Money Isn’t Everything, but It’s Mighty Handy if You’ve Been Kidnapped in Iraq

My very last consultation last Friday was “Ahmed.” That’s what he calls himself, and since he invariably pays cash, I couldn’t care less what his real name is. Historically, he’s been a very, very good customer – no matter how much I charge, he always pays up. And every time he calls to book an… Continue reading Money Isn’t Everything, but It’s Mighty Handy if You’ve Been Kidnapped in Iraq

Captain America in the Turkey Coup – A Confederacy of Gobblers

My eleven o’clock consultation on Friday morning was with Vice President Joe Biden. He’s a very busy fellow, of course, and it’s hardly practical for him to visit my office, what with the Secret Service detail and all of the security issues involved. So he called, naturally. Biden: Hello, Tom? Tom: Good morning, Mr. Vice… Continue reading Captain America in the Turkey Coup – A Confederacy of Gobblers

Al-Abadi Embarks on the Iraqi Road from Ramadi to Mosul – and Beyond

Monday morning, Dr. Telhas T’zee Yasharmouta al-Feekah, Chief Policy Attaché Without Portfolio at the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq, arrived at my office for a consultation. The discussion scheduled was supposed to be about restructuring Iraqi petroleum policy, but as he morosely settled into the tastefully upholstered chair in front of my desk, it… Continue reading Al-Abadi Embarks on the Iraqi Road from Ramadi to Mosul – and Beyond

Gulf States to Take Action on Refugee Crisis

As regular readers of this Web log know, Gretchen and I make special preparations for visits from my client “Ahmed.” These involve scheduling him as the last consultation on a Friday, preferably before a long weekend such as this one, which includes Labor Day on Monday, installing new filters in the office air purification system,… Continue reading Gulf States to Take Action on Refugee Crisis

Gangrenous Middle East Begins to Reek

Saturday afternoon about three o’clock, I was alone at home in Great Falls, reclined on the couch with my cat Twinkle nestled in my lap, enjoying the latest edition of The Atlantic Monthly. (Yes, Virginia, there are still people who subscribe to literary magazines.) My landline rang, and Caller ID indicated it was Telhas’teeze al… Continue reading Gangrenous Middle East Begins to Reek