Superman Returns: Muds of the Gulf

(A new production of an old Movie)

– Ok, here we go again. Get that same old script.

– Script? What script?

– That only one we’ve been using for the past 250 years! What’s with you? Don’t you see that it has always worked for us; why do we even bother to think of another script if this one, on the shelf there, is working perfectly! You know what they say: “If it is not broken, do not fix it”!

OK, here’s how it goes. This is a Play. We have made so many wars and movies around it that we mastered it, especially that we constantly play the same role. With little touches here and there, and we’re good to go. The Play always revolves around four characters. First, you need a hero; a Superman who flashes in the sky and fly in to beat the heck out of the villain. Then, you need our friend the villain who bullies and scares everybody with his speeches and weapons. Still, the Play can’t work without victims; Nations whom we can terrify and scare using the villain. Last, but not least, of course, you need an audience to watch the Play; those would add a twist of excitement to the show with their ‘OHs’ and ‘Ahs’, objections and approvals, and pointless analysis.

Now get moving, you know how this works. How? Darn; so, we want money. Yes, more money than what we already have! How to get that money?! What do you mean how to get that money? Of course we do what we are best at, we create wars. Wars that are not meant to be won, rather that aim to drain the money and resources of scared Nations, leaving them so weak that they cannot live without our protection anymore. What? Still not clear?

OK, let me refresh your memory. In order to get someone to pay you easy money, you need to scare the heck of them using a terrifying enemy. This enemy need not be for real, but with propaganda and a good deal of lies, you can easily turn a peaceful Angel into a fire spitting Dragon; trust me on that.  So, the same logic applies to Nations. If you want to get easy money from a Nation, they need to be terribly afraid of another Nation that is so seemingly ferocious and terrifying that they are willing to give you their money in return of protecting them. We cannot dance our tango without creating ‘Fear’. So, this is how we do it!

First you need a villain, so you create one. You simply accuse a Nation of being bad and ugly. Even if that Nation is no more bad and ugly than any other Nation, you accuse it of being a threat to World Peace. Of course you use some of that Nation’s traits against it. This includes religion, ideology, traditions, and history that seem a bit out of norm (not necessarily evil, but outside the norm). You also add some spices to the story to further amplify the evil image of that Nation in the mindset of the whole world. Basically, you keep lying until the threatened Nation believes that the accused Nation is really evil; you keep lying until the audience believes that the accused Nation is villain and wants to wreck the World Order; and you keep lying until you yourself believe that the Nation you accused of being evil, is actually evil and a threat to World Peace.

After creating the villain, you need to create a scared Nation. Now, words are not enough to scare people; so, since action speaks louder than a thousand words, you simply take action. You cause an accident here, you plant a bomb there, you terminate an innocent man here, and you terrorize peaceful citizens there, all until you have a scared Nation at hand. Meanwhile, you always accuse the villain Nation – which you created earlier – of all those terror acts. What? Of course you need to stay in the shadows at the beginning. You just denounce the evil acts of the villain Nation, and sympathize with the attacked Nation. You keep doing this repetitively and at random intervals, until time is ripe.

What do I mean by “time is ripe”? Well, it is the point where the image of the villain Nation is so much amplified in the conscience of other Nations, that almost everybody hates it; the attacked Nation is so terrified that it would cling into any glimpse of help coming from anyone; and the supposedly villain Nation, has become so defensive about what it is being accused of, that it is willing to draw its guns and fight for itself.

Et voila*! This is where we make our dazzling appearance; this is where we, the Superman jump-in to save the day. We act as if we are so angry of the villain Nation, barking and howling, and at the same time we woo the scared Nation and offer that we help them against the villain Nation, if they allow us to. Afraid, terrified, and defocused, the shaken Nation accepts the offer, and asks for our protection.

All this for free?! Damn No! Nothing is for free. Again, this is how we get our easy money. We assure the scared Nation that we humbly accept to defend them because we stand for Right, Peace, and Freedom. We confirm to them that we’re not taking any profit, but we will just charge them with the operating cost of war. “You pay for the weapons we sell you; you also pay for the trainers and consultants we send to advise you on how to defeat the villain Nation; you pay for the troops we send to protect the trainers and consultants; you pay for any attacks that we make against the villain Nation; and you pay for the ammunition you use during your battle for freedom”. What? Fight on their behalf. No we do not offer this service anymore. They fight their own wars, we just get their backs.

How they can pay? Very simple, we accept bank transfers, credit cards, cash, oil, gold, minerals, metals, commodities, anything but checks! How long will it take? We cannot foresee this, but it surely will go as long as they keep paying us for the operating costs, and as long as our appetite for money is open. What if they don’t pay us? Well, we hate to think of the consequences, but let’s say we will let the villain Nation devour them; fair enough?

And so the story begins, again! Another villain Nation, another terrified Nation, another lazy and fun seeking audience, and another Superman. Story of our lives; get it?!


* French for “And here you go”.



Charles Saliba