Yesterday I called my 'niece' Andy to wish her Happy new Year. She had already left the diamond exchange and explained that she was having a drink at the Plaza Hotel bar. "I'm meeting my sister and her wife for Rosh Hashanah."
"Nice, I'm in Brooklyn, otherwise I'd come and meet you." The beautiful brunette and I were ex-workmates from the 90s. We once made out in my old apartment. Andy couldn't do anything more and I became her 'uncle'.
"Uncle Pete, maybe you can tell me, what's with all these bomb attacks? Are these Muslims all crazy?" I could hear other people in the background. None of them were in a panic. New York was safe from any threats at least for today.
"Andy, the bombs are attacks against America in revenge of our bombings in the Middle East.That attack on the embassy in Benghazi because that film about Mohammad really pissed them off." I had seen the fourteen minute trailer. THE INNOCENCE OF MUSLIMS was clearly aimed at setting off Muslims.
"I hear jokes about Jews all the time and I don't go around wanting to burn down anything. My grandfather said that the best thing we could do would be to drop a hundred atomic bombs in the Middle East and get rid of them."
"That's how the Nazis spoke about the Jews. It's stupid talk. Sorry, but I believed in the one land /one state solution and everyone living as one. It is an impossibility, but while I'm an atheist, I do believe in miracles."
"But why are they so crazy about an insult? I was watching on CNN_____"
"Andy, you can't believe what you see on TV, especially the news. CNN, NBC, CBS. None of them have reporters on the scene and good news takes time to report. Their producers look at the images and then try and figure out what to say that people want to hear." I imagined Andy holding an elegant glass in her delicate hand with men at other tables admiring her eternal beauty.
"You mean CNN doesn't tell the truth?" Andy sounded like I had stolen Santa Claus from Hannukah.
"Not in the least, but the reason for the outrage is that for most of the last century these people were repressed by dictators. Anyone who tried to speak out was killed. Any protestors were tortured. Everything was stolen from the people. Everything, but their religion, and this they will not let be defiled, because it is the last of their freedom." It was a simplistic rationale for the murderous attack on the Libyan embassy, but my feeling was a hunch. "What we have to ask is who made this film and what did they have to gain by showing it on 9/11?"
"Who did it?" She really wanted to know.
"Not anyone they said did it." The name Sam Basile had been mentioned in every first report. There was no Sam Basile. "I think the person with the most to gain____"
"I got to run. Here comes my sister." Now was Andy's turn to cut me off.
"You have a good New Year."
"I will." She airsmacked a kiss to the mouthpiece and I ended the call. Nobody had invited me to blow the shofur or the lamb's horn, so I was head down to Frank's for a beer. It was my home away from home and everyone there was family.
Same as was Andy.
It's a small world after all.