Sunday, December 08, 2002

I Had a Dream


I had a dream last night, and I'm going to share it with you, and with The Department of Homeland Defense, if it's willing to listen, because after 9/11 Condy Rice said that two terrorist piloted planes crashing into the World Trade Center was unimaginable. So then the government hired some scifi screenwriters to help them imagine the unimaginable so we could gird our loins against it in the future---the scary future which had formerly been unforeseeable but which will now be foreseeable thanks to the wacky imaginations of Hollywood screenwriters, laboring in tandem with not so imaginative G-men, and CIA spooks, and Bush Administrators. So naturally, as a redblooded American, I want to step and do my bit, as well.

Don't worry, I'll get to the dream in a second, and then all will be clear, and we'll all be the safer for it and our Vaterland, I mean Homeland, will at last see the light at the end of the tunnel in our Perpetual War Against Terror. Tom Ridge, are you listening?

Back when FDR took office in January of 1933, he told us that the only thing we had to fear is fear itself. And since 9/11, GWB has told us that the only thing we have to be terrorized by is terrorism itself, and that we are doomed to be terrorized perpetually by it, especially in the months immediately prior to Congressional elections. And just in case we forget what the face of terror looks like, our Fearless Leader has kindly reminded us that it looks exactly like the broad mustachioed face of Saddam Hussein. Yes, terror, at least since September 2002 when our fearless protectors started ramping us up for the Baghdad Gangbang, looks a great deal more like Saddam than it does Osama. And who am I to argue? After all, all I have is my common sense, while the Bush Administration is aided in its looks into the terrifying and unforeseeable and seemingly unimaginable future not only by the FBI and the CIA and the wacky Hollywood screenwriters, but also by chickenhawks like Richard Perles and Paul Wolfowitz, and most especially by the brilliant spinmeister Karl Rove, whose perspective on the future is always colored by his crafty presumption of what is most likely to panic voters into voting Republican.

But how can common sense be enough to allow me to keep pace with the devious imagination of TERROR, especially terror emanating from the Axis of Evil and then orchestrated and disseminated over Fox News Network by Karl Rove and Roger Ailes? When I reach the limits of what common sense can do to help me, I turn to uncommon sense---my dreams. And so I will keep you in suspense no longer: I dreamed last night that the next big act of terror in The Perpetual War On Liberalism, I mean, uh, Terrorism, will come when the terrorists turn our own ICBM's against us.

It will happen something like this: The Saudi Ambassador and his wife (you remember her, don't you? The lady who helped fund the 9/11 terrorists?) and George Bush Sr. and Barbara will be visiting the White House, chummily dining with George Jr. and Laura. And Mrs. Ambassador will excuse herself from the table, saying she has to pee. And while the Saudi Ambassador and the two Georges are lighting up cigars, Mrs. Ambassador will rifle through W's Oval Office Desk and find some postits with secret scribblings on them, and she will stuff them in her purse.

The next thing we know, a number of terrorists will turn up at a missile silo somewhere near Minot, North Dakota. Inside this forlorn missile silo are Air Force officers, manning an ICBM with multiple nuclear warheads aimed at……..well, that's no longer clear. They used to be aimed at Moscow and Peking, but now Moscow and Peking are sorta on our side, fighting the perpetual war against terror against Chechnyans and Tibetan monks. So maybe the warheads are now aimed at Baghdad, or at Colonel Khaddafi's tent in Libya (Remember him? He made honorary mention for the Axis of Evil. I'm not sure if we're supposed to be terrified by him or not. I better ask Karl Rove.), or maybe the capital of North Korea, Pingpong, or whatever it's called.

