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The International Writers Magazine: Reality Check and Readers Letters May 2nd

No Sense Wasting Valuable Paranoia On Macho Bullshit
James Campion

Sometime very soon Americans will finally be sick and tired of hearing about the Middle East and its nations' collective religious, political and cultural madness. Maybe not tomorrow or next week, or perhaps not even by 2007, but the time is coming.

Sooner than you think. It became tiresome eventually for the French and the British, and soon we will tire of it. There's only so much theocratic nonsense one can stomach before giving up and leaving them to their bad craziness. Oil keeps us interested, and 9/11 opened many eyes, but really, what are we dealing with: A few hate-mongering sand cretins and Qur'an fanatics? Nothing Israel can't handle with a little leeway from the UN and a back-turning exercise from the United States. All gone. Soon.

    Let's get this out in the open right away: Iran is no threat to anyone. Let them develop nuclear weapons or energy, or whatever it is going on over there. The Russians are all for it. Of course they are, it's their only hope to secure the region from either complete chaos or U.S. colonialism. Right or wrong, that's how they see it. We screwed them out of millions when Hussein went belly up. We've got troops all over the desert. It's only fair they get a dog in the fight. So throw them a bone.

    Granted, Iran is a loony bin. It's run by atavistic royal Pooh-Bahs horny for international attention and scared shitless the Big Bad is going democratic next door in Iraq. We know now this is why Saddam lied to everyone about weapons, whether he had a few or not, because he was pretty sure (and right on the money, actually) that it was just a matter of time before the Iranians would waltz across his border and rape his land. He had it coming. Back before the whole Kuwaiti thing, Hussein tried invading Iran. He claimed it would take 48 hours. Eight years later he limped back and chose another enemy, one less dangerous, the U.S. That is until the spring of 2003 when it all went sour and he's now reduced to ranting like a cartoon character before doomed judges. Soon he will hang and that will be that. Thankfully.

    But as far as Iran taking over as "The New Threat", many familiar with the region and the country's capabilities for war know it pales in comparison to what Israel holds and is more than willing to use at the drop of a hat. And pretty soon, if someone is wacky enough in this crumbling administration to will it, there could be word that they'll have to fend for themselves. And once the IDF gets the green light, they will point the finger at Iran. Go ahead and tally up the potential devastation. I dare you. Know this: The Iranians will not come out on top. Not even the most fervent Allah freaks can allow that, and certainly not Vladimir Putin and the Russians. No one wins a war with Israel. They trail only us and the Chinese for missile tonnage.

    Why do you think Captain Shoo-In is huddling with Chinese President Hu Jintao? We need a crazy buddy. The Chinese are crazy. Really crazy. Crazy rich too. We're into the Chinese for so much cash I'm pretty sure they own the Pentagon and Fort Knox by now. Which is good for me. Let them deal with the horrendous fallout of the past three years. We've got American Idol finals to cope with.

    But enough about our Boy President, he's looking more and more like a flat broke black jack loser stumbling into the hock shop looking to pawn daddy's watch for one more hand. His wild ride on this bloated national debt has made him China's cabin boy. He's a goddamn deadbeat with Nixon-like approval ratings. If the Democrats manage to steal Congress back in November, he'll be impeached and spend his remaining White House time lawyering up the place. It's the Israelis who will take over soon. And the Israelis are 2-0 in these things.

    About a dozen Arab nations, some all at once, tried to take on the Israeli Defense Force twice, and both times it was not much of a fight. Sure they want to wipe out the Jews, but you know what? They can't. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. And if they insist on it, everything will be gone. Then we'll have to get those Hybrid cars up and running. But history tells us the rich and powerful sitting on billions in their lavish palaces rarely put it on the line for a losing cause. This has only happened once, right here, 240 years ago, when the rich land barons took on Mother England to avoid taxes. But an ocean separated the combatants, not a border or two. You wonder how far George Washington's rag-tag militia would have lasted if England was, say, Canada.

