Skip to comments.WARTIME MADNESS A world gone bonkers
Posted on 10/08/2001 6:36:45 AM PDT by Pay now bill Clinton
They're telling us everything's changed since 9/11, it's a new era, and I'm afraid they're right: it's the Age of the Nutballs, where the bizarre reigns supreme. Citing "a senior foreign official," the New York Times reports that, the day before 9/11, Osama bin Laden called his mother. This information, we are told, comes from interrogating members of the bin Laden familia, although we should perhaps leave open other possibilities: there are credible reports that bin Laden's satellite phone conversations had been intercepted by Western intelligence agencies in the past. In any case, he purportedly called Mama bin Laden, currently residing in Syria, "to tell her that he could not meet her there because 'something big' was imminent that would end their communications for a long time." Gee, can you imagine listening in on that conversation?
Osama bin Laden: "Hello, Ma?"
Mama bin Laden: "Osama! Where have you been?"
OBL: "Oh, Ma, I'm all grown up now, do you have to track my every move?"
MBL: "Well , if you're asking for money again ."
OBL: "Listen, Ma, I've got a job now, and "
MBL: "A job? A real job, after all these years I don't believe it!"
OBL: "Look, Al Qaeda is a real good company, with benefits and everything "
MBL: "Al Qaeda? ["The Base"] What kind of a name is that? What do they do?"
OBL: "Uh, well, they're involved in oh, lots of things."
MBL: "Like what, fr'instance? Look, Osama, I hope this isn't another one of your holy wars. Now, you know what I told you: it's time for you to settle down, find yourself a couple of dozen wives, and get serious. Aren't you a little old for this terrorism stuff?
OBL: "Oh, Ma, gimme a break, wooncha?"
MBL: "I knew it! Now you listen here, young man, if you think you're going to go gallivanting around, and expect us to send you money !"
OBL: "Listen, Ma, willya listen? I gotta tellya, I won't be able to make it to the wedding...."
MBL: "What?! But it's your Dad's 100th wife, why, he'll never forgive you."
OBL: "Number one-hundred, eh? Why, the old devil. I'm gonna miss him and you, too, Ma."
[The sound of sniffling is followed by a pregnant pause.]
MBL [voice suddenly soft, and fearful] : "What do you mean, son?"
OBL [voice bursting with pride]: "Something big, Ma, really big ."
The few realists who haven't been cowed into a discreet silence explain OBL and Al Qaeda in historical and ideological terms, and point especially to the $3 billion involuntarily donated by the US taxpayers to the Afghan "freedom-fighters" who somehow morphed into the Taliban and bin Laden's terror network. But since history and context, for that matter is nowadays deemed treasonous, other explanations have arisen. My favorite is from the Saudi ambassador to Washington, the influential Price Bandar bin Sultan, who points to OBL's "unhappy childhood." Now it's all beginning to make sense .
The Prince avers that bin Laden "flipped" over religion: "I think he was a black sheep of the family," said His Highness, "and for a while we thought his religious leanings were a positive thing. It is just something that flipped inside of him." Prince Bandar confided to Larry King and millions of viewers that he became well-acquainted with the man who is now America's mortal enemy back in the 1980s when bin Laden was raising money and political support for the Afghan rebels in their war against the Soviet invaders: "He came to thank me for my efforts to bring the Americans, our friends, to help us against the atheist communists ... Isn't it ironic?"
Ah, but the Age of Irony is dead, or so we're told, and we are supposedly in the Era of an Annoying Earnestness. Annoying because it is so dishonest and contrived an effort to sweep a lot of dirt under the rug, and preserve the illusion that the government can protect us against the "blowback" they warned us was coming. Comedians have been rendered speechless and stuttering, fearful that any expression of humor will seem starkly at odds with the universal solemnity. But there are plenty of laughs out there, and they stand out all the more against a backdrop of sheer horror.
In the past week, we have seen: the first case of anthrax in 25 years (the victim was from the Florida town where the terrorist ringleader trained), the mysterious explosion of a Russian plane in midair, holes shot in an Alaskan pipeline, a chemical mail bomb at a Tennessee plant, a case where 200 students fall ill at an Illinois school, a man try to hijack a medical transport plane at a New Mexico airport, two trucks from the same company carrying explosives go off the road, an explosion in France that kills 29 people and is initially dismissed as an accident, and another bombing in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia but the US government insists these are "isolated incidents," and it's all a coincidence. What are you, some kind of conspiracy theorist? Oh, I see, spreading rumors, are we? Well, doncha know that loose lips sink ships and, hey, can I see your identification papers, comrade?
So much for black humor. Here's some real slapstick for you: a man with a portrait of OBL tattooed across his chest has been arrested in Orange County, California. After being taken into custody at the county jail, police discovered the tattoo, and, just in case there was any doubt as to the identity of the bearded personage inked on his skin, the words "Osama bin Laden" were emblazoned underneath. He was also carrying false identification papers. Orange County Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo assured the Los Angles Times that authorities are hard at work on the case, working day and night to determine "if the man was associated with bin Laden or the attacks." Duh-uh! Put on your thinking caps, boys, and concentrate real hard, because this is going to be a tough one.
The strictures on dissent laid down by New Republic editor Peter Beinart, discussed in a previous column, have really caught on in the wider world. According to Beinart, dissent is allowable only if "preceded by a statement of national solidarity" and already traitors of every sort are being flushed out by the dozens. Not only Susan Sontag, Sunera Thobani, and Noam Chomsky, but also less obvious (albeit more insidious) fifth columnists such as Paul Volz, the Missouri 11-year-old suspended from school for well, it's hard to say. It seems he drew a picture of the twin towers aflame, and taped it to his study cubicle. His class had been discussing it, and writing "peace poems," and so it was on his mind. What happened next is hard to pinpoint, so I'll just cite the account printed in the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
"A Jefferson County fifth-grader served a three-day suspension this week for drawing the World Trade Center attack on notebook paper and grinning while showing it off."
A notice sent to his parents by Principal Jeff Boyer noted "disruptive speech" and "communication of a threatening nature." "When I asked him why he did this, he just looked at me and smiled," ranted Boyer. "This is totally inappropriate and Paul's behavior has to change." Boyer was unavailable for comment, but school district spokesman Ben Helt "said it was Paul's grinning not the drawing that brought the suspension. There will be no grinning as long as Osama bin Laden roams free, at least not without a preceding statement of solidarity. As Andrew Sullivan would piously intone: "We've got a war to win!"
The ability to distinguish between the two is essential - or else one morphs from an intelligent and realistic advocate of peace into a brain-dead hippy loser.
Their sister group A.N.S.W.E.R. is directly funded by the communist groups
To do nothing is both unnatural and the road to suicide.
Raimondo isn't a Libertarian. He was a Buchanan guy.
Minarchist Libertarians accept the role of government as strictly limited to police, courts, and national defense.
This would appear to be a case of national defense. I'm a Libertarian, I have no problem with dropping bombs on bin Laden's head.
Well, which is more fatal, AIDS or anthrax?
Then Raimondo can really be a C.O..
In any case, those not for U.S. are for the terrorists. antiwar.com has been consistently opposed to anything western and pro-chinese. During Clinton they had some traction, today they are on their way to the dustbin.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.