High Life

Talking Ship

July 01, 2017

Multiple Pages
Talking Ship

A major Greek shipowner, whose political knowledge matches his wealth and business acumen, explained to me what the Qatar brouhaha is all about. My friend had the foresight to invest in LNGs, natural liquid gas carriers, among the most expensive of ships to build but big-time moneymakers. Why is it that it takes a major shipowner to know what’s really going on, rather than the bull put out by American hacks whose minds don’t seem to function any longer, at least since Trump’s triumph last November?

Here goes: We sat on my terrace in Gstaad under the stars, watched the mountains turn dark blue from gray, and drank some good red wine, and I got the scoop. The first to ring the Donald after the election was the ruler of Saudi Arabia. (This column will dispense with ass-licking titles because the camel drivers created them and awarded them to themselves 85 years ago.) Trump was blunt with the Saudi ruler. “I’ll help you with Iran only if you help me sell American LNG and oil to China, and there’s only one way to do that.” “ Which is?” asked the head camel driver. “Stop Qatar from selling their LNG to the Chinese, and while you’re at it, both of you stop funding terrorists, or else.”

“The Saudis lie even more than The New York Times, and that’s really saying something.”

Not bad for such a blundering fool of a president. This is exactly what happened. The Saudis, who had had it up to here with the crummy Qataris playing everyone, gave them the ultimatum, and now you know about as much as the powers involved do. The Qataris will obviously give in—they’re not exactly known as fighters, except when beating up on defenseless women or foreign workers—and the Saudis, who tremble at the sight of an Iranian, will declare a Marathon-like victory. But it’s Trump, whom the left regards as a chump, who actually made chumps out of all of them and will be selling American natural liquefied gas so the Chinese will stop burning down the planet with their foul, belching factories.

These are political victories that only a few insiders know about, mostly because the news has become not only fake, but so trite and hackneyed it’s a miracle anyone still wants to be a journalist. Trump seems to have won big down in Saudi because he was always anti-Iran, a position I’m totally opposed to, but he got two birds with one shitty stone. He sold $2 billion worth of planes and rockets to Saudi and got them to force Qatar to stop selling LNG to China. The Saudis can do nothing with the advanced killer weapons. They still cannot hit the side of a barn with pinpoint technology that can take out a target within inches. In Yemen, tens of thousands have died because the Saudis are too scared to get near the action but fire on schools and hospitals in order to create panic, then call them military targets. The Saudis lie even more than The New York Times, and that’s really saying something. So don’t take this Mohammed bin Salman seriously. He speaks not a word of English, is brash and full of himself, and has for two years failed to win a single battle against sandal-wearing peasants in Yemen, but has killed a lot of innocents. If this guy is a savior, I am Alexander the Great.

And while I’m at it, if you have trouble sleeping, don’t, I repeat don’t, buy any sleeping pills. Get The New York Times (international) instead. I have never in my long life seen a worse paper. Five full pages about a male American soldier who turned traitor, got thirty years, then became a woman and got pardoned. If this is interesting journalism, I am Mark Twain and Papa Hemingway rolled into one. The rag also got one in against the Brits, with a front-page story, “Did Politics of Race Fuel Tower Fire?” Yeah, right, it was “a clear class element” that burned all those people alive.

What I don’t understand is who would buy such a rag in a country like Britain where there are so many lively newspapers that don’t invent news to suit their politics? Let’s make sure it sells not a single copy, perhaps then it will return to the place it came from. Otherwise, things are really hunky-dory. This week will be a big one in London, and a grand ball in the country beckons on the weekend. Next week is The Spectator’s party, where I hope to become engaged to Olga, a Stakhanovite star of Russia Today. If she says yes, a little bird has told me that Vladimir Putin himself will be our best man. I know, I am putting the cart before the horse, as they say back on the farm I don’t come from, but what the hell, a man can dream, can’t he?

Finally, Professor Stephen Hawking says we must start evacuating Earth within decades. The professor must be taking the kind of stuff I took that sent me away to the big house 35 years ago. Why does he say this to us? He should tell it to our African cousins, who are multiplying quicker than The New York Times spreads lies. If only we could get the human smugglers who are torturing these people to try Mars rather than Europe.

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