If I were a fly on the wall in the hotel room in Doha, Qatar, where Secretary of State John Kerry was conferring with his staff during his recent shuttle to the Middle East, I presume I would have heard the following:
Kerry: Everything is ready for Cairo tomorrow?
Aide 1: Yes sir, except…
Aide 1: Well, I hope I’m wrong, sir, but the Egyptians sounded a bit unfriendly, to put it mildly.
Kerry: What? Don’t they know I’m coming to make peace in the Middle East?
Aide 1: They know, but they said that anyone really interested in peace in the Middle East doesn’t include Qatar in his tour.
Kerry: Who are they to tell me where I should go? I hope you reminded them who I am.
Aide 1: Yes sir, I did.
Aide 1: Well, sir, I’m afraid I can’t repeat what they said.
Kerry: Say it, man.
Aide 1: Well, they said, err, that you, and actually, all of us, should go and, you know what, Sir.
Kerry: Ungrateful people! After all we’ve done for them.
Aide 1: What exactly have we done for them?
Kerry: I heard that! Anyway, we’ll go there tomorrow, to Itahadiyah Palace, and give them their marching orders.
Aide 1: Definitely, sir, except that there’s more.
Kerry: What now?
Aide 1: I hate to say it, sir, but they said that they are going to search us when we get into the Presidential Palace. And I mean, all of us.
Kerry: What?! No one would dare search the Secretary of State of the greatest power on earth!
The telephone rings.
Aide 1: Sir, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is on the phone.
Kerry: Prime Minister, so good to speak again. Thank you so much for your constructive efforts towards bringing peace to this region.
Some garbled noise from the phone.
Kerry: Now take it easy, Prime Minister, you are talking about one of our best allies in the Middle East, that has been ceaselessly attacked by rockets launched by your friends in Gaza, and is now defending itself…
More garbled noise.
Kerry: Prime Minister, with all due respect, Israel is the only place in the Middle East where they don’t burn American flags, and that includes, if I may, your great country…
Louder garbled noise.
Kerry: Now that’s too much, sir. They’re worse than the Nazis? I understand that you are facing elections soon, but still, such rhetoric… He hung up on me!
Aide 1: Maybe we should reconsider our position in regards to the genocide they committed against the Armenians 100 years ago.
Loud music is heard from outside.
Kerry: What’s going on there?
Aide 1: The guy from the lower floor is having a party.
Kerry: Who is he?
Aide 1: Haled Mash’al, the political leader of Hamas.
Kerry: What? They put us in the same hotel with him?
Aide 1: Indeed; the Qatari government insisted that we get the best hotel in town.
Kerry: How dare he live like a king when his people in Gaza are suffering? And where did he get this money from?
Aide 1: Our experts believe he pocketed some 2 Billion Dollars of the aid to the people of Gaza.
Kerry: What a shame! And what about the rest? The money for housing and infrastructure?
Aide 1: Went down the tube, I mean the tunnels.
Kerry: Disgusting, all these people. Sometimes I miss the good old days in the Senate, where you knew you were dealing with gentlemen.
Aide 1: Sir, Fox News are on the line; they want to know what you are doing here?
Kerry: What am I doing here? Tell them I’m trying to clean the mess their Bushes left here. No, wait, tell them I’m busy.
Aide 1: Sir, they insist. They’re asking what the US policy in the Middle East is.
Kerry: Tell them I’ll get back to them tomorrow. How long is the flight to Cairo? Three hours? Gives us enough time to come up with something.