If you weren’t against globalization before, a recent story in The Christian Science Monitor ought to convince you. The American government is shipping some of the people it’s holding in those razor-wire cages in Guantanamo to Egypt, Syria and Jordan for questioning-or, to use the more frightening word, interrogation.
We’re told that the interrogators in those countries “have a better understanding of Islamist groups, their contacts, customs and language.” Oh, and one more thing: They use torture-and that’s what gets my goat. There are Americans who can do that, but there go the globalists again, shipping our jobs overseas. We have many Americans who can do the work, like airport-security personnel who are standing around waiting for the next batch of passengers. They’re qualified, God only knows. And what about the contracts for manufacturing thumbscrews, testicle-shockers and nipple-squeezers? Are they going to the Chinese? Look no further for the cause of industrial decline.
What’s going on here? We’re hiring the Syrians, whom we’ve been taught to hate for years because they’re un-American, anti-Israeli rats, to do our intelligence work. Is this more Rumsfeldian ruthlessness? Well, don’t ask questions, because once you start, you’ll drive yourself nuts. The way to prevent yourself from asking questions is to repeat the Pledge of Allegiance (with or without the “under God” phrase) the way some Catholics will recite the Hail Mary to chase away impure thoughts. If the temptation to ask seems to be getting the better of you, try saluting a flag, singing a patriotic song or thinking how you can honor, show respect or celebrate the various things the President expects you to revere. Or get a small group of friends and neighbors together and chant: “U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.! Let’s get ready to rumble !”
And speaking of rumbling: There’s been a lot of rumbling of late about rumbling into Iraq. The purpose of an Iraqi rumble would be to get rid of their weapons of mass destruction, or “WOMD’s,” as Donald Rumsfeld calls them, because we and we alone-or us and us alone-have the ethics and the judgment to possess them.
That would sound good if it weren’t so laughable. No, I’m not talking about our superior ethics. Who can argue about that? Nor am I talking about our judgment, which is as infallible as you can get-unless you’re the Pope, and he doesn’t have any WOMD’s.
No, it’s laughable because we’ve had a monopoly on failing to control all the world’s WOMD’s for more than half a century. Donald Let’s-Get-Ready-to-Rumblesfeld and the rest of that clenched-jaw crowd might do some recollecting of our sorry history in that regard, dating back to the time we failed to keep them out of the hands of the Soviets. You can say, “But, but, but … the Communists stole the secret from us!” Which just makes my point. After the Reds filched the secret of the atomic bomb, we ratcheted up to the hydrogen bomb, but the Soviets had one of their own shortly thereafter, without even the courtesy of a design from us.
Now the French, the Brits, the Israelis, the Pakistanis, the Indians, the South Africans, the Chinese-and doubtless one or two countries I’ve missed-all have bombs of their own. So there you have it: 50 years of failure. However, if there’s one thing American politicians do well, it’s refuse to learn from experience. Take, for example, our policy on Cuba: Besides making Cubans miserable, the 40 years of boycotting that country seem to have accomplished little-except, perhaps, leaving us with the possibility that Fidel Castro will become the first centenarian dictator. U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.! And we tell others we’re a practical, pragmatic people.
There is one good reason for attacking Iraq: Saddam, the old schmuck, may not have any WOMD’s-or, if he does, he may only have a few, and no means of using them against anyone but his own people, which he’s been known to do when he gets cranky. It was The Washington Post which published the story saying that some American generals have major doubts that there’s any kick left in the Iraqi mule. They believe that Saddam’s WOMD’s lack much in the way of D-power, and that it’s best to leave things as they are. Just keep the blockade up and keep cool with Coolidge. In this, the generals are mistaken. The reason for attacking Saddam is because he doesn’t have WOMD’s. It’s what they call in Washington a “win-win situation”: Saddam’s impotence will provide a factual basis for the President’s saying that our war aims are accomplished, that Saddam is now WOMD-less. He can skip over Saddam’s having been WOMD-less to start with.
America and President Bush need a win. There are only so many times you can hand out medals to the NYPD and have everybody brush away the tears. You can already hear a few malcontents mumbling that flying isn’t safer, only nastier. While the Democrats lack the spine to complain, independents are beginning to murmur that, so far, the War on Terror’s only accomplishment is the forthcoming gigantic Department of Homeland Security muddle.
That is not a fair evaluation. There have been other accomplishments. Everyone drew much benefit from those inspirational press conferences delivered by Mr. Rumblesfeld at the Pentagon, which compare so favorably to the dishwater dumped out every day at the White House by Ari Four-Flusher, the flaccid flak. Give credit where credit is due: The Taliban are gone. From a P.R. point of view, it would’ve been nicer if they had fought back, but let us gather the flowers where they grow.
Where no flowers grow, it is possible to point the finger at the last administration. President Clinton had some pretty pale victories, not even counting Somalia. His Haiti enterprise has worked out so well that foreign aid has been discontinued pending a modicum of decent behavior on the part of the new despots. In the Balkans, where the military intervention was too late and too feeble to prevent mass murder, the outcome now is the ethnic cleansing the United States said it wouldn’t tolerate. So, you Democrats: no cock-a-doodle-do’s from you.
As for the present: God, we need to go to war against Iraq. It’ll take our minds off Afghanistan. Every three or four days those damn people, instead of being grateful, bitch about something else going wrong. When are they going to stop complaining about those civilians who got killed by accident at that wedding? For God’s sake, it was only 48 dead and 117 injured! The way they go on, they make it sound like a massacre. Who knows? The groom might have been linked to Al Qaeda or the Taliban, whose modus operandi is to hide the mortars in the nursery schools and blame us for the dead babies. It’s unconscionable.
So expect no gratitude from Kabul. They connived with that United Nations investigation, which claims the American military took off with the evidence of who killed whom at that wedding and why. The implication is that our government covered up what happened. Talk about preposterous! The next thing will be the U.N. investigating Amtrak accidents and blaming it on the Marines.
This stuff, this anti-American news, it can get to a person. You really have to work at getting rid of all doubts and negative ideas. Go to church or temple (mosque might not be so good). Another way to clear the mind of temptation-the temptation to think and question-is to belt out a stanza of “God Bless America.” You have no idea how much good it can do.
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