In fact, that's just what United States Air Force Lt. Yates and Cpt. Meixner are arguing about: Exactly what their missile is aimed at and who ARE Strategic Air Command's targets of choice these days. They argue about this in-between doing the New York Times crossword puzzle and ruing the day they washed out of fighter jockey school, which is how they got remanded to this silo in the first place. They envy their former classmates, who are all fighter jocks on the cutting edge of the Perpetual War on Terrorism, doing flyovers over the no-fly zone, dodging Baghdad bogeys and ramping up for the big Iraqi turkey shoot. Yates and Meixner feel so out of it that they wonder if their Fearless Leader has forgotten them altogether.

Then all hell busts loose and a bunch of Saudi terrorists barge into the missile silo and hold Yates and Meixner at gunpoint before they can drop their crossword puzzle pencils and unholster their 45's. "How'd you boys get in here?" says Cpt. Meixner. "The guards up top should have blasted you full of holes." "Those guards went home years ago," says Muhammed #1, the lead terrorist. "They were under the impression this silo was defunct, a Cold War relic which no longer needed to be guarded."

"Damn you speak pretty English," says Cpt Meixner. "Where'd a towelhead learn to speak so pretty?"

"Oxford," says Muhammed #1 as he pistol whips Cpt Meixner and Lt Yates, "and I don't mean Oxford, Mississippi."

"Why are you pistolwhipping ME?!" says Lt. Yates. "I'm not the one who laid the politically incorrect monicker on you."

"Just on general principles," says Muhammed #1. "And because you are infidels in the service of the Great Satan. And to soften you up a bit."

"Well, let's get one thing clear right now," says Lt. Yates. "There's no use trying to soften us up because we will die before we give you the secret launch codes. You can pull out our fingernails, you can force us to listen to Celine Dionne, or Abba, or even Pink Lady. But nothing you can do can break us down."

"We don't have to break you down," says Muhammed #2, whose Etonian/Harrovian/Oxbridgian accent is as beautifully refined as that of Muhammed #1, "because we ALREADY HAVE the secret launch codes."

"Well damn!" says Cpt. Meixner, who's on his knees on the deck, bleeding from his head. "How can that be unless the PRESIDENT HIMSELF, or maybe the First Lady-I never did trust her, she likes books too much--handed them over?"

"Zat will remain our leetle secret," says Muhammed #3, whose English has a charming French inflection from his years at a swellegant Swiss lycee and at the Sorbonne. #3 immediately starts punching in the launch code as Numbers 1 and 2 grab the simultaneous launch keys off Yates and Meixner. In a thrice, the Saudis have the missile in launch mode and the great bomb-proof hatch opens at the mouth of the silo and the missile spews brimstone and fire and thunders off.

"For all you know, that missile's headed for Riyadh," says Cpt Meixner.

"No, not Riyadh," grins Muhammed #1. "NEVER Riyadh. You don't know much about the present administration if you think a Saudi city could be a target of choice. Saudi cities are sacred to the Bush Family. In fact, there are AMERICAN cities which are more likely to be targeted."

"Just where are you going with this?" says Lt. Yates uneasily.

"Don't you mean: Just where is that MISSILE going?" grins Muhammed #1.

"OK," says Lt. Yates. "Let's not play 20 questions. You seem to have all the answers. Just where IS that missile going?"

The three Saudis stare at the postit which Mrs. Ambassador stole from W's desk and then chorus: "Open up your Golden Gates, California here I come."

"San Francisco!" gasp Yates and Meixner in unison. "But not EVERYone's liberal in San Francisco," says Cpt Meixner. There are still a few solid Republicans there. Remember Dan White, the twinky'ed out fireman who killed the mayor?"

"That was years ago," says Lt. Yates. "Republicans are scarcer'n chicken lips in North Beach. And the ones that ARE there are moderates, and moderate Republican is an oxymoron. The heart of 'Frisco is redder than Red Square. They don't call it The Castro for nothing."

"If you come to San Francisco," chorus the Saudis, "be sure to wear a multiple warhead in your hair."

"I'm just hoping against hope that warhead's got a neutron smartbomb which cleans out the liberals and leaves the structures unscathed," says Cpt. Yates. "It would be a crying shame to waste all that gorgeous real estate."


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