The Problem of the "Axis of Evil"
Normally, anagram studies depend upon a fairly straightforward analysis. The letters of the word of phrase in question are scrambled, then reassembled to form a series of new words and phrases that provide insight into the true meaning of the original. However, every now and then a truly cryptic phrase comes along that defies the ordinary level of anagram analysis, thwarting all attempts to understand its meaning.
This year, the most startlingly meaningless phrase comes from George W. Bush himself: "Axis of Evil". American citizens everywhere are struggling to figure out what this strange label means. Everyone knows that the Axis of Evil is supposed to be the greatest enemy of Western Civilization, but no one can really figure out why.
The Bush administration says that Iran, Iraq and North Korea form the Axis of Evil, implying that they have joined together in order to engage in evil acts against the rest of the world. The thing is, senior members of U.S. government intelligence agencies admit that there's no compelling evidence that the three nations have formed an alliance of any kind. Iran and Iraq are historical enemies. Does Bush mean to imply that these two natiors are now allies?
These days, "evil" is a term most often used by Bush to describe those people and organizations that were involved in the planning and execution of the September 11 attacks on te World Trade Center and Pentagon in the United States. There's no evidence that Iraq or North Korea were involved in those attacks, and as Interim Afghan President Karzai pointed out just a couple of weeks ago, the Iranian government has supported efforts to weaken the Taliban and Al Quaida for years! Iran has been praised for its efforts against Al Quaida, so how can Bush claim that it's part of the same evil conspiracy against Western nations?
Bush's idea that these nations are "evil" has been very difficult for Americans to understand. Does he mean to say that all Iranians, Iraqis and North Koreans are evil, or just some of them? If just some of these people are evil, then how will U.S forces be able to tell them apart from their non-evil neighbors? Has the Bush administration developed a new technology which will enable them to distinguish evil people from non-evil people just by looking at them, or will the wars against these evil nations require lengthy interviews to determine the moral status of all their citizens?
George W. Bush and his advisors have also failed to explain exactly what makes the Iranians, Iraqis and North Koreans "evil" and not just troublesome or dangerous. Over and over again, Bush has described his dedication to the hunt for what he calls "The Evil One" or "A Cult of Evil". Does the Bush administration mean to suggest that Iran, Iraq and North Korea are in league with Satan? Can Satan and his demons be destroyed by smart bombs?
The Anagram's Surprise: "Axis of Evil" really has no coherent meaning!
The "Axis of Evil" phrase calls for the clarity of anagram analysis like no other public relations gimmick in recent history. Undaunted by the seeming insanity of the dedication of the entire executive branch of the federal government dedicating itself to a series of wars against an "Axis of Evil", we set out to figure out what this apparently crazy phrase really meant.
Well, sometimes things really are as they seem. In a typical anagram analysis, we come up with scores of coherent results and rely upon our expertise and experience to find a pattern among them. No so with our analysis of the phrase "Axis of Evil". The only result that made any sense to us told us that the "Axis of Evil" is:So vile a fix
The problem is, it's not clear from this anagram whether the vile fix is the purported Axis itself or George W. Bush's use of the phrase. The latter interpretation seems to make more sense, as it implies a hasty, poorly thought-out attempt to craft a solution. Bush is famous for such missteps.
Unfortunately, the rest of the anagrams that come out of our analysis seem consistent only in their incoherence. For example, the anagrams tell us that when it comes to the "Axis of Evil":A fox is evil
Now how are we to interpret this small piece of wisdom? Are we truly to believe that the Bush Administration is planning a war against foxes? Would American foxes be exempt from this war, or rounded up into detention camps? What about other small canid species such as coyotes and jackals?
The anagrams offer other nonsensical, yet entertaining, interpretations of "Axis of Evil" such as:Sex if I oval
This anagram makes us wonder how we can learn to oval, and what we've been missing that all the oval crowd has been turned on to. Unfortunately, it doesn't get us any closer to a clear understanding of what George W. Bush really means when he talks about the "Axis of Evil".
The more one examines the anagram dimension of Bush's idea of the "Axis of Evil", the more one finds incoherent babbling:Fix as olive
As we analyzed anagrams like these, we started to wonder if there was any structure for us to discover at all. Could it be that there is no secret meaning behind Bush's crusades against evildoers? Could it be that he really believes in an Axis of Evil?
