THE ANGRY DOVES
By Dorian Scott Cole
Copyright 1980, 1987, by Dorian Scott Cole
This book is copyright material, not public domain, and all rights are reserved. This book may not be reproduced in any form, in any media. This book may not be sold or included in any collection. The reader may make a printed copy of this book for his personal use.
All characters in this book are a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental
After a brief respite in Morocco, William and Kenza returned to Lebanon to set up a business cover for their activities. Living in a hotel for a while, they watched the political scene and had discreet discussions with others about potential representatives for the Palestinians. Ismail Hamouz was clearly the most acceptable choice.
After a few weeks, William chose a yacht sales business as a cover. He expected there to be little actual business, and Kenza could conveniently cover for him while he was out. They rented a showroom large enough to hold two yachts, with a two bedroom apartment attached.
They chose the apartment partly because the living room and kitchen were nicely furnished in western decor. Kenza loved the large backyard, seeing in the vast expanse the potential for a horticultural paradise of her own making. But it was too open for William, having access from an alley and the street - he wanted walls.
A month after opening the business, the first yacht arrived and they set it up on the display floor. Despite not having advertised, a man appeared and began looking at the yacht.
William sized him up carefully. He was dressed in the traditional Arab robes and his sandals were nearly worn through. His face was hard and weather beaten, with a severe look. He didn't look at all like a typical politician or
wealthy businessman. He was certainly no one with the money to buy a yacht. William and Kenza exchanged questioning glances. Kenza shrugged. William walked over to the man.
"Beautiful yacht, isn't it," William said, trying to open a sales conversation.
"Yes, very beautiful," he replied in English with a British accent with heavy Arabic overtones.
William smiled, saying encouragingly, "How would you like to be in one of these today, out there on the Mediterranean, enjoying the sun, maybe fishing?"
"That would be nice, I suppose. Too bad, this boat will never see water here." The man smiled coldly, with thin menacing lips.
The man was not sounding like a customer. William decided to play it out and find out what the man wanted. "Oh, I'm sure there are people here who will want one and can afford it."
The man faced him and came to within a few inches of him, intimidatingly. "No doubt there is. But you're not going to sell them."
William saw from the corner of his eye, Kenza reach under the counter and take out a pistol he had placed there. He moved between her and the man to prevent her from panicking and creating a disaster.
"What do you want?" William asked with a scowl on his face. He moved an inch closer to the man, intimidating him in return.
The man held his ground. "Do you know the name Khaled Qahtani?"
William nodded. He recognized the name as that of a radical terrorist in Lebanon. He was noted for his hatred of the Israelis, his opposition to all attempts to make peace, and for his cruel methods.
"Khaled asked me to give you a message. He does not like your efforts to make Ismail a spokesman for the Palestinians... "
"How do you know about that?" William interrupted.
"We're always watching," he replied. He let that soak in a moment. "Khaled knows all that happens in Ismail's group." He gave an ugly laugh, sneering at William.
William appeared unruffled, asking almost as if bored, "What's his message?"
"Get out of Lebanon before he kills you, your pretty mistress, and Ismail."
William snorted. "Give this Khaled... whoever he is, a message from me. If he tries to hurt any of us, I'll have some old friends of mine hunt him down like a dog and stake him out in the desert for the birds to eat."
The man's face turned sinister. "You're threatening the devil himself," he hissed. "Get out before he kills you, and don't try anything like this again." He turned immediately and walked hastily away before William could say another word.
When he was out the door, Kenza left the .38 on the counter and ran to him, embracing him, her voice shaky with fear. "My God, William, I'm scared. Did he mean what he said?"
William held her and rubbed her back. "He meant every word of it, but so did I."
"What are we going to do?" she asked, her entire body trembling.
"You can't live your life running from intimidation," he replied.
"Then what!?" she asked, searching his face in panic.
"I don't know yet. We'll think of something."
* * *
They sat in the showroom the rest of the day, Kenza sitting in fear and not allowing William to leave her side for a moment. "What are we going to
do?" she asked over and over again. Every time someone walked by, she gasped, thinking he was a terrorist.
"I'm going to enlist some help. I'm going to see Art Orlinsky," he finally said. "I may bring Gerald in also."
