This, I need not tell you, is a region of the world that's quite comfortable with stern punishment. So I'm going to suggest the nuclear equivalent of a couple of lashes--with each one weighing in around a kiloton. First Baghdad. Then Kandahar--or whatever rocky hillocks Osama is using to shield his bullocks. These strikes will be nothing like the terrible two-fer we were forced to unleash in Japan so many years ago. Instead, they'll be a natural extension of our conventional battlefield arsenal, with each strike so rigorously targeted that the neighbors across the street may not even wake up. Not wake up, that is, from their dreams of a peaceful, moderate homeland that embraces the United States as a rigid but loving father figure.
The Lyon has been silent for a few months now. Meanwhile, this free weekly--content-free, that is--has squandered perfectly good tree pulp. They've rolled out the welcome mat for our nation's uninvited houseguests; they've tried to beat our peace officers black and blue. (And these tree-humpers call themselves environmentalists! The "mental" part is true, at least.) I personally believe the paper's staff is angling for press office positions in the next Gus Hall campaign. Observing the writers here as they champion yet another futile five-year plan--all the while lighting a daily votive candle for Saint Wellstone--is a little like watching a Tom & Jerry sight gag. Tom keeps stepping on the front end of a rake and the pole end keeps jumping up to smack him in the face. For me and Jerry, at least, the joke continues to be hilarious.
You want to know what else is funny? What the editors here do with the e-mail broadsides you all have been firing at the sinking ship of these East German holdouts. Your intelligent notes of support for this column may not be turning up on the letters page, but, believe me, they're piling up in a big metal tray on the publisher's desk. Copy your proposals for where the next RNEP should drop to email@example.com. I'll be busy penning a condolence card from all of us to Mrs. bin Laden.