Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Virtues of Symmetry


The Virtues of Symmetry

Much as I hate to say it, the war isn’t working out the way Secretary of Offense Rumsfeld promised, and I’m trying to understand why. Best as I can figure it, the problem is that the Mess o’ Potamia is what the Mess on the Potomac calls an asymmetrical war. This means that we’ve got more weapons, but they’re more eager to die.

We’re good at winning symmetrical wars. For example, when we first invaded Iraq it was a symmetrical war, even though Congress never officially DECLARED war, because we had a conventional army and they had a conventional army. Of course, it wasn’t all THAT symmetrical, because Saddam’s army was a sham and ours was the most powerful on Earth. In any case, we kicked butt when we could find butt to kick.

But now that we’re the occupiers, it’s a whole new war. We’re clay pigeons handing out candy to kids and they’re roaring up in vehicles filled to the brim with explosives and blowing themselves, the kids, and us, to hell. Then when we get mad and try to find them, we have a hard time because they’re already blown up and the next bunch of guys who are planning to blow us up look exactly like civilians, so what are we supposed to do, blow up the whole country? And we’ve tried that, too. For example, we blew up Fallujah. But it didn’t solve much, because those phantom insurgents we were looking for faded into the desert and and started blowing up our guys in Mosul, or Haditha, or on the road to the airport in Baghdad, or the London tube, or an Egyptian resort in the Sinai, or…..

Bottomline: They don’t play fair. They don’t stand out in broad daylight in uniforms and let us blow ‘em up. They hide in plain sight. That’s what asymmetry is all about. We’re the ones who stand out in broad daylight in uniforms and let THEM blow US up.

So the only solution is to make the war a symmetrical one by mirroring them. We can start doing that by persuading loads of our own citizens to become suicide bombers. And I don’t mean persuading our soldiers to be suicide bombers because once you put a guy in uniform and paint his vehicle olive drab you’ve lost the element of surprise.

What we need to find is unassuming American civilians who are willing to chauffeur carbombs or simply BE human bombs. This sounds like a problem but isn’t. It’s true that the upper 1% of Americans who have gotten gigantic tax cuts since President Bush declared the Perpetual War Against Terrorism probably don’t feel like being suicide bombs. But that leaves the remaining 99% of the population free to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Millions of Americans have been downsized and laid off because for some time our largest export has been jobs. We send jobs overseas and import goods manufactured by the guys who got our jobs. Anyhow, a goodly percentage of those downsized Americans have been unemployed or under-employed for so long that they’ve given up hunting for jobs and are no longer even COUNTED as unemployed. Many of them are so desperate that they’ve holed up in their houses and killed themselves. What a waste. The government needs to make it clear to those bent on suicide that the patriotic thing to do is to kill themselves in the service of their country. If we could only persuade one of out twenty of these desperate souls to join suicide squads, we’d have hundreds of thousands of kamikazes to unleash on the terrorists.

Millions of other Americans are still employed, but are working at Wal-Mart’s or MacDonald’s for minimum or near-minimum wages with little or no medical care. Surely at least quarter of the employees at Wal-Mart’s feel like killing themselves. Oh, I know, the commercials we see on TV show grinning Wal-Mart employees. But would you be grinning if you had to stack goods in a Wal-Mart aisle for $6 an hour? The Wal-Mart folks who are REALLY grinning are the owners, the Waltons, five of whom are worth $20 billion apiece. Wal-Mart is the largest employer in the nation. There must be enough disgruntled employees at Wal-Mart’s alone to blow up the entire Arab world.

The trick, of course, is to make sure they blow up the right parts of the Arab world. We have to make sure they stay away from the oil fields and refineries and stick to the population centers. There’s another problem with training lots of Americans to be suicide bombers: Some of them might get the wrong idea and start blowing themselves up right here in the good ol US of A. That’s more or less what happened with Warren McVeigh. He was trained to bomb Baghdad and ended up bombing Tulsa.

And it happens every day with Postal workers. They get madder and madder sorting mail, and they build up bigger and bigger gun collections, which isn’t hard in this great nation of ours, and then they turn into one-man suicide missions.

So having our own kamikazes boomerang on us is a terrible risk we’ll have to take in the Perpetual War on Terrorism. But the danger from foreign suicide bombers is so great that we’ll just have to take that chance. Anyhow, having some of our own people blow us up instead of blowing up the people they’re supposed to blow up doesn’t seem as terrible as foreigners blowing us up, does it?

And the great thing is that the suicide bombers we export will soon exceed the jobs we export and suicide bombers will replace jobs as America’s greatest export. And the more unemployed, uninsured, and/or underpaid Americans we get to kill themselves outside our borders, the better our employment figures and average income per capita statistics will look.

Just about all the folks who blow themselves up in the service of our country will come from the ranks of the under-insured, so their sacrifices will also solve our nation’s healthcare problems. Do the math: the more uninsured citizen-patriots blow themselves up, the greater will be the percentage of survivors who have adequate coverage. And speaking of healthcare, think of all the uninsured Americans who have chronic and even life-threatening diseases. There must be millions. Surely at least a million of them would rather die heroically on the front of the Perpetual War Against Terrorism than continue to plunge into debt in a sickbed on the Homefront.

As you can see, there is no end to the manpower pools which can supply America’s suicide bomber enlistment quotas. And I’m far from done. Consider all the illegal immigrants who have sneaked across America’s borders. They must number in the tens of millions. Many of them yearn to be full-fledged citizens. All we have to do is promise them they’ll become naturalized American citizens as soon as they blow themselves up in the service of their country, and many of them will no doubt snap at the chance.

Then there are African-Americans. With the exception of Clarence Thomas, Condi Rice, Kenneth Blackwell, and Fifty Cent, their incomes have stagnated or have dropped during the Bush years. And so many of them are killing each other in drive-bys that their life expectancies are lower than those of the citizens of some Third World Nations. All the Army needs to do is send recruiters into the inner city and offer those young gangstuhs a chance to kill somebody OTHER than their fellow African-Americans and they’ll jump at the chance. And soon as they’ve all blown themselves up overseas, the Supreme Court won’t have to trouble its mind over affirmative action, voting rights, and other vexed questions that have haunted the nation since the days of slavery.

Don’t even get me started on Native Americans. We’ve killed so many of them already, and caused so many others to drink themselves to death on reservations, that there are hardly enough left to fill a goodsized suicide brigade, more’s the pity.

I could go on in this vein. Consider how pregnant women who want legal abortions will feel once the upcoming Bush appointees to the Supreme Court overthrow Roe vs. Wade. They’ll feel like human suicide bombs, that’s how they’ll feel. And they’ll make really good ones. Because who would suspect a woman, especially a pregnant woman, of being a suicide bomb? So these women, some of them rape victims, some of them women whose health is threatened by their pregnancies, some of them simply women whose health is threatened by the prospect of illegal abortions, will be able, under cover of burqas, to be able to sneak into the heart of terrorists’ lairs and blow them up. They will not only keep America’s Homeland safe, but they will be self-administering foolproof abortions to themselves.

Of course, some of these ladies may get mad or confused and take their bomb-wrapped, pregnant selves to the Supreme Court or the House of Representatives instead of traveling all the way to Kandahar to blow themselves up. But as I say, that’s just a chance America will have to take. And it won’t be as terrible if we Americans blow ourselves up. The important thing is, we blew ourselves up before evil-doing foreigners had a chance to do it to us.