She seemed calmer knowing that he had some plan, and by late evening she had calmed considerably. She closed the shutters in the living room, double-checked the door bolts, and relaxed in a chair. William sat near her in another chair.
"How are you doing?" he asked.
"I'm very frightened," she replied. "But something you said earlier made me stop and think about something. You said, 'you can't live your life running from intimidation.' It made me remember something that happened when I was a child, about five, in Morocco."
"Isn't that about when the Moroccans started their battle with the French for independence?"
"Yes. And that is what I remember. My mother is Arabic, as you know, and my father is French, so I'm half and half, and that has always bothered me. Well, my mother told me this story over and over again, and suddenly I find a lot of meaning in it for myself."
"Well, let's hear it," William said, happy she was thinking about anything but the morning's frightening encounter.
"It was a horrible evening. Aysha came running into the house, screaming, 'the French Gendarmes are shooting our men! They're killing them! Stop them, Louis, stop them!' Aysha cried and begged, but Louis could do nothing. The Moroccans had again clashed with their French overseers. They were tired of being a French protectorate, a footstool for the French, and although Louis understood and sympathized with them, most of the French in the land wanted
the government to stay as it was. He had no power to stop any of it.
"The conflict began on a holy day, a day honoring Abraham's near sacrifice of his son, Ismail (or Isaac, in the tradition of Judaism). The Nationalist political group ordered the Moroccan section, the Medinas, to close their shops in protest of broken French promises. The French police, the Gendarmes, commanded them open. A mob grew and began rioting. The Gendarmes fired into the mob, killing and wounding hundreds.
"I was kept inside during the next day of conflict, but I managed to see a lot of it. The French troops marched into the city to discipline the Moroccans for their rebellion. I saw the crowds of French gather on the streets and cheer the troops.
"Aysha closed herself in her room wailing about her countrymen's fate and Louis went out to see what was happening. While Aysha wailed, I slipped out into the crowds and followed them, swept along by a sea of legs to the Market Place in the center of town.
"The soldiers had broken into every home and taken thousands of Arab men to the market. The soldiers formed a gauntlet and beat them. I cried. I didn't know why adults were being spanked, and I didn't want my papa to be spanked like them - I didn't know it was only Arab men being beaten. I was crying so hard, I barely recognized my father when he picked me up and took me home."
William moved to her chair arm and took her hand. "You've had a rough life." He waited, holding her hand, to hear the rest, touching her cheek as she talked.
"But the Moroccans didn't give up. They continued until they eventually beat the French. They didn't run from intimidation, and neither should I," she said with a determined shake of her head.
William squeezed her hand. "We can do it," he said with determination.
She laughed skeptically. "We may be killed! A lot of Moroccans died for their independence. But this is a worthy cause and it's part of my heritage. It's for people like myself... well, almost."
Kenza rose from her chair and began to pace the room, looking very introspective. "I always wondered where I fit in, half French, half Moroccan, never feeling a part of either world. Now I see it clearly. I belong bringing those two worlds together." She stopped pacing and faced William, looking very serious and compassionate. "I want to be a peacemaker."
The following day was to be busy for William. The second showroom yacht was scheduled to arrive in the morning, and he was to have lunch with Samuel who was arriving that morning, at his hotel. The yacht arrived at nine o'clock. William opened the giant rear doors of the showroom and had the driver position the yacht at an angle next to the other, like boats anchored at harbor. After dismissing the driver, William and Kenza climbed on board to inspect their new merchandise. Looking over the rail, William realized immediately something was wrong. The upholstery on the outside seats was ripped to shreds.
Kenza could see the alarm on his face. "What's wrong?" she asked.
William pulled her aboard and she saw immediately. William entered the cabin, sick at what he saw next. Acid had been splashed on everything, ruining every room in the cabin, and a dead dog lay on the bed of the master bedroom with its heart cut out. Kenza shuddered and turned away, going back on deck.
