Opinion » Bill Cope

Mr. Cope's Cave: This is Not Like the Marshall Plan... Or Is It?


What are you trying to do, Mr. Cope?

Ah, it's this Iran nuclear deal thing. It's hard. So, so hard.

So, what? Are you having a hard time deciding if it's a good deal? Or a bad deal? Or what?

No no no. I already know what kind of deal it is. It's not just a good deal... it's a great deal. It's probably the best thing to come out of the Middle East since the Israeli-Egypt peace accord almost 40 years ago. It's a total game changer, Junior. I'm telling you, this could be the thing that sets the stage for a change in the whole dynamic of Western world/Muslim world relations. I'm not kidding. It's from breakthroughs like this deal that new eras are born. It's like the wall coming down in Berlin. It's like Nixon going to China. It's like... uh...

Like the Marshall Plan?

Uuuuuuh, yeah. Maybe. Sorta. A little like the Marshall Plan, yeah. I suppose.

So, if you're so sure it's a good deal, what are you having a hard time with?

Gawd, Gumby. It's awful. I mean, here we are on the brink of this absolutely monumental sea-change-y cultural-interface earthquake thing, and half the country doesn't even realize it. Gad a'mighty, it's like, uh, you know, like global warming just ended and people are too dumb to see what a good thing that is. Or like the Ku Klux Klan changed its policy and now black people and Jews can join, and the Republicans can do nothing but criticize the progress. Or, uh, yeah!... I got it! It's like the Marshall Plan before there's been a big-ass war so that Iran can get its economy on its feet, which means there's a damn good chance the Iranian people might come to realize all the benefits of cooperation and Westernization and peaceful coexistence. Only, see, the f***ing Republicans and Netanyahu are trying to torpedo the thing before it even gets out of the shipyard. Because if it works, see, they'll end up looking like even bigger shitheads than they do now.

Jeez, Mr. Cope. Are you sure you're not exaggerating a little?

Exaggerating? Why would you say that?

Well, nobody's even sure it will work. Nobody's sure the Iranians won't cheat. Nobody's sure they won't go straight back to building a bomb when the time limit's up. Things like that.

Goober, name me one thing... one thing, from a treaty to an invention to a meatloaf recipe... that has worked before someone tried it.

Yeah, I know. But if a meatloaf doesn't work, you feed it to the dog or something. If this nuclear deal doesn't work, there's gonna be a war. Everybody knows that.

Uh-huh, uh-huh. And if we don't try the deal, there's gonna be a war. Everybody knows that, too. And I can tell you one thing that will guarantee they'll continue trying to build the bomb.

What's that?

If we attack them. If the Republicans and Netanyahu get their way and we start a war. If we bomb them. Kill a bunch of their people. Destroy a few of their cities. Give even the ones who don't hate us now reason to hate us. Give their children and their children's children reason to hate us. Keep the hate going and going and going. Make it worse... always worse. Believe me, Gomer, they won't give up trying to build a bomb, just because we blow up whatever they have now. And sooner or later, one way or another, they'll get their bomb. The only way to stop them from some day getting a f***ing bomb is to convince them they don't need a f***ing bomb.

By showing them we're not so bad, after all. Is that what you mean?

Exactly! By showing them we're not so bad, after all.

So, Mr. Cope, I'm still confused. What is it exactly you're having a hard time doing? And what does any of this have to do with you, anyway?

Dammit! Somebody has to write the right words to convince the dumber Americans they are too damn dumb to recognize how great a deal this is, You know... if it works.

And you think that somebody might be you.

Uh, no. Not really. I've learned maybe the hardest thing to do in the whole world is convince dumb people something is smart. But I won't know for sure unless I try it, will I?

Sort of like the Iran nuclear deal.

Exactly! Just like the Iran nuclear deal!

And the Marshall Plan.

Uuuuuuh, yeah. Maybe. Sorta. A little like the Marshall Plan, yeah. I suppose.