overwhelmed me, so once again I put in a call to my old friend, Sir Loquacious Real.
"Sir Real," I said. "I can't
keep up anymore."
"Who can?" said Sir Real. "Last
Saturday, the space shuttle, Columbia, turned into a flying Texas barbecue. Then Large
Intestine Powell tells the United Nations that the United States is going to unite 500
missiles per day with Iraq. Well, make that the U.S.-led coalition of nations.
You know, such super-powers as um, Portugal. The Czech Republic. Poland. Denmark. Spain.
Yessir. Couldn't invade without 'em."
"This all must be very tough on the
president," I offered.
"Pronouncing 'nuclear' correctly
is tough on the president. He couldn't even manage it for the State of the
Confederacy---er, Union address."
"Come on. Lots of people say 'nuke-you-luhr.'"
"My theory," said Sir Real, "is
that he says nuke-you-luhr because he wants to nuke-you."
"Oh, now now. . ."
"Read about it! He practically wants to
reclassify nuclear weapons as conventional. Do your homework! He has decided they
can be used 'pre-emptively,' which I believe is what we used to call 'first strike' in the
Cold War. They keep talking about using 'bunker busters' when they conquer Iraq."
"No," he said. "I am."
"Bunker busters. Sounds like
something you buy for the Fourth of July."
"Buster Keaton would be horrified,"
said Sir Real. "They only go 20 feet deep! They throw off enough radioactive cooties
to poison Peoria! And even if they hit a stash of chemical or biological weapons, they'll
spread that crud like an atomic sneeze, all over creation. Or whatever is left of
"Can we change the subject? This is too
"What shall we change it to? Those
extraordinary people who were brave enough to fly into space, only to be let down by
"What do you mean, 'let down?'"
"NASA learned nothing from the Challenger
accident, apparently. Do your homework, Rense! Then you won't have to bother me so much.
Five NASA experts warned repeatedly that the shuttle program was terribly unsafe, and they
were all fired! An engineer wrote a warning letter to Bush! And guess who runs NASA! Why,
it's one of Dick
Cheney's pals, someone Dick once tabbed to be hatchet man on the Pentagon budget. Once
again, an executive puts his employees' welfare paramount! Heh, heh."
"Well, it's very sad. Every time I see the
flags at half-staff, I feel very disturbed."
"You can stop feeling disturbed after
Wednesday," said Sir Real."The president did not see fit to give the seven
Columbia astronauts a full week of flags at half-staff."
"Yes, I thought that was strange."
"Strange is a starting point!" said
Sir Real. "Bush couldn't have the country preoccupied with astronauts turned into
Burger Bits! He's got a war to manufacture! An appointment with destiny! So he cut the
flag thing off after four days---that's right, just in time for Large Intestine Powell's
U.N. speech! It doesn't even work out to one half-staff flag day per astronaut!"
"You're awfully cynical."
"I merely state facts. Let's look at some
more. There is zero evidence that Saddam Hussein has any connection to Al-Qaeda, but let's
assume he does! Let's assume he is having unprotected homosexual relations with Osama
right now, okay? Well, guess what Bush wants to do for the great "evildoer," as
he loves to call Saddam? Prosecute him? Kill him? Or worse---tie him up and leave him
alone with Diane Sawyer? Nah---Bush offered Saddam asylum! That's right, the chief Iraqi
moustache can go to Saudi Arabia and live in a low-rent palace for the rest of his life!
Hot and cold running camels. 'Saddam Hussein, your nation has just been conquered by
the USA! What are you going to do now?' 'I'm going to Disneyland!'"
"No, I am."
"But what," I said,
"about protecting our country? Isn't that what the president is doing?"
"Police forces, border patrols, fire
departments across the nation are losing countless millions of dollars! Why? Because of
the mutant tax cut for the rich and nasty! Less tax revenue equals less money for public
services. It's all going to the military."
"Well, that's why he's invading Iraq,
right? To get the oil, and pump up the economy?"
"Pump up the corpse-or-ations,
you mean!" said Sir Real.
"But Bush says that what's good for
corporations is good for the economy, right? Won't it all trickle down to the middle class
"I can give you an answer to that in two
En Ron. As for protecting the country, doesn't anyone get the logic that if you bomb the Shiite
out of a Muslim nation or two, that Muslims---gee whiz, including terrorists---will trip
over themselves to kill westerners?"
"But--but Saddam does have weapons of mass
destruc- tion, right?"
"All intelligence reports say that
he is nowhere near as powerful as during the Gulf War, when he tried to provoke Israel
with a few Crud missiles, killing. . .dozens. Weapons of half-assed destruction! And let's
ask ourselves why he wants weapons of mass destruction---"
"To gas his own people?"
"That's one of those rumors that Bush
former CIA agent reported just the other day that the gassing of the Kurds in the
north of Iraq, years ago, might well have been carried out by Iran! Or the Kurds might
have been caught in the fatal flatulence of the Iran-Iraq war. There is no evidence that
Saddam did it!"
"Sir Real! I can't believe this. You are
suggesting that Saddam is innocent?"
"Nothing of the kind. He is as
foul and vile and insane and fiendish as. . .well, a dozen or more other
dictators in the world, who routinely sanction mass killing, rape, starvation, torture of
their populations. Funny that Bush singles out Saddam, eh? Could it have something to do
"But why does Saddam want weapons
of mass destruction, then? For a hobby?"
"Let me ask you something, Rense. If you
were an megalomaniacal dictator of a tiny country, and right next door was a country you
hated that had a rumored 200---two hundred---nuclear bombs, and that country hated you,
too, wouldn't you want some nukes, too?"
"Israel has 200 nuclear bombs?"
"Mordechai Vanunu was imprisoned 17
years ago for blowing the lid off of Israel's weapons program. Since that time, Israel
is believed to have built about 200 bombs."
"Wow. And here I called you for some
"If you want comfort," said Sir Real,
"I suggest you are most likely to find it inside a bottle marked, 'Southern.'"