wasn't helping Bin Laden?

A) Yes. Before this, America thought Taliban in Afghanistan were helping Bin Laden. So, America invaded Afghanistan to catch Bin Laden and throw out Taliban.

Q) Did America find Bin Laden?

A) No, but it caught hundreds of illegal combatants.

Q) What are those?

A) Pakistanis who are not loyal to Pakistan .

Q) Who are they loyal to?

A) Taliban.

Q) Why?

A) Because Pakistan helped create Taliban.

Q) Why?

A) Because Pakistani army needed strategic depth against India .

Q) What is that?

A) Only the ISI knows that.

Q) And what is ISI?

A) Indians think it's the mother of all evil.

Q) So Taliban were created by Pakistan?

A) Pakistan, America and Saudi Arabia.

Q) So where are Taliban now?

A) In Pakistan.

Q) What do they do in Pakistan?

A) They kill everyone who is not Taliban.

Q) Why aren't they in Saudi Arabia or America which created them too?

A) Because Pakistan has more people to be killed more easily.

Q) So Pakistanis hate them?

A) The 'silent majority' does.

Q) Did America find Bin Laden?

A) No. But that was not important.

Q) Why?

A) Because attacking Iraq was more important.

Q) Why?

A) To get rid of Saddam, remember?

Q) Didn't anyone ask America not to?

A) They tried, but America shut them up.

Q) What did America say?

A) America said "you're either with us or against us."

Q) What does that mean?

A) It means Osama Bin Laden had a low shelf-life.

Q) What is shelf-life?

A) It means not worth stretching till 2004.

Q) What does that mean?

A) It means Bush 2004

Q) What is Bush 2004?

A) That depends on Iraqi Governing Council.

Q) Why does it depend on Iraqi Governing Council?

A) Well, it also depends on Al-Qaeda.

Q) What has Al-Qaeda got to do with the Iraqi Governing Council?

A) That is right. They had nothing to do with each other.

Next time, Aflatoon Bhai and kids discuss right-wing revivalism, ethno sectarian religious hatred and Prime Minister Jamali's favourite dessert.