The Voice, by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould

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                           - 21 -

Rick paused to listen, his eyes darting back and forth.
"This is a visual medium Benny. I need pictures of missiles.
I need images. I need to see what you're talking about. Now
get me the pictures of those SCUD launchers or you can get
yourself a job in radio."

"No pictures?" I asked, as Rick turned toward me,
nervously pulling a pack of cigarettes from his pocket
without offering one to me.

"Osama bin Laden sent his holy warriors over into Kashmir
again so the Indians went to full alert. Pakistan responded
by threatening a pre-emptive strike on India. One false move
and South Asia goes up in smoke."

"Maybe you should censor it like you did Afghanistan." I
added, deliberately taunting him with my memory of his own
words. "After all. There's no point in getting people all
excited about something that's totally beyond their

The response hit Rick in a sore spot.

"You still act like I caused Afghanistan all by myself,
don't you?"

"I don't need to be reminded of what you caused in
Afghanistan. If you had told people the truth about what we
were doing in the first place maybe those Chinese missiles
wouldn't be in Pakistan. Maybe Osama bin Laden would still
be in Saudi Arabia selling insurance to oil sheiks and there
wouldn't be a crisis. For ten years you knew we drew the
Russians into Afghanistan and you lied about it. You and
your friends had to turn the whole affair into a holy war.
So this is what you get."

"I knew this wouldn't be easy, Paul. But we're going to
have to put away our differences."