U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu indicated in a meeting with reporters Saturday that they were exploring the possible imposition of a no-fly zone over Syria. I managed to reach Secretary Clinton by phone shortly afterward.
BW: Secretary Clinton, the U.S. is a pioneer in this sort of project. You pretty much eradicated the mosquito in the Panama Canal Zone more than a century ago. How difficult do you think it is going to be to eradicate the flies in Syria?
HC: I’m not sure how to answer that. It’s not really about eradicating flies. We have more important things in mind.
BW: So what eradication do you intend?
HC: We want to do it right. The plan would be to stop everything from flying.
BW: My goodness! Even the birds and the bees and the butterflies? It sounds very ambitious.
HC: We’re talking about humans and cargo here, Barb. The idea is to prevent aircraft from flying. It’s for the protection of the Syrian population.
BW: So how would you accomplish this?
HC: By sending in military aircraft, drones and missiles to strike, bomb and strafe the population and installations.
BW: Is that what you call a no-fly zone and protection of the Syrian population?
HC: You don’t understand, Barb. You have to fly aircraft in order to prevent the flying of aircraft, and you have to strike, bomb and strafe Syrians in order to protect them.
BW: You’re right. I guess I don’t understand. How do the Syrians feel about this?
HC: They love it, Barb. They want us to strike and bomb and strafe them.
BW: And you know this…how?
HC: They’ve said so themselves, and especially the Syrians from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the U.S. Of course, the U.S. would never send its own aircraft and combat troops or equipment for this purpose. We provide only nonlethal aid such as maps with suggestions of where best to kill people.
BW: Then where is the equipment made?
HC: Oh, it’s made in the U.S., of course, but we sell or give it to others and then instruct them to give it to Syrians from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the U.S. to be used to protect other Syrians. You can protect a lot more Syrians with a half-tonne bomb than with an automatic rifle, but we let others provide that kind of aid under our guidance so that our hands are clean – speaking of which, I should have stopped by the washroom.
BW: I guess this is a lot different than eradicating mosquitos.
HC: Yes, but eradication is eradication, and as you say, we’ve always been good at it.