My Matara mother always insisted if she fed everyone there would be peace. Same for the home. Same for the world. Makes you wonder why missile-maker Nobel has a prize for peace but not for cooking?
Even better, why not one prize for peace and cooking? If there was such a prize, let’s nominate US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. After all, Secretary Pompeo is in a high fever, brewing many a soup for October. His immediate boss President Trump wishes him to fire up the right international recipe to win domestic re-election.
Cooking is the best way to some men’s hearts and other private parts. Everybody knows Biden can’t peel an Irish potato, and Kopmala can’t tell Jamaican oxtail from Indian rasam. Pompeo’s cuisine however may only boil down to a banquet of thin soups he intends to plunge the world into. So let’s call the feast he has to confect, ‘October Surprise 2020’.
October Surprise refers to a planned horror somewhere in the world, a few days before the November US presidential election, which usually tip votes in one candidate’s favor. The most famous surprise goes back to October 1980.
US president Carter’s re-election team arranged for the release of US spies captured in Iran, just before voting day. Opponent Ronald Reagan’s team struck a deal with Iran to delay the release. The Carter team then sent a military force to rescue the hostages.The Reagan team alerted the Iranians, who destroyed the rescue team.
Carter lost the election. Reagan won and the spies were released. Reagan then sold arms to Iran, and used the money to invest in the cocaine trade to pay for NGO Contra mercenaries to destabilize Nicaragua. The cocaine was used to destroy Black communities within the USA. The profits were reinvested in more arms to kill Nicaraguans, and bought more cocaine to kill even more people in the US.
Now how’s that for a soup?
So what will be soupe du jour for this October’s Halloween from hell? What can an untested Secretary Pompeo rustle up for his leader’s re-election? He is in a sweat. He refuses to be tested. For he has several soups à la carte on the fire. And he wishes to wipe his brow into each one.
He has a Sinhala Kola Kaendha. Indian Mulligatawny Soup. Ladakh Skyu Balls Stew. A Taiwan Niurou Beef & Noodle Soup. He also has an Iranian Ash Reshteh Vegetable Soup on offer. How about a Venezuelan Mondongo Diced Tripe Soup? And then there’s Russian Borscht. Or better, some Syrian Shakriya with little lambs.
These soups all roost on different fires, same Pentagon kitchen, some at a simmer, some at a boil, but he may have to quickly rearrange the pots if he runs out of Iraqi gas.
So many soups can foil a cook. And Pompeo is a man in a hurry. What’s a unipolar yankee chef supposed to do, who usually heats up whatever is in the can, where everything turns out tasting like a Big Mac? How will these soups be cooked and in which order? Will they all at once be poured over diners’ heads, or will he just burn his own… errr… apron?
The US can promise to back an Indian invasion of the north and east of Sri Lanka to grab Trincomalee (and fight it out for themselves later, with Japan). This will get the Kola Kaendha and Mulligatawny Soup boiling over.
Pompeo can continue taunting India that China is amassing troops near Ladakh. Yummy, Skyu Balls! Will he block the Straits of Hormuz in Iran for some Ash Reshteh? Will he get saboteurs to set oil tanks afire in Venezuela? Mondongo tripe here we come! Will he provoke China, that the Taiwan Strait needs more Niurou – beefing it up? Will he try to manhandle a Ukrainian ladle into some Russian Federation Borscht? Will he cluster bomb Russian troops in Syria? A bowl of Shakriya please, one silenced lamb at a time!
Pompeo is scheduled to come to Colombo after sussing out the Gujarati Kadhi Soup in Delhi. He’ll be hungry. Tandoori chicken was going to be Khalistan’s national bird. They won’t feed him that. Nor will they serve Pompeo some Kashmiri Mutton Soup – Kashur Maaz Raaz! Mmmmm!
Oops, my Matara mother was vegetarian. Mind you, so was Hitler…Amma however was a better cook. She had no plans to kill off the children. At home. Or the world. She would also never accept a missile-making Nobel. For cooking or for peace.
Let Pompeo wear it. Like Obama. False merit, she would say.