When it comes to “blue eyed soul” music, Michael Bolton comes to mind. To the point that the joke among young bachelors is that listening to him is a manifestation of getting jilted or being enamoured head over heels. Wonder what lightning bolt struck to unscrew the cerebral bolt of the other Bolton, the John type, to being diametrically opposite of the Michael type. For the US National Security Advisor is “almost certain” that Iran is behind the attacks on oil tankers off the UAE coast. Being a lawyer, he is prudent in using the word “almost”, whereas an excessive C.A.R.B. (Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Bush) diet consisting of Rice (not Basmati, but the Condoleezza type) resulted in not an “almost”, but a confirmed Ulcerative Colitis, affecting the lining of the large intestine, a.k.a., the colon, or rather, the Colin (Powell type) to present the case of WMDs with the good old Microsoft Power Point.
But Power Point slides are too much work for President Donald Trump. Hence, direct action—the strategic Strait of Hormuz is now under the watchful eyes of President Trump’s straight (after his middle finger to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) military. Maybe he’s inkling for a conflict—after all, he is one US president, unlike most of his predecessors, who needs to put military experience on his resume, after his bone spur got in the way of him going to Vietnam that became a bone of contention. Trump was in an Ivy League while his nine-year senior John McCain (whom Trump is still not allowing to rest in peace by saying he is no war hero for being captured) languished in the grimy league of an obscure and bleak prison in Vietnam.
So, POTUS is playing catchup in war games, being high on Diet Coke while reading the Iranian Nights. Unlike McCain, he is not a professional soldier and a professional in uniform is not only taught how to fight, but is also taught how not to get into a fight.
But doesn’t Trump, also high on trade wars, know that war costs money? Hey, Uncle Sam just came out of a 35-day government shutdown! Then again, there are some things that money can’t buy. For everything else, especially to foot the bill for Trump putting his foot in his mouth, there is Saudi Arabia.
Speaking of which, perhaps the Iranian President and MBS (Mohammed Bin Salman) can get together for iftar or maybe an Eid get together. I know neither would want to be together in either Tehran or in Riyadh, so why not a third, neutral place like the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul for each other’s “undivided” attention?
Nah, the Arab neighbours don’t trust, nor understand each other. After all, it is up to the Muslim nations to view Muslims as divided as opposed to the West seeing the Muslims as one—terrorists.
But we still hope, especially in the spirit of the remaining days of Ramadan, that restraint will prevail. It is heartening to see President Donald Trump, after his indoctrination on Islam courtesy of Fox and Friends followed by a Muslim ban, throwing an iftar party at the White house. Granted it had the Trump touch with no invitations going out to any Muslim organisations (which they would have declined anyway), thus making it look like a Carne Asada party with only vegetarians invited. Yet, he still reiterated while breaking fast with Muslim diplomats (lawmakers Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib were absent, surprise, surprise…): “[Ramadan] is a time of charity, of giving and of service to our fellow citizens and one in which to become closer as families and communities.”
So, President Trump and President Rouhani, it is the time of service to our fellow citizens of the world in which to become closer as families and communities of all ideologies. Unless, in the month of restraint, there is the lustful desire for Operation Desert Stormy Daniels…
Naveed Mahbub is a former engineer at Ford & Qualcomm USA, the former CEO of IBM & Nokia Networks Bangladesh turned comedian (by choice), the host of ATN Bangla’s The Naveed Mahbub Show and the founder of Naveed’s Comedy Club.
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