The Rip Post


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       *Bush debates Saddam? Not fair. Not fair at all. Saddam has a distinct advantage in English.
The odds of Bush not invading Iraq are roughly equivalent to the odds of the space shuttle, Columbia, reconstituting itself.
        *I am very, very tired of hearing people say "Of course, nobody wants war," and "War is a last resort," and "we go to war reluctantly." Obviously, a whole lot of people want war. If you look at history, a whole lot of people have always wanted to go to war---sometimes, as in opposing Hitler, for good reason!
        *If Bush doesn't want war, as he has said, there is a very easy solution: don't go to war.
        *How 'bout sending Dr. Phil over as a human shield?

        *U.S. and British intelligence agencies say Saddam Hussein has fewer weapons than he did before the "Mother of All Wars." You remember that one, when he fired off a few Crud missiles at Israel and killed. . .dozens.
        *Libya and Syria are well known to have large biological and chemical weapons staches. Um, why aren't "we" threatening them?
        *Ever notice how, when you threaten to drop nuclear bombs on paranoid little dictatorships "pre-emptively," that paranoid little dictatorships get real nervous? Ever notice how paranoid little dictatorships--- like, oh, North Korea---start threatening to strike the U.S. "pre-emptively?" Ever notice how paranoid little dictatorships like Iran start whipping up their nuclear programs (for peaceful use, of course)?
        *Ever notice how, when the United States insults the hell out of Germany, France, and the United Nations simply because they oppose Bush administration policy, that it creates all sorts of trouble?
        *I dare anyone to see the film, "The Piano," and still endorse the proposed Iraq slaughter.
        *Or "Grand Illusion." Or "Graves of the Fireflies." Or "Full Metal Jacket."
        *For the real news on the Iraq crisis, click here.
        *Why do so few people pay any attention to the fact that the current foreign policy---including the invasion of Iraq---was mapped out prior to the election---prior to 9/11---in the Project for A New American Century report about "Global Pax Americana?" And that this report included the observation that a "Pearl Harbor-like" event was needed to rally the people behind. . .Global Pax Americana?
        *The recent protests are exactly the kind of thing that President Cheney likes to dismiss as, and I quote, "a certain amount of hand-wringing."
         *"The past sure is tense/ they're heading up for the main event."---Don Van Vliet.
        *That wizard of foreign policy, Condoleezza Rice, said that she wished the protesters could take a giant step back and get the big picture on Iraq.
        *If you see the fine movie, "The Quiet American," you will find that the Brendan Fraser character---a sociopathic CIA agent in '50s Vietnam---says exactly the same thing! As he engineers the beginning of the Vietnam War with terrorist bombings of innocent civilians.
        *Okay, Condy, here's the big picture on Iraq: Iraq is less of a threat today than before the Gulf War. It now has the entire world on its back to get rid of any and all "weapons of mass destruction." The war will cost between $50 billion and a trillion dollars, while the U.S. debt is about a trillion bucks spread over the next five years. Many civilians, including many children, will die in an Iraq war. Many U.S. soldiers will die, and will be crippled and rendered physically and emo- tionally ill. Bush's fixation with Iraq, amped up by Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld, has alienated long standing allies, and tickled Osama bin-Laden pink, as Osama wants nothing more than for the U.S. to invade a Muslim country.
        *How about Martin Bashir as a human shield?
        *Here's more of the big picture on Iraq: Saddam has missiles that can go about 150 miles, and no nuclear warheads, and little prospect of obtaining any. North Korea has missiles that can hit North America, with nuclear warheads, and Kim Jong Il is building more. Invading Iraq will galvanize terrorists the world over, alienate half of Europe,    and bring humanity to the brink of World War III. Other than that, it's fine.
        *Here's some more big picture, Condy: the blood will be on your hands.
        *The most salient, incisive commentary yet written about the current crisis was done in 1981. You will find it here.
        *All the terrorist gas attacks in the world so far have been terrible, but terribly small incidents.
