Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

Well, hi. It’s day bleagh after the 2004 State of the Union address and rapture is not upon us.

Pislocybe P Pook is, however, a little puzzled about a couple of parts of the speech.

Bush claims that the world is safer because of the war in Iraq. At another point in the speech he points out that “the killing continues,” and cites Bali, Jakarta, Casablanca, Riyadh, Mombassa, Jerusalem, Istanbul, and Baghdad where lots of bombs have killed lots more people. Surely this is evidence that the world is more dangerous, not less. Surely he is contradicting himself. 

He went on to forget to mention the winter holiday airline terrorist alerts that brought chaos to thousands of travelers. Perhaps he didn’t consider this potential terrorist action in any way dangerous or unusual. Those of us not tranquillised beyond hope are aware that these warnings are exceptional. Shit like that just didn’t happen before Bush. This is an escalation in threat, not a safer, less threatening world. 

Or perhaps Bush discounted them because the terror alerts were totally bogus. Let’s think this one through. Muslim terrorists are threatening to blow up French airliners on their way to the US. France was the most vocal opponent to the Iraq war, why would the enemies of America want to blow up French planes? It doesn’t make any sense. Note that not one terrorist was connected to those cancelled flights. Not even a wannabe. Not even someone like the guy that waltzed onto a US plane in the US through all the post 11/9 tougher than tough security checks with bullets in his pocket. (He forgot they were there. Security evidently forgot to check he was safe to board. He’ll go to prison anyway.) And what a great time to have an alert, when everyone is feeling comfy and homey at Christmas, what better time to tell them that the Grinch is real.

That’s beef one. Here’s beef two. Bush tells us that there hasn’t been an attack on the US mainland for two years, but we shouldn’t get complacent. This makes it sound like attacks on the US mainland are commonplace and I think there is an implication here that only Bush has ended serial assaults on the homeland. Let’s think this one through too.

Attacks on US soil are this frequent: since the end of the Mexican war there have been precisely three attacks on US soil from foreign agents or powers (ignoring attacks on US embassies which are only nominally US soil). Pearl Harbour, the WTC bomb, the attack on September 11, 2001. Wow! What a lot of attacks on US soil! And Bush quite sensibly reminds us that the onslaught is not yet over. Why, at this rate, the next attack could be as soon as 2070. 

It is true that 3,000 people died in the September 11attacks. Let’s not dishonour them by making political capital out of their deaths as Bush is doing.

Jan 24, ’04

By chris page

Magazine editor, writer of fiction and non-fiction; exile; cat person; red wine for blood and cheese in his soul. Chris Page is the author of the novels Weed, Sanctioned, Another Perfect Day in ****ing Paradise, King of the Undies World, and The Underpants Tree. He is also a freelance journalist, copywriter, editor, cartoonist, illustrator, graphic designer, and consultant in the use and abuse of false moustaches (don’t wear them — you’re welcome — the invoice is in the mail).

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