Have you seen the most recent international edition of Time Magazine? The cover depicts a map of the Middle East with a white hole burned in the middle whose shape matches exactly that of a certain troubled country that’s been in the news for, oh, the past thirty years or so. The bold title proclaims: THE END OF IRAQ. No question mark necessary; it’s a done deal.
Although I’m averse to my belligerent country ramping up its troops for yet another knock-down, drag-out match with a nation that’s no doubt had its full of us (“Ahem, you’ve been very nice guests, but I fear you’ve worn out your welcome. By the way, thanks ever so much for Abu Ghraib. Awfully decent of you.” Don’t ask me why my caricature of a beleaguered Iraqi citizen sounds more like a stereotypical upper class Englishman; as an American, I’m not supposed to know anything about geography–as far as I’m concerned, Iraq and England are the same place–and if you think that sounds bone-ignorant, don’t forget that Hamlet addresses his uncle Claudius as his mother, and besides, Iraq used to be a British colony before it became an American “protectorate.” Or should that be prostate exam?), this ISIS gang sounds like a truly scary bunch that may be difficult to subdue with boxes of Crackerjack candy-coated popcorn, even with the free gift at the sticky bottom.
The Time article said the US spent a trillion dollars on the second Gulf War (while Noam Chomsky insists it was four trillion; either one of the numbers is a euphemism or the other is hyperbole; regardless of which figure is true, what a great investment!). I’m woefully under-read on the conflict, and the sidebars in the piece helped me bone up on just how enormously complicated it is. I’m already hungover enough from yesterday’s solitary onslaught of beer and margaritas not to give myself another headache by trying to paraphrase it for you. Suffice it to say that the whole ball of wax is a can of worms with a monkey on its back and the monkey has an albatross around its neck, the plucky little fellow having escaped from a barrel of monkeys that was not enough fun for his taste.
Despite the grim fact that unless the US reinstates the draft (which I’m not keen on as I don’t want my nephews to come home in oversized flag-draped shoeboxes the cameras at CNN and Fixed News are too shy to record), the fighting will have to be done by the same folks who are already shat on by a system that doesn’t care about them, and will care even less if they manage to come home, and that the people of Iraq need another US invasion like a reanimated Saddam Hussein, I have to admit that ISIS is frightening. I don’t know how I’d want to handle them if I were living in Iraq myself. (Say, there’s an idea! Why doesn’t somebody in the news media ask the people in Iraq what they want? Not only would that be novel, but democratic!)
Another article I read on the website truthout.com (or perhaps dot-org) says that ISIS is so extreme, they even got kicked out of Al Qaeda. “I’m sorry, but flying jets into buildings is one thing; driving schoolbuses onto playgrounds is another.” I’ll say this for them–they must be tough. I can’t imagine how they can dress in black in the intense desert heat of Iraq in the summer. At least they can save money on sunscreen.
Their name reminds me of a Bob Dylan song off the album Desire, also entitled “Isis.” The refrain goes: “Isis, oh Isis, you’re a mystical child, what drives me to you something something something else.” (Sorry, but I haven’t heard it in a long time.) I used to be a big Bob Dylan fan. I’d go to his concerts and scream my head off so the maintenance crew at the auditorium would have to mail it back to me. (“What’s this? Oh, it’s heavy. Sounds like a bowling ball. Hey–it’s my head!” “Hey! Get me out of here! I can’t breathe!” “Sorry, fella. Hold on a sec while I run and get a box cutter. Oh, here’s someone from Al Qaeda–maybe he can lend me his. Oh, excuse me, you’re from ISIS? May I borrow your chainsaw, sir? I might have to ask you to help me since I can’t see what I’m doing. Just be careful not to give me a bad haircut.” I just realized that the preceding monologue would be impossible unless I’d found a way to talk out of the hole in my neck–unless the boxed head was the one doing the talking. I’ll have to iron out the kinks later, with Ray Davies’ permission.)
Anyway, you know how Dylan did that TV commercial during the Super Bowl extolling the virtues of Chevrolet? You know he’s already loaded, so he couldn’t have possibly done it for the money. It must have been out of a belief in the sanctity of the American automobile industry. So here’s what we do: get whoever makes commercials for Chevrolet in touch with the head honcho of ISIS and coax him into doing an ad for them. I know it sounds like a stretch, but why can’t one kind of devil make a deal with another? That way Chevy can get a toe-hold in Iraq, the Sunnis, Shi’ites, and Kurds who populate that broken country can start buying big stupid American cars (hey, ISIS has already co-opted the Hummers US troops used for the war), then they can drive everywhere the way we do in America, accelerate global warming even more, and help melt the polar ice caps to encourage the white bears to evolve gills really fast and prove the creationists wrong. The planet will get unbearably hot, but think of how skimpy all those thongs and bikinis worn by girls and women at the beach will be.
What do you say, Chevy and ISIS? You in? (Don’t worry–we can also through in an ad campaign for Exxon-Mobil to sweeten the deal.)
Please don’t bother to thank me for the idea. World peace will be plenty thanks enough.