Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Path to Iraq

Being a big-time right-wing blogger, I just received promotional materials and a preview video of ABC's next blockbuster miniseries, "The Path to Iraq."

According to some very fine print in its promotional materials, "The Path to Iraq" is a dramatization that is drawn from a variety of sources. It is not a documentary, but a fact-based docudrama. For dramatic and narrative purposes, the series contains fictionalized scenes, composite and representative characters and dialogue, as well as time compression.

The promotional materials state, and I agree, having watched it in its enirety, that "The Path to Iraq" is a devastating, critical account of the lead-up to the Iraq War; it will spare neither political party in its critical, hard-hitting look at the events leading to America's disastrous decision to invade Iraq.

Here's a description of the opening scenes from the first installment:

[Wide shot of rugged, mountainous terrain. Complete stillness, no humans or animals in sight. Total silence. On the screen, the words: "Tora Bora, Afghanistan. Late November, 2001)

Then a droning sound is heard. The sound grows louder. A plane flies into the shot, flying as low as possible. A figure parachutes out.

The next shot is a closer one of the figure landing, rolling; then standing up and removing the parachute harness. The person is wearing a helmet, which he slowly removes.

Close-up: It's Bill Clinton.

CLINTON's hair blows in the wind. He looks around, surveying the terrain, then breaks into a broad smile.

In the next shot, a small caravan of men in Arab dress is shown approaching CLINTON. The men reach Clinton. A tall, slender man emerges from the group; CLINTON and the tall man embrace warmly, then draw apart. The camera closes in on the tall man: It's Osama Bin Laden.]

CLINTON: Osama! How ya doin', good buddy!

BIN LADEN: Bill, my friend. You honor us with your presence.

CLINTON: Phew, it's been a long time. Ah haven't seen you since we planned that aspirin factory thing. 'Member that?

BIN LADEN: I sure do. [both men chuckle]

CLINTON: Lemme tell ya, Ah caught some heat for that one, boy.

BIN LADEN: So I heard, so I heard. Those Republican politicians in your country, they are not very sympathetic to my cause.

CLINTON: And then there was that other tahm, when some of our boys had you all cornered and then Ah gave the order to let you get away.

BIN LADEN: Yes, yes. We are eternally in your debt.

CLINTON: Well, hey, what's a few favors between friends, raht? Hey, it's been crazy coupla months, huh?

BIN LADEN: Yes, and it will get even crazier, Allah willing.

Come, my brother, let us go to my cave and talk.

[Long shot of Clinton donning Arab headdress and then walking away with the group of men.

The next shots are inside of a cave. The camera pans around inside the cave. Against one wall is a bank of sophisticated-looking electronic equipment. In one corner of the cave several straw mats lie, with copies of the Koran arranged respectfully on a low table. Yet another corner of the cave is lavishly appointed with plush carpets, draperies of fine cloth.]

BIN LADEN: My friend, make yourself at home. [BIN LADEN gestures to large comfortable armchair. Clinton sits. BIN LADEN then sits cross-legged on a small mat on the cave floor. BIN LADEN claps his hands, and a man rushes up and gives Clinton a cup of tea, which Clinton sips].

CLINTON: Aww, this hits the spot. Lemme tell ya, Osama, it's gettin' kinda hairy out there. Our boys are droppin' some big ol' bombs up in here. Ah barely made it here.

BIN LADEN: We are glad you came. You have done so much for us already. But, Bill . . . I am guessing this is not just a social visit.

CLINTON: You got that right. Osama, buddy, Ah came to tell ya that you and your boys best be makin' tracks away from Tora Bora. Time's a-wastin', buddy, they're comin' for ya.

BIN LADEN: The Americans are coming? Here, to this place?

CLINTON: Naw, not the Americans. They're sendin' in some local fellas after ya. But Ah got mah people workin' on some lubricant, ya know, greasin' a few palms, scratchin' a few backs, to slow the locals down. So what Ah'm tellin' ya is there's a window of opportunity for y'all to get on outta here.

OSAMA: I see, I see . . . it will be as you say. We will depart tomorrow, if Allah is willing, and thanks to you we will evade the infidels once again. Bill, you have done so many services for us. So many, many services. It would be impossible to repay you in full, but there is one thing . . . you will stay the night, my friend?

CLINTON: Yeah, they're pickin' me up tomorrow. Hope I can sneak on outta here then.

BIN LADEN: Then, please accept this gift for the night. [BIN LADEN claps his hands again]

[A shapely, young dark-haired woman emerges from behind one of the draperies. She is dressed in harem pants and a form-fitting top; the lower part of her face is hidden behind a diaphonous veil. She crosses the cave and stands before Clinton, head slightly bowed. Her large, dark liquid eyes gaze at Clinton over the veil. Her posture is obedient and respectful]

CLINTON [perking up]: Well, say, Osama! I didn't know you went in for this kinda thing!

BIN LADEN: Normally I don't, but for a true friend such as yourself, Bill, I'm making this exception.

CLINTON [addressing the young woman]: Well, hey there, pretty lady! How old are you, honey?

YOUNG WOMAN [in low soft voice]: Seventeen.

CLINTON: Perfect! Osama, good buddy, thank you kindly. If you don't mind, I think I'll just retire for the night. [Clinton takes the young woman's arm and the two of them walk behind the draperies].

I'll give you a scene from the second installment tomorrow. I promise you, it will be equally raw, hard-hitting, and truthy.

On behalf of ABC, I just ask you not to pre-judge "The Path to Iraq" until you've seen the entire show.


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