"Swiss FM would talk to bin Laden", the headline says.
But don't get your knickers twisted, there is a purpose to this:
Switzerland's foreign minister told top diplomats on Monday she favours direct talks with Osama Bin Laden to tackle the threat of terrorism.I can imaging the forthcoming meeting - somewhere in a cave near Pakistan - Afghanistan border:
M: Good morning, dear Mr Bin Laden...
O: Oh, just call me Sammy, please, let's dispense with formalities!
M: OK, fine, but only of you call me Micheline.
O: So, Micheline, how do you do? You look younger than the last time I've seen you.
[Embarrassed silence for a minute or two, one of Osama's bodyguards faints]
M: You too, Sammy, look quite good. I would say more attractive than ever...
[Osama faints. More embarrassed silence interrupted only by goat bleating]
O [recovering]: Do you know what, Micheline, let's be done with the Oriental small talk. So what brings you here?
M [unperturbed]: Why, it's that thing I always root for [Osama blanching]. I mean the threar of terrorism, of course. Er... eliminating it.
O [visibly perking up]: Oh, that... Sure, sure, why not? Do you want some goat cheese, figs and pita before you go?
Well, and more in that vein. Anyhow, I cannot even start guessing what the heck is there for Swiss FM to talk about with OBL. At least we know why she went out of her way to kiss and make up with this one:
(Even Mahmoud The Mad seems to be somewhat put off, but let's write it off on cultural shock).
The aroma of natural gas permeated by a strong aftertaste of oil is surely a great stimulant. But what kind of gas does she expect to get from Osama?
Update: there is someone jealous of that Swiss one-upmanship.
Norway has joined Switzerland in opening up for talks with terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. That doesn't mean Norway is going soft on the fight against terrorism, though, said the country's deputy foreign minister.Go figure that diplomatic lingo. Does it mean "buzz off" from Norwegian FM to the Swiss FM?
He noted, though, that he has no illusions that bin Laden would sit down for negotiations. I don't think Osama bin Laden or the forces around al-Qaida want dialogue," Johansen said. "They prefer rather to take the lives of infidels."
But it's hardly material. What is more intriguing still: what the heck these two would talk to Osama about, assuming he is available for such an eventuality?
Cross-posted on Yourish.com.