Location: Trucial Abysmia
Date: January 28, 2013
Summary: Trucial Abysmia hosts its presidential debates.
As logged by Sheikh Mohammed - Monday, January 28, 2013, 10:35 PM
Trucial Abysmia - Western Asia
- Trucial Abysmia, officially known as the Kingdom of Trucial Abysmia, is a state in Western Asia, located in the the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia in the east of the Persian Gulf, sharing a border with Oman to the south, and sea borders with United Arab Emirates to the west and Benzheen to the east.
- The emirate of Trucial Abysmia covers an area of 1,700 square km. The capital city and home of most residents is also called Trucial Abysmia. The city has a population of 263,217 as of 2008. The city has two main sections, Old Trucial Abysmia and Nakheel, on either side of a creek. It is served by the Trucial Abysmia International Airport. Apart from the northern part where the city of Trucial Abysmia is situated, it also has one large enclave in the South near Hatta, and a few small islands on the Persian Gulf.
- Trucial Abysmia has larges oil reserves and is a large oil exporter. Oil accounts for more than 90 of exports and nearly 75 of government revenues, facilitating the creation of a welfare state although the share of the non-oil economy is growing recently. It has also large natural gas reserves.
General Alawai is with Sheikh Mohammed in the 'green room'. For effect, Sheikh Mohammed's under suit has a few broad 'bands' to make his shoulders seem more full as well as his chest. General Alawai pins a few medals on Mohammed's suit. "Now remember - tonight - just think... you ARE the leader of Trucial Abysmia. That is what you need to convey."
Sheikh Mohammed nods, listening closely to the General's advice. Over the months, a change has come over Mohammed - although still as arrogant as the sun is hot, he has become more serious and determined, putting actual work into studying the Koran and for tonight's debate.
Sheikh Saud opens the door and sees General Alawai.
General Alawai's face flashes in panic quickly, but he recovers as he moves around Sheikh Mohammed's green room. "Just checking for security - your excellency."
Sheikh Saud nods sagely to General Alawai, then he looks at his son. "Leave us."
Sheikh Mohammed catches Alawai's gist, and nods arrogantly to Saud's words. "Yes. Leave us."
General Alawai exits, leaving Sheikh Mohammed alone with his father. His father approaches his son and nods approvingly. "You look handsome - like a true - prince."
Sheikh Mohammed nods. "Yes. And if I'm - WHEN I'm elected, I'll make sure there's still a princedom to bestow on my own sons." Sheikh Mohammed smiles sarcastically. "I'll try to go easy on you, old man." Even through the mocking, however, there is a trace of his old affection for his father.
Sheikh Saud 's face turns serious as he brushes some lint off his son's shoulder. "Anwar Assan - is a world-known debater. You are in for a treat tonight." His face freezes into a stone, unsmiling form. "And I will not defend you. You wanted this - and if it takes a humiliation on this large of scale - so be it. I am sick of your arrogance - perhaps tonight you'll come to your senses."
Sheikh Mohammed smirks. "You confuse arrogance with confidence."
Sheikh Saud nods curtly to his son. "Allah have mercy on you tonight. Because neither Assan or I will." Sheikh Saud turns around and heads out.
Sheikh Mohammed says in Arabic, "You, too, Dad!" Sheikh Mohammed keeps the smirk on his face until his father is out of sight. As soon as the door closes, however, it collapses into a worried frown.
20 minutes later. After a meal, hot tea, and a quick prayer, the candidates make it to their podiums. Rakesh - a reporter from Al-Jazeera gives each candidate some prep. about the instructions.
Sheikh Mohammed listens carefully, his attention focused and alert.
Anwar Assan warmly greets Sheikh Saud. The two talk for a brief moment. Then Assan approaches Sheikh Mohammed and bows politely.
Sheikh Mohammed returns the bow, although he's unable to keep from looking arrogantly haughty about it.
Rakesh looks at Sheikh Mohammed. "Your highness - Cobra has made strides to revitalize certain areas after the disastrous floods of last year. Have they turned a new leaf? And if so - is it time to lift your ban on Cobra in Trucial Abysmia?"
Sheikh Mohammed smiles confidently at Rakesh. "Cobra Unity has worked hard to enhance the status and standard of living throughout Western Asia. When I am king, I will examine every potential ally without prejudice, and decide for myself, without American influence, who is worthy to work with Trucial Abysmia and who is not."