        *Hospitals across the country are refusing to acceed to Bush's request to implement smallpox vaccinations for their staffs.
        *A terrorist sickened with smallpox would be so hideously deformed with lesions that he would have trouble getting into a public place.
        *Those exposed to smallpox have three or four days in which to get the vaccination and still be protected.
        *We have been hearing about missing nuclear weapons from terrorism experts for at least twenty years. Why are they suddenly considered such a danger now?
        *The protesters are not denying that  Saddam is a threat. They are opposing WWIII.
        *At the Los Angeles protest, attended by (by this reporter's estimate) about 75,000-100,000 people, a New Orleans brass band played and sang "Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think.)"
        *I recently happened to catch one of those Howdy-Doody- looking TV preacher phonies with a bad toupee reading from the Bahble to rapt minions, explaining how God actually wants us to slaughter the occupants of other nations. Say hallelujah!
        *Hey, if that's God's will, then it would follow that anyone espousing peace must be doing the devil's work? (Christ would weep.)
        *All the TeeVee newsmannequins are primed to turn the war into a sporting event for your entertainment pleasure. The current most popular title: "Showdown with Saddam."
        *Sounds like a damn western.
        *Of course, when you consider ol' squinty-eyed Bush, his cornpone English, and his "dead or alive" rhetoric, and ol' squinty-eyed Rumsfeld, and get-outta-town tough-talk, it might as well be a damn western.
        *Lay in lots of nachos and beer with your duct tape.
        *Gore Vidal was the keynote speaker at the L.A. protest, yet was ignored entirely by the L.A. Times article that instead focused on the "West Wing" cast and "tie-dyed shirts" and "incense." (For the record, I saw no tie-dyes, and inhaled not a whiff of incense.)
        *Vidal, badly crippled with arthritis, competed with an LAPD chopper overhead---doubtless a deliberate attempt to drown out the speakers.
        *Vidal spoke of Benjamin Franklin, barely able to walk or speak, yet attending the Constitutional Convention, where he observed that the Constitution would one day fall prey to corruption, making the nation ripe for seizure by despots.
        *Can you say. . .prescient?
        *More suggested human shields: Barbara Walters, Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, Maury Povich, and that guy at the Grammys who said everyone is "in agreeance" about opposing the Iraq attack.
        *Wonder who gets better ratings on Al-Jazeera: Saddam or Osama.
        *Saddam is not the problem. Osama is the problem. The solution is security at home---the same approach used by every other country at risk of terrorist attack.
        *Police and fire departments across the nation are shorthanded for facing terrorism, thanks to Bush calling up all the reservists for his conquest of Iraq.
        *Hooray for former NATO chief, retired U.S. Army General Wesley K. Clark, who denounced the alienation of our allies in Europe, and voiced fear that the war will create far greater terrorism.
        *Hooray for former Vermont governor Howard Dean, who said the same thing. Both are running for president.
        *Major U.S. exporters report that regional sales in the Middle East are down 40 percent in the last quarter of 2002. This includes the closure of 175 McDonald's! Coca-Cola is being blown out of the water by Muslim-owned Mecca Cola, and Iranian-made Zam Zam Cola.
        *Zam Zam Cola?
        *Remember "The Prisoner?" Remember that an "orange alert" was when Number Two summoned the big menacing balloon, "Rover?"
        *How about, instead of boring old Tom Ridge, all the networks just replay a clip of Leo McKern as Number Two picking up the phone and saying "Orange Alert," followed by the shot of the roaring balloon? That ought to scare the bejeezus out of the country much better than Bush or Ridge can.
        *More human shields: Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Savage, and all elected officials who keep saying "no one wants war."
        *I said on the day of the "election" that we will all be lucky to live through this administration. So far, my prediction is looking pretty good.
        *Next time your kids tearfully ask you if they are going to die because the president can't protect them from Bin Laden, tell them the story of "The Boy Who Cried Wolfowitz."
        *For a preview of Tom Ridge's next security alert, click here.


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