Stuck to the door by a knife was a message. William took it and read it. "I enjoyed your tender little love message. So, you will have your friends
hunt me down like a dog and stake me in the desert for the birds? But what is such a litle disagreement between friends. I change my mind about what I will do to you. I need no CIA friends to do my pleasure, so let's negotiate. I will make you one last offer. I will let your mistress watch as I castrate you, and then I will let you watch as I cut the heart from your mistress! Then I will stake you both to the outside wall of your salesroom as an example to others! Are these terms more acceptable to you, Mr. tough CIA man? If you are still in Lebanon in two days, I will take this as a sign you want this to happen right away. Khaled."
William crumpled the message and put it in his pocket. He wasn't about to show it to Kenza. He walked back on deck.
"Who did this?" she asked, anger raising in her voice.
"Khaled. He gave us an ultimatum. He wants us out of Lebanon within two days," he said flatly.
She began to tremble, partly from fear, partly from anger.
"I think I should get you out of here," he said to her. "This is very dangerous work."
She bit her lip, tears in her eyes, and shook her head. "I'm not going," she squeaked, trying to be brave.
By eleven Kenza had regained her composure and they travelled to Samuel's hotel for lunch with Samuel. The hotel was a typical westerner's haunt, particularly of reporters, so William and Kenza were not conspicuous with Samuel. The menu offered traditional Western dishes as well as Eastern, in a setting that would appeal to Western businessmen. The masonry building's interior richly appointed with wood, it's floors paved with marble and covered with thick Persian rugs, was handsomely furnished in French Provincial. But
the tapestry on the walls, and spices from cooking Eastern dishes hanging like a cloud in the air, impressed its visitors with its distinct Eastern location.
Samuel looked like he hadn't slept a wink on the long flight over, but his clothes were still impeccable.
"There's little doubt I'm going to have to bring this operation out in the open now," Samuel began. "I expect some pretty tough opposition in Washington. The CIA is not going to be at all receptive to what we're doing. If they win, we won't be able to continue."
"Then I'll continue on my own," Kenza said, looking defiant.
Samuel was taken aback by her reaction. "You've created a little tiger here," he said to William. "Anyway, I will probably get some opposition from the Undersecretaries that are responsible for this area. If I can't get my cohorts in the State Department to go with it, it won't wash." He shrugged apologetically. "I'll tell you about it after it happens."
"We're running into a lot of opposition here, also." William said, looking discouraged. "A radical terrorist, Khaled Quahtani, has gotten wind of what we're trying to do. He's threatening to kill us, and he destroyed one of the yachts we ordered. It happened just this morning. Somehow, someway, we're going to have to find a way to isolate ourselves from them, or they will kill us."
"Are you sure you want to continue here?" Samuel asked, looking at both of them.
"Yes!" Kenza said firmly. William nodded.
Samuel sat back, studied them both, then continued. "OK. Now, about Ismail, where is he?"
"I don't know, he hasn't surfaced," William replied.
Samuel looked perplexed. "Is there a chance he won't?"
"He can't stay out there forever, he'll lose his Deputy's post. Officially he's on medical leave of absence, and is supposed to be in Jerusalem, where his mother lives."
"Why don't you lie low until he comes back?" he asked pointedly, the angle of his head saying do it.
"I'm sure I can arrange some travel. I'll also get Gerald back to keep watch for Khaled's men."
Samuel seemed satisfied with that. "OK, Now, let me see your hands," he said to William.
William showed him his hands, a puzzled expression on his face.
"You have blood on them."
Kenza quit eating and William shrank back. "What are you getting at?"
"In performing your intelligence duties, someone, sometime may have been hurt or killed," Samuel said strongly, almost as an accusation.
"I never killed anyone," William said defensively. "We never operated that way. And those who got hurt knew the risks when they got involved."
"I know. But my point is, you can live with what you've done with no inner conflict. But in this assignment, right and wrong aren't always going to be so clear. For example, you had to oppose Ismail in the hope of supporting him another way. Sometime in the future, a lot of innocent people may be hurt because of decisions you have to make. Especially with these radical terrorists involved."
"I understand. I believe I can live with that. I'm not doing this for money or something like that. I'm doing it because I believe in it."
"So am I," Kenza said.
Samuel's eyes burned into Kenza. "But can you live with it if innocent people get hurt? There won't be any more military style operations, but some
of the other things William might have to do might not be very pleasant."