Sheikh Saud smiles and says "I am... cautiously optimistic about the steps Cobra has taken. But still... they have repeatedly proven for every good deed - there is a price. This should not be - especially after a disaster the scale of which we haven't seen in decades. I... have good reason to believe that Cobra - their... intentions - well - in short - we need more evidence before I change my position. But right now - regrettably - I shall keep our current law as is."
Sheikh Mohammed silently mocks his father's staccato response.
Anwar Assan smiles politely, listening to the two. He finally looks at the cameras. "Sheikh Saud has a great point." He looks at Sheikh Mohammed "And from what I've gathered - you are NOT king yet!" He then looks at the camera. "But this is the mentality we have to break. We must cease this...race to the bottom for allies! Cobra HAS terrorist ties! They have NOT renounced terrorism. What I want to do is look beyond Cobra. We should be tapping into our own people! And we should not be asking Cobra - but the Autobots to visit our lands and exchange technology with us!" He looks at Sheikh Mohammed and smiles, almost baiting him to respond.
The moderator nods, writing some questions down. He then looks at Sheikh Saud. "Your highness...Sheikh SAUD..." He looks briefly over at Sheikh Mohammed, then back to Sheikh Saud. "What is the role of the military in Trucial Abysmia? And how would you differentiate yourself from your esteemed opponents?"
Sheikh Mohammed takes the bait. "We HAVE asked the Autobots to visit our lands, and instead they snub us, sending their lackey Spike Witwicky, who has his own Cobra ties, having worked for MARS in the past. I do rely on our own people - people of Trucial Abysmia, and people of Earth - not alien robots with motives and priorities unfathomable to us, and just as untrustworthy. I'll take a human ally over a machine every time."
Anwar Assan chides in "Oh - a lackey? The Autobot's MAIN ambassador paying a visit to us! And from what my sources say, you were upset that Optimus Prime would not appear at your 16th! - " Rakesh then stops Assan. "Assan - please - proceed, Sheikh Saud."
Sheikh Saud smiles politely. "THIS is where I differentiate myself from my esteemed opponents." He looks at Anwar Assan. "Assan is someone who fled this country - and has not spent a day in the military." He looks at his son. "Sheikh Mohammed will grow up to be a benevolent ruler...when his TIME has come." He looks at the camera, speaking with more confidence. "But for now - my experience - the military leaders support me. They know that 'I' know we must have a strong Abysmia to gain the respect of nearby allies...and adversaries. And as your leader - I will see to it that Abysmia's military remains strong."
Rakesh makes some notes. "Your response, Sheikh Mohammed?"
Sheikh Mohammed says in Arabic, "I agree with my father than a strong Abysmia is needed to sustain the region, and a strong army is needed to sustain Abysmia. Unlike my father, however, I'll be more willing to use the Army to maintain order, and to make our people feel safe again. Our army is a highly-trained force, led by capable, experienced leaders, and I will allow them greater freedom to do the job for which they are tasked."
Suddenly - a few scattered applauses can be heard after Sheikh Mohammed's remarks.
Anwar Assan looks at Sheikh Mohammed. "Well, young Mohammed - 'I' think I have the best military experience of ANY person on this stage...because I was a political prisoner! I was captured by your grandfather - and kept isolated for months. See, I not only know how to USE the military - I know how NOT to use it! And it takes more than sword-waving to have a strong military!" He then looks at the camera. "It's time to stop tapping into our weapons, and start tapping into the boundless resources of our own population! Trucial Abysmia must be a beacon for hope - not a mark of hostility!"
Rakesh scribbles some notes down. He then looks at Sheikh Mohammed. "Sheikh Mohammed - Last year - human rights organizations condemned the execution of two gay teenagers. Did the religious clerics go too far in punishment in your opinion?"
Sheikh Mohammed smiles, prepared for this question. "They did not. The Koran cites the story of the people of Lut, destroyed by the wrath of God because they engaged in lustful carnal acts between men. Muhammad (Peace be upon him and his family) cursed sodomites in several hadith, and demanded the death penalty for both the active and passive partners in sinful same-sex acts: 'Whoever you find committing the sin of the people of Lut, kill them, both the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.' Who are you to question the direct word of Muhammad (Peace be upon him and his family)?
