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   A lot of people are saying that President Clinton... (April 9, 1996)

A lot of people are saying that President Clinton has declared war on poor Saddam Hussein in order to win the elections.

To check out on this, I interviewed an American tourist in the Taj lobby. "Excuse me, do you think President Clinton has started another war in the Middle East in order to assure himself a second term?"

The American tourist looked as if he was trying to avoid me and said: "No, I have no dollars to exchange. Go away."

"There seems to be some misunderstanding," I said. "I am not a money-changer, I am a reporter."

By this time, the American tourist was joined by his wife. Both were dressed alike, in half pants, T-shirts with messages written on them, Nike, and baseball caps, back to front. The man said to his wife: "This man here is a reporter, dear."

The wife smiled and asked me: "Is you paper in Indian?"

"No, English," I said. "In any case, what I want to know is what do the American people think of the war in the Middle East."

"In the Middle East, there are always wars, people must learn to live together," the wife said.

"Yes, You make friends with what-you-call-them… the Kashmirs, and you'll be all right. Look at the Russians," the husband said.

Their son joined them, a little fellow dressed ditto like his parents. He was carrying a Coca-Cola bottle. "Junior, this gentleman here is a reporter in an English paper," his mother said.

"Aw, go on," said Junior.

"Yes," I said. "So, what I am trying to determine is do the American voters believe that President Clinton has gone to war in order to continue to reside at the White House."

"Oh, the White House, nice place. We saw it last fall when I took the family to Washington for a vacation. But nothing like your President's palace in New Delhi," the husband said.

"Oh, yes, your President has such a super palace," the wife said.

"Thank you," I said. "Now, tell me, do you think military action in Iraq is justified, considering that the Kurdish problem is Iraq's internal affair?"

"Well, I haven't seen the Milwaukee Gazetteer since we've hit India, so I can't say," the husband said. "And I don't know if this hotel has CNN, probably not."

"My husband reads the Milwaukee Gazetteer every morning at home. I must have my Milwauukee Gazetter, he tells me, first thing in the morning," the wife said.

"Tell Junior not to trouble that Indian," the husband said, pointing to Junior talking to some business executive waiting in the lobby.

"You haven't answered my question," I said.

"What question does he want to ask?" the wife asked the husband.

I left at this stage, thinking, if Clinton does win the war, and the elections after that, then the American people deserve the President they get.

 
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