NEWS >POLITICS > OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PREPARING FOR OFFICIAL VISIT FROM HEZBOLLAH LEADER
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PREPARING FOR OFFICIAL VISIT FROM HEZBOLLAH LEADER
September 25 2011
Washington, D.C. – The White House is no stranger, obviously, to diplomatic missions. The storied building has played host to leaders from all over the world for decades. Deals that have changed the world have started in that building, secrets that no one would want revealed housed by the silent walls. As long as the United States remains the dominant power, that will continue to be the case.
Sometimes those guests are a little controversial, as is the case with an upcoming visit by a Hezbollah commander, Ali Mussa Daqduq. Part of that controversy is related to his status in a terrorist organization, and part of it is because shortly after his trip to speak with the President Daqduq will go on trial, likely in a military tribunal.
That visit is now giving the White House fresh headaches, not only from political opponents but also from White House staff who have never before had to deal with terrorists who have a reputation for being lousy house guests.
“I don’t even know how to prepare for him. Do we pull out all the furnishing and put dirt on the floor? Do we provide him with bomb making material? We always try to accommodate the guests in a respectful way but this one is a little outside our experience,” said one White House employee. “We have no problem giving people a taste of home but with the guest we are a little lost. Some have suggested that we
allow him to settle in and then use a bulldozer to destroy the room. That might not go over well with the President, but it would make him feel at home.”
Traditionally, explosives are not allowed in or even near the White House even for diplomatic guests.
Daqduq will be on trial for his role in a raid that killed four U.S. soldiers in 2007.
“We are consulting with people in that area of the world to try and find the things that will make him feel the most comfortable. We have worked miracles before, but this one is on another level. We are going to make our best effort and hopefully he and the President will be happy,” continued the insider. “Hopefully his stay will be pleasant and comfortable and that he and the President will be able to sit down and get through the things they need to get through. Ultimately, that is our goal; to make people comfortable and to facilitate communication.”
Daqduq has already had a number of sit down conversations with U.S. officials, mostly ones from the FBI and CIA who generally aren’t all that concerned with guest comfort.
“The food won’t really be an issue. If nothing else, we can do take out on that. Falafels are pretty easy to get in D.C. We’ll just go down to the Saudi embassy. The surroundings, though, are unique. It’s not often we have to entertain refugees and terrorists, especially not ones who have been imprisoned for a number of years. That will make making him comfortable a task,” continued the insider. “Like I said though we have done amazing things before and I think we can do that here without resorting to destroying the room, shelling it, or invading it from adjoining rooms. That just wouldn’t go over well in the long run.”
The arrival date for Daqduq is still up in the air.
Edward Bastil, Political Correspondent