Rakesh nods. He then looks at Sheikh Saud. "Your highness - do you agree with your son?"
Sheikh Saud 's mouth slowly gapes open, as if he's thinking aloud. "I...respect the clerics' decision."
Rakesh then smirks. "That wasn't my question sir - do you believe that the two teens should have been executed - do you personally believe that?"
Sheikh Saud thinks carefully about his wife's tireless work - and his own conscious. And that unfortunately creates an embarrassing 20-second or so gap of silence as he seems to be thinking aloud in front of everyone. "I...I..would... maybe...would have... suggested imprisonment over execution."
Sheikh Mohammed smirks as his father looks indecisive and weak before the assembled crowd and viewing audience.
Assan finally frowns and chimes in. He frowns at Sheikh Mohammed. "You know what else is a sin in the Koran? Acting proud! You know what else? Being boastful! Many of my friends are proud and boastful. 'I' am proud and boastful - and I am ashamed for those moments where I sin. Those teenagers sinned as well. But to say their sin is punishable by death - in this century? In this time? Is absolutely wrong! As leader - that will be one of my first actions - to reduce the iron-grip authority wielded by the clerics in this land!"
Assan's fiery statement causes a few boisterous claps and a few chants of 'Assan' before the 'security' 'shushes' everyone.
Sheikh Mohammed looks disgusted.
Rakesh looks at Sheikh Mohammed. "Final comments?"
Sheikh Mohammed says in Arabic, "Anwar Assan speaks of pride, but there is nothing so prideful in thinking he knows better than The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) when it comes to sin and punishment. There is a reason my father locked him away to protect our people from his heresy, and if he continued to undermine the love and respect of the people for word and law of Allah, he may be returning to detention once more, for the good of Trucial Abysmia."
Rakesh looks at Assan. "Assan?"
Sheikh Mohammed looks at his opponent with obvious distain.
Assan frowns at Sheikh Mohammed. "May Allah never put you through what 'I' went though - young man." He then looks at Sheikh Mohammed, then Sheikh Saud. "People of Abysmia - you have three choices here. One - Sheikh Saud - has given us a wonderful gift. But he has shown himself to not be ready to bring Abysmia into the 21st century." He then looks at Mohammed. "And his son - while accomplishing NOTHING in his life - wants to take this country back to the middle ages. We are so much better than that! And we must .. we MUST do the necessary steps to bring Trucial Abysmia into the modern age. It is my hope - my full belief - that we are UP that challenge!"
Sheikh Mohammed petulantly rolls his eyes at Assan's answer.
Rakesh then looks at Sheikh Saud. "Your excellency - you will have the final word."
Sheikh Saud smiles then looks at the camera. "People of Abysmia - Assan is a wonderful, thoughtful, intellect. Someone I want in my cabinet. But he has shown a dangerous lack of understanding of the rich history of our land." He then looks at his son. "My son - will be a great ruler - someday - if the people elect him, but son - this is not your time. I am asking the people of Abysmia to keep moving forward with their trust in the Saud family. And I would be honored to be your servant."
The debate concludes and Assan and Saud extends some pleasantries. Assan then walks toward Mohammed and smiles for the camera and extends a hand. He then mutters "You actually sounded confident tonight! Too bad your views are so terrifying!"
Sheikh Mohammed looks down at the hand, and sneers. "You are a heretic, and a fool. My father was wrong to release you." Snubbing his opponent, Mohammed simply walks away.
Backstage, General Alawai is listening to the reports of the 94 arrested. He quickly meets Sheikh Mohammed and briefly clasps his shoulder. "Well done...well done - "He then gestures over to Sheikh Saud, who is talking to the audience. "I'm sorry - but I have to update Sheikh Saud about the protesters. We'll be in touch."
Sheikh Mohammed nods. "I thank you for your help in this. We will prevail." Fully confident he won, Mohammed returns to his room to watch the results of the debate.
General Alawai, the trusted advisor, goes over to Sheikh Saud and alerts him of the protestors. From the corner of Mohammed's eye, he can see his father nodding, blindly accepting General Alawai's expert handling of the crisis.
Sheikh Mohammed smiles to himself as he leaves... all is in good hands.