It is an absolute rule of administrations throughout the universe that "Trust us!" and the raised forefinger indicate a whole lot of churning going on inside the political brain.
Trust me, on this, your roving reporter Pepe Warezabar trotting the globe into its nefarious and terrible hotspots.
Once again I landed amidst a bubbling soup of world politics, this time in London at Club Divisadoro next to Number 10 Downing Street.
To find--of course, Mr. Kerry. He was doing his best to hang unnoticeable to one corner of a long dim bar top with dark cherry wood in the style of those Oriental nightspots.
Or to one side you can slide into a padded booth but then you sink so far you need assistance to get back out and elevated.
Mr. Kerry was holding an upright posture on a stool at the far end away from the action, right hand shielding his eyes and forehead as though he preferred a lonely brood by himself. Three empty shot glasses stood near his elbow, just off a tall half-empty black lager.
Of course I sidled right up.
"Well, Hillary has always spoken well of you."
His eyes flicked back and forth, as he said this, and he took out a pair of very dark wraparounds although it was so dim in that club carrying a flashlight was not unreasonable.
"But John, may I call you John? I mean--"
"I know. I know what you're going to say."
At that point his right hand forefinger--which by the way is a kind of an extreme forefinger, much longer than Hillary's--rose in the air to the right side of his forehead. And wagged.
"It is not our fault. Let me reiterate," he said. "It's the damnedest thing how everything keeps reversing and coming back onto us, as though we're the guilty ones."
"Why can't you and everybody just trust us? Is that so difficult? It's exactly as Dennis McDonough said on CNN yesterday. It's common sense. We don't need irrefutable evidence!"
I was shaking my head at this point, grasping for words, eyebrows raised as he said again:
"I think you heard me. I think everybody heard me. Let me repeat. It's common sense. We don't need irrefutable evidence."
The bartender came by to offer a napkin for Mr. Kerry's steaming brow above his wraparounds.
"But, John, then you offered a deal if Assad would surrender his chemical weapons, and Russia said it would help out--"
"Politics! We say things, they say things. Why can't people keep it all straight? Are we being so unreasonable?"
At this point he leaned backwards a little too far and slipped off his stool toward the floor. But he rebounded quickly--right hand forefinger held high!
"It's so simple. Don't think George W. Bush and the Iraq War. Forget that. He played fast and loose with no evidence whatever!'
"Well, that's not what Colin Powell said--"
"Okay, then, mark this! Mr. Powell didn't say use your common sense, did he?"
"No-o. He said they had irrefutable evidence."
"We're not saying that! Don't you see the difference?"
He bent toward me indicating he wanted to whisper into my ear.
"All it takes is two things: common sense and trust us. That's our program."
Then he was actually smiling and put away his forefinger.
"That's it, John?"
"That's it and a shot or two here or there into Syria. Maybe. Could be limited, maybe not. We can't take every option off the table. Boots on the ground possibly. Possibly not. Wider regional war, well, you can't always predict. Anyway, just practice the mantra."
This last in very smooth Ford/Kia Motors sort of voice.
"You got it."
We smiled together as he bought me a new beer.