In the month since Saddam Hussein's lice-ridden mug shot became a euphoric symbol of conquest, the Moor's head on the neo-Crusader's victory banner, so to speak, the US has failed to deliver the spectacular, beyond its own failures at least. The way Bush and Co. see it, if US forces could arrange for a dictator to pop out of his remote, well camouflaged "spider hole" on cue, then presumably other hostile life forms could just as easily be coaxed out of a crater and forced to hand over their resources as well.
Meanwhile, closer to home, another "Red Menace" has prompted the Bush administration to take to the unfriendly skies. With China poised to establish a permanent lunar presence after her successful leap forward into orbit late last year, the US is once again going it alone in a race against time to make the galaxy safer for Boeing and Bechtel. It doesn't take a rocket scientist, or a Freudian analyst for that matter, to realize that Bush the Lesser's real target for one-upmanship is no other than George the Elder himself; the cranky old patriarch who spent much of his lifetime being underwhelmed by the achievements of the halfwit who bears most of his name.
Since the first George Bush failed to capture the imagination of Congress in 1989 to the tune of almost $500 billion with his own "vision" of a manned space mission to Mars, the younger Bush has found yet another way to beat the old chickenhawk at his own game. Perhaps, the scriptural lesson here reads as follows: the sissy sins of the panty-waisted father will not be visited upon this particular son-of-a-bitch. Saddam Hussein's head on a platter was the first oedipal act of vengeance against a despised paternal figure by an unworthy boozehound son. Flipping him the bird from space, symbolically at least, will arguably be a moment to cherish, up there with stealing the old veteran's flight suit and prancing around the deck of an aircraft carrier.
If delusions count for anything, then the less senior Bush has “vision” in spades. Most notably, the ability to conjure up a unifying theme of imperiled national security to divert public attention away from more pressing economic concerns. Rallying the population around a flagpole -- and beating dissenters at home and abroad with it -- has so far proved effective in replacing the Bill of Rights with the Patriot Act. Since the phantom menaces in the fictional war on terrorism have outlived their usefulness in terms of whipping up support for an invalid presidency, the administration now needs G.I. Jesus to focus his efforts on looking benevolently sage in front of an artificial celestial backdrop.
If Bush has succeeded in terrifying "aliens" on his own turf, no doubt he'll be able to keep the martians in line with similar tactics like his recently unveiled plan to partially legalize the 10 million or so undocumented workers who've already landed on US soil. Perhaps, he'll try to win over the hearts and minds of his new single-eyed subjects with vague promises of green cards. In exchange for temporary servitude as guest workers on their own planet and exempt from the rights and privileges of earthly citizenship, he can keep labor costs down to a minimum here on Planet Lunch and look "compassionate" at the same time.
And while Americans are busy gazing through the smog towards the no longer visible heavens, their leaders, ironically enough, are hard at work sealing up their terrestrial borders. Visitors to the US now have to undergo invasive and humiliating procedures not unlike the alien abductees' ordeals at the hands of those coldly efficient, uniformly white beings who overwhelm and probe them with terrifying hi-tech gadgetry. The "alien" theme has always played a significant role in shaping the policy of this pod administration. In only a few short years, they have managed to "alienate" even their closest allies who undoubtedly view the new masters of the universe with a skepticism normally reserved for tentacled invaders from a distant planet.
With a chimp at the pretend helm of the Starship Free-Enterprise, the neo-con administration is steering the nation towards bankruptcy and charting a course of environmental disaster. The Whitehouse's decision to earmark untold billions towards expanding its search for fossil fuel outside the ozone comes just weeks after a scientific study revealed that approximately half a million plant and animal species face extinction here on earth. Around the same time NASA expects to have achieved its goal of planting an American on Mars, Earth will likely resemble the desolate planets on Bush's hit list. If all goes according to plan, future generations won't have to travel far to experience the thrill of discovering phantom evidence of life in a barren and hostile environment.
Leilla Matsui is a freelance writer living in Tokyo, Japan. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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