She turned her eyes to William. "Aren't you just going to talk to Ismail to convince him to work with us? What could be so unpleasant?" she asked innocently.
Samuel spared him from responding. "He has to control Ismail if he won't cooperate."
"I think we have a lot of talking to do," William said to her.
* * *
William returned to their apartment with a firm resolve to talk some things over with Kenza. After dinner, they sat opposite each other at the kitchen table as they sipped a second cup of coffee. William was beginning to feel in the role of a case worker again, having to counsel Kenza about the hazards of the job. He disliked the feeling, but it was something he had to do. He wondered how it was going to affect their relationship.
He asked her about the possibility of innocent people being hurt because of their actions. "Is this going to be a problem for you?"
Kenza looked into her coffee for a long time. Looking up, she said, "I don't know." Drinking her coffee slowly, thoughtfully, she began to talk. "I don't really know much about your past. I don't know how you perform your work. You've been doing a lot of training - telling me all kinds of things to watch out for. But you haven't told me just what it is a CIA agent... operative does. Does he... " She hesitated and grimaced. "Does he... kill people." She looked at him momentarily, and then hurriedly continued, "I don't think I want to know about that. I've been afraid to ask. The things you've done, are they terrible? will they make me hate you and fear you?" A pained expression colored her face.
William suspected Kenza was not going to be comfortable with some of the
ways the CIA operates. He decided he had better dismiss her worst fears right away and go gently with the rest. "I'm not with the CIA anymore, but anyway, we didn't go around killing and assassinating, that's just the popular imagination run wild. We mostly gather information, and operatives don't sneak into places to gather it either, they develop contacts in the right places, agents, and they do the dirty work. Operatives spend most of their time writing reports."
"That sounds safe enough, but what is dirty work?"
"Anything that needs done. The agent usually is a politician or military man with access to secret information. He gets it and gives it to an operative. With the paramilitary groups and covert operations, the agent usually does the fighting and that sort of thing."
Kenza looked relieved. "So someone just pops in one day and says 'I have some information for you, and you write a report." She began wiping crumbs from the table.
William laughed at Kenza's naiveté. Kenza gave him an angry look. "I'm sorry," he apologized. "It isn't that easy. It's rare when someone just volunteers information."
She became attentive again. "Then why do they give it to you?"
"We buy it from them," he answered, and then muttered, "or we use force."
She made an ugly face. "That sounds nasty. How do you do that?" she asked inquisitively.
William began making another cup of coffee, avoiding her eyes. The part she wouldn't like was coming, and he was uneasy with it, having disliked it himself. "It is nasty. It's a long, nasty process, and I hated it. First you make friends with someone whom you think has access to information. You get to know him well, learn his weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and see if he is sympathetic to the US."
Kenza's voice dropped, indicating her displeasure. "Then do you come out and ask him to be a spy?" She began watching William closely.
William added cream to his coffee, stirred it, and leaned against the counter, slightly behind her so she had to turn uncomfortably to see him.
"No, that would tell him I'm an operative and he might tell the authorities. So another operative meets with him and step by step, through propaganda and bribes and threats, gets him further and further involved in helping us."
Kenza folded her arms in front of her, no longer trying to look at William, but staring straight at the table in front of her, upset. "What happens if he won't agree?"
William hesitated to go on. "Sometimes we try another person." He walked toward the living room.
"Sometimes, but not always," she added perceptively. "Come back here and sit down!" she said sharply. "I want to talk this out."
William continued, his voice dragging. "Sometimes the other operative offers him money, and then blackmail, or any kind of pressure to get him to agree. After he agrees then I would become his case worker, and I would have to give him pep talks and listen to his problems - anything to keep him supplying information."
Kenza became silent, and began clearing the table, obviously upset. William shoved dishes toward her, seeing she was deep in thought about these revelations. The last dish thumped loudly onto the counter.
"Black hearted beasts!" she said, loathingly. She put her face near his. "You ran a confidence game, did you know that?" He didn't answer. She turned angrily away from him, stopping directly across the table, her expression
intense, lecturing him. "It's criminal - even worse than I thought. Instead of killing each other, you gain innocent people's confidence and then you wreck their lives as if they were nothing! Did you keep score on all the damage you did?"
