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Farewell to Osama
By Barton Wong
My Dear Osama,
I don't know whether you brought a computer with Internet access back with you when you went back in time to the ninth century, but I'm sure one of your associates, the ones who are not either running for the hills or well, charred remains on some windy hilltop, will relay my little message for you.
Now more experienced and professional commentators are far too polite to say this to you, but since I'm only twenty and a rank amateur, I've got nothing to lose if I tell you something you so thoroughly deserve to hear. Quite bluntly, Osama, you are what we college types call a "loser" with a capital L and a cherry on top; a vile, contemptible, wretched, whiny toad of a man, who does what toads do best: hide out in the muck. As for your motley "crew," al-Qaida and your cave-dwelling allies, the Taliban, you sure dragged the dregs of loserdem to gather up that lot. Where the hell did you go to find such specimens of humanity? I can find scum under my refrigerator that's more threatening to the health of the West right now than your bunch of Walmart-quality terrorists.
It didn't have to come to this, Osama. You were born rich. Generally, that means one of three courses in life:
You see Osama, people who have to work for a living (like fire fighters and police officers), don't have much sympathy for spoiled brats like you who set up their own little self-financed political crusades and then have big violent temper tantrums when their causes don't change the world one bit. These grunts who actually have mortgages to pay off and college tuitions to save for don't exactly appreciate it when you, oh say, murder several hundred of their number. Lesson number one, Osama: when attempting to initiate worldwide revolution in order to overthrow the corrupt and decadent Establishment, it helps if you don't start by committing mass murder. Gee, even lazy literature majors like me who regard Political Science as a refuge for the diligent and hard working know that.
For you however, all those car bombs, dynamite-laden speedboats, jumbo jets aimed at skyscrapers, and suicide bombers are just expensive toys that you can play with; things you financed, people you trained so you play your entertaining game of Destroy the Great Satan. It doesn't feel that good when the Great Satan starts lobbing expensive toys right back at you, does it?
And I know this is immature of me (but hey I'm 20, I'm supposed to be stupefyingly puerile), but if the rumours are true, and one of the root causes of your resentment against the West is because a girl rejected you because of your, uh, inadequacy in a certain body part, well that's beyond Star Trek-convention attending, Dungeons & Dragons playing, X-Files watching, have-a-huge-crush-on-Gillian-Anderson and dream-about-her-every-night-after-watching-Battlestar-Gallactica loserdem. That's just psychopathic, plain and simple. Osama, when was the last time one of your burkha-covered concubines actually went up and said "I love you"? Think about that for a moment, will you? I find it more than a coincidence that some of the hijackers apparently sampled the services of some ladies of the night just before embarking on their great jihad, which suggests they too couldn't score with real women. Great, al-Qaida isn't just a murderous network of terrorist thugs now, it's a self-help group for insecure, zit-covered forty year-old religious fanatics who haven't had a date since 1991. I bet all those mass suicide bombings are just "expressions of their inner insecurity," to use the correct psychobabble terminology. And don't get me even started about your association with Bert, Osama.
By the way, have you looked in the mirror lately? You see, while I concede you're one hell of an Islamofascist, with your surplus US Army combat fatigues, your brandname watch, and your Fanon/Said/Chomsky-derived cartoon view of the world, you're a Western-educated and ultimately, a Western-funded Islamofascist. Don't your find it a tad ironic that if it weren't us Westerners and our gas-guzzling SUVs, Saudi Arabia would still look like a discarded set from Dune and you wouldn't have your millions to play terrorist with? Those B-52s that are currently buzzing overhead delivering their cargo of Daisy Cutters are probably fuelled in part from Saudi oil as well. For your homeland's help in fueling both our "decadent," earth-destroying lifestyle and our brutally efficient military response in destroying you, we in the West thank you very much. I'm betting you can almost smell the irony at this point, intermingled with the napalm of course. It smells like victory.
Oh yeah, before I forget, when the hell is that second strike going to come in? The one we were all anticipating after Bush launched his rather successful reprisals on you and your Islamofascist friends? You know, the one that your sleeper agents and your "extensive" al-Qaida network in the United States have planned for us. Don't tell me you put all your eggs in one basket. September 11th was the best you could come up with? Say it ain't so, Osama. Gee, I thought finding any number of martyrs willing to die for Allah and their own personalized harem of seventy-two black-eyed virgins would be easy in the rabid-eyed, foaming-at-the-mouth, medieval mindsets you hang out with. Next thing you know, those reports that not all the September 11th hijackers were actually prepared to die because they thought it was just a "training exercise" are going to turn out to be true too. Finding good murderous martyr material just isn't that easy these days, is it?
