|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
|The Morning Mendacity
Saturday, February 19th, 2005
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org|
|News item: White House press secretary Scott McClellan said President Bush was moved by the film Hotel Rwanda, and asked to meet with Paul Rusesabagina, the real-life hero on whom the film is based. Mr. Rusesabagina, Manager of the Hotel des Milles Collines in Kigali, saved hundreds of lives by sheltering Tutsi and moderate Hutu refugees during the radical Hutu’s genocidal rampage in Rwanda in 1994. 800,000 civilians are estimated to have been massacred in a mere hundred days. Mr. Bush and his wife Laura, along with National Security Advisor Scott Hadley, met with Mr. Rusesabagina and his wife Tatiana last Thursday – AP.*
Oval Office, The White House, Thursday, February 17, 2005.
“Paul boy! How ya doin? And your lovely wife! An honor to shake hands with you both, yessiree. I sure do admire you Paul. Laura here and me, we watched your movie all the way through, start to finish, and let me tell you it was gripping. Gripping. Didn’t fall asleep once. Couldn’t even eat my popcorn. Your husband is a very brave and a very good man, Ms. Rusa – Rusesababa – Rusabusa – er, Ms. R.”
Paul Rusesabagina, with the polished manners of a European-trained hotelier, inclined his head. “You are very gracious, Mr. President, and it is very good of you and Mrs. Bush to welcome us so kindly. Tatiana and I are so excited to be here. The opportunity is such a great and rare one that I beg your indulgence to allow me to introduce a darker note. It is this: what happened in my country ten years ago is happening today in Darfur. So far tens of thousands have been slaughtered, millions more displaced. Now, famine and more fighting threaten the lives of some four million people. The toll could be far worse than it was in Rwanda. I, we, urge you to give this matter your full attention. A US intervention there now will save many, many lives.”
The President looked at his National Security Advisor. “Scott, help me out here. Darfur? Howzzat? Oh yeah, yeah. The Sudan. Did you know those Sudanese support the terr’ists, Paul boy? Darfur. Scott, you remind me to look into that, won’t you? They got oil in Darfur? But never mind that now. Paul boy, and Ms. er, Ms. R, what’ll ya have? Ice tea, lemonade, a coke?”
The Rusesabaginas looked at each other hopelessly. Paul Rusesabagina shrugged almost imperceptibly and asked for a single malt. The President’s conversation was beginning to make him think he needed one.
“Now, Paul boy, I ‘preciate the way you sheltered those Tutus – what’s that Scott? Tootsies? Like in Tootsie Pops? Or Tutsy frutsy ice-a cream? Whatever. Those little kids sure were cute. Anyhow, you may not know this, but we got a lot in common. Yessir. Back when we had our own slaughter taking place here in the U.S., back in the Sixties – well, it wasn’t strictly speaking HERE in the US, if you get my meaning. But Americans were being slaughtered all right, over in a place called Vee-ett-nam. Maybe you heard tell of it. Anyhow, I didn’t have no luxury hotel at my disposal, the way you did, hey Paul boy? I mean, all those rooms, and a swimming pool, and iced beer and scotch and all what you had. Plus your staff. I liked the way you kept your staff working throughout, yessir. But I digress.”
Paul Rusesabagina drained his glass and held it out for a refill.
“Anyhow” the President continued, “we had to make do with the resources we had. Me and my buddies, we had to be saved from the slaughter. So my daddy fixed it so’s we all got posted to a National Guard unit stateside that wasn’t going anywhere near the fighting, get me? And get this: it was called the ‘champagne unit’, ‘cause the booze just flowed, just like in your hotel – howzzat, Scott? Not now? But Paul boy wants to hear about this, don’t he? Okay, okay. Enough about me, Paul boy. Tell me about Rwanda. You got oil over there?”
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2005
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