"Yes!" he said emphatically, "I did. But it had to be done."
"So that makes it all right?" she asked incredulously.
"You forget dearest," William began hotly, "I went into Naval Intelligence to get back to you in Morocco."
"And I wasn't there! So why did you stay in it?" she shot back.
He was dumfounded. "I... I... I was there. I wanted to stay there. What else was there?"
She looked hurt. "And I'm trying to trust a confidence man," she said despairingly.
"I hated it! I'm out of it!" he argued back defending himself angrily.
"But you did it!" she shouted. "It's illegal and it's deceitful! It's against what our own countries stand for! What about people's rights and what about oppression and tyranny?!" she stormed.
William shook his head, losing patience. "It's a higher cause. It's the way it's done."
She put her hands on her hips and faced him defiantly. "So, the end justifies the means," she said through clenched teeth, fire in her eyes. "That's pure communist doctrine. Are we no better than they are? Promise the world anything, and then lie, cheat, and murder to make it happen? Is that it?"
William rose and began pacing the floor, wringing his hands. "We have to play their game some. We're fools if we don't. We fight fire with fire."
"Oh, William, wake up! Is that the real reason, or did you just adopt those methods because they get you information? Where does it stop? What are
you willing to do? how far are you willing to go to accomplish your job? Would you kill? Are there no moral restraints? Are you above God, too? Do you worship the US and the CIA?"
William grabbed the back of a chair, his knuckles showing white, "The US security is at stake, that's what it is all about. It's a continuous small war with other countries. The ethics of war are: fight for the higher cause. You have to believe that that cause is so valuable that it's worth the sacrifice of a few lives, willing lives or innocent. It's war, Kenza, war! Keep that in mind!" he said, punctuating with his finger on the table.
"Is that how the US expresses its relationship with other countries?" she asked in a mimicky voice. "A state of war? And what about our relationship?
Is there war here, too?" She punctuated with her finger, pointing at him. "Would you deceive me to keep me in line?"
"You don't understand." William roared despairingly, his patience gone. "It's accepted by every country. It's a game."
"A game?" she said sarcastically. "Think, for God's sake. Do you want to keep wrecking lives in this job, too? Would you kill and sacrifice lives now and justify it because of what you are working toward?"
He clenched his teeth, full of anger, facing her squarely. "I left the CIA... " He pounded the table with his fist.
She finished his statement, "Because it left you feeling empty. Well, you didn't leave the CIA, it's still a part of you! You would use the same tactics in this job if you thought it would get you what you want."
"All right," he yelled. "I admit it. I'm a black-hearted beast. Sometimes that's the way it has to be!"
She raced on, tearing into him. "And now you have two people trying to kill you, Ismail and Khaled!" she seethed. "How many more are you going to add
to the list before you give up antagonizing people?"
William kicked a chair out of the way in frustration.
She scowled at him scornfully. "Go ahead, brute, get physical. Beat me, why don't you? Just pound it out of me! But don't think. Don't talk."
"For God's sake, Kenza," he moaned, "You just don't understand. They don't listen to anything else."
She smiled, having trapped him. "So Ismail is right, the only thing they understand is the point of a gun. And you're no better, the blind leading the blind," she said sarcastically.
William paused, studying her. He had never seen this side of her, and he wondered if he was going to hate her. The air was thick with tension. He stepped to the sink, getting a glass of water and wiping the sweat from his face. "Just let it be, I'll do what I have to do," he said, facing away from her.
She stepped to him and turned him to face her. "I want you to know here and now I won't live with a criminal and a murderer!"
"Don't give me senseless ultimatums. If a man confronts me with a gun, who do you want to walk away?"
"That's a cop out!" she yelled.
"It's the kind of madness were involved in! Who do you want to walk away?"
She backed away, her face full of anger, mixed emotions sweeping her face.
"Who!?" he repeated.
She looked hurt and began to cry. "You win," she said, giving in.
Stepping to her, he took her in his arms. "I wasn't trying to win," he said softly. "This isn't something to win or lose." He held her desperately, fearing this might separate them somehow.
She looked up at him. "I believe in you, William. You're a better man than that. There has to be better ways, and you'll find them."
Next: Chapter 14