    This brings us to this asinine speculation that the U.S. can and will threaten to use force against Iran. This is not going to happen, even if the military wasn't already embroiled in several Middle Eastern fights. It is nearly impossible invading Iran. For one, it's four times the size of Iraq with three-times the populace, and we're having enough trouble there. Secondly, we're not ruthless enough to deal with these maniacs. We'd be building hospitals and starting governments in no time. Meanwhile, the remaining sickos will be ramming jeep explosives into tents. It's a nightmare that only works once at the expense of America's sons and daughters. I'm pretty sure Cindy Sheehan would get her own network late night show if that happens.

    Look, I'm all for fearing maniacs. Try North Korea. This is one steaming pile of trouble harboring no compunction to reduce us to cinder, and they have the backing of the aforementioned Chinese, who are biding their time until we are completely dead broke from war games and have to sell them the mid-west at rock bottom prices.
© James Campion April 24th 2006
James Campion the author of "Deep Tank Jersey", "Fear No Art" and "Trailing Jesus"

Readers Reactions: May 2nd 2006
You are out of your mind if you do not think that some plebian high school teacher holding a hearing on the war crimes of a sitting president is not the most unconscionable waste of taxpayer funds AND the warping of young minds to liberal agendas known to the culture. (PRESIDENT ON TRIAL AT LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL – 3/22/06) This is the very sign of the apocalypse. This idiot should not only be chucked from the school, but also put up for treason. I am stunned you think this so damned funny. I am infuriated at this. This guy and you are what’s wrong with this country. Why don’t you do something useful instead of trying to be so damned cute about anything important.
A. Leonard

Screw taking on bully Republicans or impotent Democrats; if you want to prove your mettle, take on a real goliath:  religion!
Over the years, "South Park" has skewered many a sacred cow and was more or less ignored by the mainstream. However, last year's incredibly hilarious dismantling of scientology and bleeding Catholic icons has resulted in Viacom agreeing to pull those episodes from rebroadcast and the upcoming DVD release of last season's shows. It even resulted in the bitter departure of one of the show's voice characters, Isaac Hayes (who, not surprisingly, is a scientologist).
Our ability to satirize is our humanity. Hell, the post-9/11 edition of The Onion was the first thing that made me feel like we might get over the damn thing. We laugh at death, tyranny, sickness, autistic persons, the morbidly obese, terrorism, shark attacks, war, teenage suicide, even the freaking holocaust – one way of dealing with the horrors of everyday life.
Now some devotees of a science-fiction cult which protects itself from criticism via the cloak of 'religion' and the always reliable Catholic Church is going to fight a cartoon show which did nothing but present, um, THE TRUTH? Hello, it's a goddamn CARTOON.
We can't help it if the truth about scientology and supposedly bleeding religious icons is funnier than any fiction. Not our fault.
Go as far as to make a joke or two about religion in America and it's adios, man. Heaven forbid questioning the merits of a borderline cultish sect or well-intentioned wackos who see the Virgin Mary in a pizza crust.
I am convinced that if either party ran an avowed child molester vs. a great American who was an atheist; the child molester would win in a landslide.
God help us all.
Wil Masisak

Some very funny remarks in the latest column. Interesting to note, there was a panel discussion sponsored by Harper's magazine on impeaching the president. Heavy-hitters such as John Dean of the Nixon era were included but, although C-SPAN hosted it, they didn’t air it.
You wrote: "I defy you to name a president from Lincoln on down that did not commit some form of war crime."
Don’t forget the Geneva Convention is a 20th Century phenomenon, and thus so is being held responsible for what you do during war. Until last century, everything was filed away under Fog Of War and went unpunished. Also, IF--a big IF--Bush lied to get us into war, then we have an impeachable offense. John Dean, a Republican, needless to say, thinks there is a very solid case for impeachment--more solid than the one for Bill Clinton, and, if I recall what he wrote correctly, even better than the one for Tricky Dick.
War is a lot more important than an unofficial hummer or eavesdropping on a guy who couldn’t have won the election anyway.

I applaud this teacher for his efforts to make the leaders of this, or any, generation responsible for their decisions. If they deem it a crime, then, so be it. I hear this same class had a similar hearing putting Andrew Jackson on trial for his crimes against the Native Americans, to which there were many and varied. The fact that this murdering son of a bitch is on the $20 bill is a sick joke.

James Campion
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