And if (and this is really big if since for all the proof the FBI have gathered so far, the senders could have been anyone from some lone Neo-Nazi nut in Jersey City to the League of Women Voters) those anthrax letters are your people's work, all I can say is, wow man, that's pathetic. First in a masterpiece of military planning, you hijack four planes, damage the headquarters of the world's most powerful military, destroy one of the prominent symbols of American financial might, kill thousands of people, and you manage to do all this on world television; that is what Madison Avenue types would call great marketing. And what's your big follow-up: mailing various elected officials and random civilians powder in the hope that they might inhale it and get sick along with letters scrawled in printing so wretched many people thought you'd hired a dyslexic orangutan to do the dirty work. In terms of sequels, that ain't Frasier, that ain't even Godfather III. Osama, we're in After Mash territory here. One wonders if you actually do have a Step Two in your grand masterplan. And if you do, I think it'd be pretty wise if you unleashed it before the Northern Alliance gets its chance to turn you into body parts being fought over by dogs on some dusty Afghan plain. It's basic military strategy, you know.
The fact is Osama, even if you do have a spectacular and deadly follow-up to the September 11th bombings, you're not going to win this war. You're not even going to change our lives. For all your and everyone else's complaints about our "decadence," nearly three months after September 11th, we in the West still have and enjoy our MTV, our Survivor, our Who Wants to Marry a Princess?, our South Park, our Jackass, our Howard Stern, our Eminem, our Ron Jeremy, our Gay Pride parades, our porno theatres, and our Coke. I'm not saying all these things are good for us, far from it, but we get to decide whether we want these things to exist in our society or not, not some Qu'ran-quoting inquisitor and his robotic little followers. If anything, the bombings brought out the good (the patriotism, the courage, the moral strength) that most of us had within ourselves already, even if we didn't have to show it for most of the 90s. In your own perverse way Osama, you brought America back to the true path, you gave it a crusade that its citizens will now pursue unrelentingly and unmercifully. You truly are the instrument of your own demise. It'd be almost Shakespearean, that is, if you weren't such a comic book villain.
How the hell did you think you were going to win against the world's only superpower? This is an object lesson in what comes about when your worldview is shaped from reading the Guardian, The New Statesman, La Monde, and The Nation too much. America's a weak, cowardly country? Why it must be true if Bill Maher says it is. The American government is controlled by a military-industrial complex with absolutely no foreign support? Noam Chomsky's an expert, so it has to be true. President Bush is a war-mongering, oil-greedy, isolationist idiot who'd either dither or immediately launch nuclear missiles? If Barbara Kingsolver writes it, then it must be the reality. You see Osama, if you'd actually spent anytime in the United States, you'd know that no one really takes the papers or people listed above seriously. They're just published for the amusement of a few professors, 60s leftovers, and limp-wristed dilettantes to ensure these people are kept out of publications of actual worth and value. For someone of your education, you sure are naïve about these things. Oh by the way, since the war started, the above papers and pundits have proved themselves to be as intelligent and useful as John Rocker on a New York City subway train, thus discrediting them even more (if that was possible) in the eyes of real people. So thanks yet again, Osama.
There's one final thing, I don't get. For all the millions you have, you'd think that you'd be able to hire better help. Consider your good friend Mullah Omar, leader of what used to be the Taliban. On November 15th in an interview with the BBC, Omar made some odd statements, such as: "The plan [for America's destruction] is going ahead and, God willing, it is being implemented. But it is a huge task, which is beyond the will and comprehension of human beings. If God's help is with us, this will happen within a short period of time; keep in mind this prediction This is not a matter of weapons. We are hopeful for God's help. The real matter is the extinction of America. And, God willing, it (America) will fall to the ground." That was said while the Northern Alliance was in the middle of steamrollering through Taliban frontlines. Thirteen days later from his last stronghold of Kandahar, Omar was saying that not a single American soldier landed on Afghanistan's soil will return home alive. So far, exactly one American has died. Is the man incompetent, delusional, or what?
And why does he sound like he's just got cast for the role of "Fanatical Islamic Terrorist" in some Hollywood B-movie? "We are hopeful for God's help. The real matter is the extinction of America. And, God willing, it (America) will fall to the ground." C'mon, did Omar just hire Joe Eszterhas as his official speechwriter? My kid sister could write better dialogue than that. I wonder what's it like to be playing the bad guy in a second-rate Jerry Bruckheimer action flick all your life.
It's sad, Osama, it really is, that you won't be with us for long. A true pity. For awhile there, you looked like a real and dangerous threat to our way of life. Now it turns out you're just another pathetic loser with too much time on your hands, too much money to play with, and not enough military sense or sanity. Oh well, it was a wild ride while it lasted. May Allah bless you with the fate you so clearly deserve. Say hello to Attila, Genghis, and Adolph for me when you get down there.
Barton Wong is a regular commentator at the Texas Mercury and studies Literary Studies and Philosophy at the University of Toronto.
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