A Child's ABCs of Terrorism
A IS FOR Al Qaeda and amnesia. Are you old enough to remember when the war on terror was being fought against people who actually
B IS FOR Bush and Bin Laden. They hate each other, but they could never be the same without each other--just like lots of mommies and daddies!
C IS FOR Chalabi and the cap President Bush would like to pop in his ass. Ahmed Chalabi was the man America paid lots of money (over $340,000 a month) to make up scary stories about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. But that's not why President Bush is mad at him. He's mad because last month Chalabi was caught trying to organize a coup against the US occupation forces. No more allowance for you, Chalabi.
D IS FOR dirty bomb. Did you know a dirty bomb (that's a regular bomb with radioactive materials inside it) could render an area the size of Manhattan uninhabitable? Just imagine how much trouble you'd be in if you rendered an area the size of Manhattan uninhabitable! D is also for Department of Homeland Security. Do you know what the Department of Homeland Security would do if someone detonated a dirty bomb? Neither does the Department of Homeland Security!
E IS FOR Election Day and end times. Many experts believe there will be another terrorist attack in America before Election Day. Other experts believe the president is only using the color-coded terror alerts to scare people into voting for him. And some millennial (muh-LEN-ee-ul) Christians don't really mind, because they believe we live in end times, meaning that sometime soon Jesus will invite all his friends up to Heaven and kill everybody else.
F IS FOR faith-based and Fox News. Do you know the difference between something that's faith-based, like President Bush's saying that God told him to invade Iraq, and something that's made up, like the evidence President Bush presented for invading Iraq? (Ha! Tricked you--there isn't any difference.)
G IS FOR governing council and Gitmo. Let's use them both in a sentence: If the Iraqi governing council doesn't do what we want it to do, its members will all be sent to Gitmo.
H IS FOR hegemony and Halliburton. Hegemony (huh-JEM-uh-nee) is when you're so big and powerful you can do anything you want, like appointing a horse to the Roman Senate or openly handing out billions of dollars in contracts to people everyone knows are your friends. H is also for hubris.
I IS FOR Iraq and ignorance and infantilism. Did you ever notice that when President Bush talks to grownups about Iraq, he talks to them like they were children--and they let him? Silly grownups!
J IS FOR jihad and Jenna. Jihad (JEE-hod) is holy war against imperial, infidel Western elites (eh-LEETS). Jenna is the name of one of President Bush's daughters. Do you suppose jihad will still be going on when Jenna Bush becomes president?
K IS FOR Kerry and K-Y Jelly. Would you like the chance to be a hero when you grow up? President Bush wants you to have that chance! Did you know John Kerry would make you grow up and marry your best friend--and it would even mean kissing them and stuff? Ick!
L IS FOR liars.
M IS FOR"Mission Accomplished!" and memory hole.
N IS FOR neocon and 'Nam. Do you remember being very little and having nightmares about monsters lurking in the shadows and hiding under beds? Well, guess what--they were neoconservatives, and they're so evil they make your grandma and grandpa miss Nixon!
O IS FOR oil and occupation. When a president does something bad, he's supposed to get impeached. (Impeachment is a time-out that lasts until you die.) Do you want to know something funny? Occupying a country for its oil is not an impeachable offense, but oral sex is. We can't tell you why--better ask Mom or Dad about that!
P IS FOR pretext, which democratic nations like ours must have before they can go to war, and the press, which is what very important people like presidents have in the place of pets. This will help you remember: The press helps presidents purvey their pretexts.
Q IS FOR Qusay and quicksand. Qusay and Uday were the sons of
Saddam, and they were all very bad men. When your parents were younger--a whole year younger!--President Bush used to tell them a bedtime story about how the Iraqi resistance would fall apart when Qusay and Uday and Saddam were gone. (Ask them if they remember that story!) Quicksand is when you get into something you can't get out of.
R IS FOR Rumsfeld and Richard Clarke. Donald Rumsfeld is the secretary of defense. That makes him the top civilian official at the Pentagon. All the generals think he's nuts. His nickname is Rummy. Did you know that "rummy" is also a word for people who are so far gone they can't be trusted to do anything right? Richard Clarke wrote a book that said Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush and all their friends were bozos. (Bozos are people who have no idea what's really going on around them--kind of like rummies!)
S IS FOR sooo many words. S is for Saddam and sadism (those prisoners will talk) and sodomy (we'll make them talk!) and Sunni and Shi'ite and--oh boy, our head already hurts! S is also for Saudi Arabia--wouldn't you be mad if your friends gave money to people who were trying to kill you? Not President Bush! He is a Christian, and Christians are supposed to forgive. He also loves oil. Does that make him an oily Christian?
T IS FOR terrorism and tax cuts. Can you solve this problem? President Bush wants to invade Iraq. But foreign invasions cost billions of dollars, and President Bush has just passed huge tax cuts. How's he ever going to pay for the war? It's a very hard problem, but you may take as long as you need to solve it. Put your head on your desk when you've finished. Hint: Don't forget to compound the interest! (Did we mention that D is also for debt, and S is also for Shit Happens?)
U IS FOR undercover. Sometimes spies pretend to be someone they're not so that they can learn the secrets of bad guys. That's called being undercover. Once there was a CIA agent named Valerie Plame who was undercover. But then her husband wrote a story in a newspaper that said President Bush was lying about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. So the White House wanted to be mean to him, and they told everybody that his wife was an undercover CIA agent. Can you see where the White House made its mistake? That's right--blowing the cover of a secret agent is a felony!
V IS FOR victory. President Bush says the war on terror could last more than a generation. That means you'll have kids by then. When it's over, be sure you have a really nice parade, and take them to it!
W IS FOR the whole wide world, which hates us now. Silly world!
X IS FOR exit strategy and X-president. President Bush's dad is already an X-president. A lot of people hope it runs in the family.
Y IS FOR yellowcake. When President Bush gave his 2003 State of the Union speech, he said Saddam tried to buy yellowcake from a country called Niger. But he knew it wasn't true. Yellowcake is milled uranium oxide. You wouldn't want to eat it--it's used to make bombs. President Bush had to eat all the yellowcake in his State of the Union speech, and he's still sick from it!
Z IS FOR Zawahiri and Zarqawi. There are so many terrorists whose last names start with Z that it's hard to keep track of them all! Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is the one who cut off an American's head in a video. Ayman al-Zawahiri is Osama bin Laden's best friend. But Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi don't like each other at all. See how confusing it is?
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.