Remember that ditty? It was so much
fun to chant when we were children. And those three
little pigs that, except for the one who built a solid
house out of bricks, failed to realize just how dangerous
the big bad wolf could be. Moral to the story: Naive
piglets (read people) get eaten if they (we) arent
careful. Prepare for the worst because, in the form
of a very hungry wolf, its coming your way.
I keep thinking about this morality tale as the date
for George W. Bushs visit to Ireland approaches.
But perhaps I exaggerate. The resident in the White
House really didnt steal the election in 2000.
The fix in the state of Florida really wasnt
in. Thousands of African-American voters werent
denied the right to cast a vote for the President
of the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court did not
overrule the will of the people by choosing Mr. Bush
to be the leader of the free world. Perhaps
I am delusional, confused by books like Michael Moores
Stupid White Men and Greg Palests The
Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
Maybe Im just a begrudger,
whining because I didnt get my way in the last
election (I wanted a Socialist to occupy the big white
house on Pennsylvania Avenue). Perhaps Mr. Bush is
not the Big Bad Wolf. Hes just a misguided fellow
who means well, but cant think his way out of
a wet paper bag and is surrounded by cunning little
Quislings. I should stop exaggerating the threat G.W.
poses to the world and accept that he loves cute black
dogs and dutiful women named Laura. He wants to put
America, which has lost three million manufacturing
jobs since hes been in office, back to work.
He wants to defeat terrorism, by locking detainees
from Afghanistan up in cages, denying them access
to attorneys, and refusing to charge them with any
crime. I should be grateful that Mr. Bush ordered
a preemptive strike on Iraq in order to protect the
free word from evil. He is a brave, insightful, Christian
crusader against world terrorism, not some furry thing
all dressed up like a world leader.
Mr. Bush and his army of machinegun
toting bodyguards are on their way to Ireland. One
can only assume that he will whisper anti-terrorist
mantras in Bertie Aherns ears, raise a toast
to victory in Iraq, and pass on advice about how to
trick some of the people all of the time. Alas, polls
in the U.S.A. show that more than half of the people
now believe that the war in Iraq wasnt worth
the financial and human sacrifice, and that approximately
sixty percent of Americans feel this nation is going
in the wrong direction.
What, then, will George W. have to
say to Prime Minister Ahern? Will he encourage Ireland
to give up neutrality and start investing in fighter
planes, tanks, and bombs, marked made in the
USA? Will he encourage Mr. Ahern to cut spending
for social programs, toss the homeless into the streets,
and cut needy families off the dole? All this in order
to demonstrate what Mr. Bush calls compassionate
Perhaps George W. will point to some
of his many accomplishments since he took (literally)
office. He might tell the Irish people that he refused
to sign the Kyoto Treaty on global warming, that he
tore up the IBM treaty, that he withdrew the United
States from the World Court, and that in order to
demonstrate his contempt for big government he created
the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy
in U.S. history.
Mr. Bush might give Bertie a few
hints about how to create a benign police state, in
which armed men and women can legally enter ordinary
citizens homes without a warrant, stop citizens
on the streets and demand identification if the police
happen to feel, think, or suspect that a citizen is
acting (looking) suspicious, tap citizens phones,
intercept their email, and deport them in the middle
of the night.
If Bertie Ahern is not unconscious from boredom by
this time, Mr. Bush might tell him a few good jokes.
For example, how he managed to lie in his State of
the Union Address about the treat Iraq posed to the
American empire. Better yet, how he managed to lie
to the entire world (with a lot of help from Secretary
of State Colin Powell) about this threat, how he has
managed to keep the media from photographing flag-draped
coffins of dead Americans, how he has kept the public
from knowing how many thousands of young Americans
have come home, are coming home from Iraq, legless,
armless, blind, brain damaged, and seriously traumatized.
I tell you, Bertie,
Mr. Bush will say. In my wildest dreams I never
thought I could pull this deal off. Never. They called
me stupid, a knucklehead, a wooden Pinocchio boy.
They said I was daddys little clone. A failure
in business, a draft dodger, an All-American fraud.
Well, look whos laughing now. Maybe I didnt
do so well at Yale. Maybe I did get a leg up now and
then from Papa Bush. But Ive sent the military
into not one but two countries and then talked about
cutting benefits for active duty troops and their
families. Ive spent two hundred billion dollars
in Iraq, and Ive refused to be seen at even
one funeral for an American soldier killed in action.
Ive said a million times that Saddam and Al
Qaeda were peas in a pod, and Im still in power,
right here in the empires saddle.
I dont live in Ireland. If
I did, I would be in the streets of Dublin when the
cowboy from Waco, Texas arrives. I would challenge
his grandiose vision of a world in which powerful
nations need not abide by the Geneva Convention, in
which powerful nations can hold innocent people in
dog cages for years without due process, and in which
a politician can lie to the people without fear of
being held accountable for his or her criminal actions.
The Big Bad Wolf is alive, leaner
and meaner than any of the empires former CEOs.
I truly hope that the Irish people will deny this
interloper the hospitality for which Ireland is renown.
Moreover, when the dust clears and the Irish people
receive an enormous bill for this imperial visit,
I hope they will send it straight back to Washington,
D.C., with a wee note attached.
Dont call us, well
call you. Our number? Sorry, but its unlisted.