Listen, when we engage in an anagram analysis, we look for the broadest meanings possible. We try to remain flexible and creative so that we can see the patterns that other people overlook. That said, we find it highly unlikely that the phrase "Axis of Evil" is meant to be understood literally. We have a hard time believing that even George W. Bush is so stupid as to believe in the existence of an international conspiracy between Iraq, Iran and North Korea motivated by nothing more than the pure love of evil.
We knew there had to be a pattern, and after two months of unceasing exploration of the depths of anagram analysis, we found that there was indeed a pattern in the anagrams derived from Bush's cryptic referrals to an "Axis of Evil". The word "fix" is an almost constant presence in the anagrams derived from Bush's favorite propagandistic phrase. The question is what the dominance of the word "fix" truly indicates.
It could be that the frequent presence of the word "fix" suggests a solution, as in Mr. Fix-It, or a set-up, as in the phrase "the fix is in". As we see it (and believe me in my years of work divining deeper meaning out of anagrams I've seen a lot) the word "fix" is an indication of an alternative to Mr. Bush's plan for an all-out war against his imaginary enemy, the Axis of Evil.
Upon reflection, it becomes clear just how much Young George W. loves the idea of a fight against pure evil. It suits his boyish personality, reflecting a model of morality not often found outside of comic books. George Jr. likes to imagine that he can pin down evil in places like Iran, Iraq and North Korea. He believes that he can contain it there, and destroy it by sending all the weapons at his command hurtling down out of the sky, from a safe distance with his bombers flying up at 40,000 feet. In his plan, he'll just throw bombs at the problems there in Evil-Land, killing as many people as it takes to exorcise the spirit of evil.
After the bombing, of course, George W. has no plans. After all, all the comic books President Jr. has ever read end when the good guys beat up the bad guys. In his mind, heroes don't stick around to pick up the mess that's left over from their fights. According to his way of seeing things, once you've defeated evil, all the other details just fall into place. Bush truly believes that all we need is a bit of biff, pow, bam, kapow for awhile and then everything will be right as rain.
Now, the anagrams tell us that there's an alternative to George W.'s plan to destroy the Axis Of Evil with his SuperPower powers. The anagrams say "fix". They never say "destroy" or "kill". The anagrams never say "bomb" or "assassinate". What these anagrams are trying to say is that a war against a trio of nations that we label an "Axis of Evil" won't work. The anagrams are telling us that if we believe that there is something wrong with the way the governments of Iran, Iraq and North Korea operate, we need to think up creative, effective solutions instead of just dropping bombs on the inhabitants of those countries until they agree to do whatever we tell them to do.
To FIX the problem of undemocratic, violent government is the key. All else is nonsense. So where do we start?
The first necessary step to fixing the problems that the people of Iran, Iraq and North Korea face is to actually talk about them with the governments that we believe are part of the problems. Instead of just calling them "evil" and threatening to kill them, we need to hold serious discussions with the leaders of these three nations.
Believe it or not, there are reasonable people to talk with in each of these three nations. Moderates were gathering political power in Iran until George W. Bush's "Axis of Evil" comments sent millions of people out into the street in support of conservative hard-liners. North Korea was in negotiations with the United States, moving toward an agreement to do away with its nuclear weapons completely and integrate itself into the world community, until George W. Bush came into the White House and refused to continue the talks. No one says that there are easy solutions to the problems of Iraq, but there is a general consensus among Western diplomats that the Gulf War did not weaken the regime of Saddam Hussein and that the sanctions and continuous low-key bombings of the last eleven years have not improved the situation either. The time has come for new ideas, and bombing Iraq is not a new idea.
As George W. Bush has clearly stated in his many speeches since September 11, he would love nothing more than to spend the rest of his four year term doing nothing but identifying "evil-doers" and sending his armies after them with guns blazing and bombs bursting. It may be personally satisfying an politically expedient for him to conduct a series of crusades against evil, but in the end those crusades will be no more successful than the crusades of Europe's Dark Ages.
Military assaults against an imagined "Axis of Evil" are indeed so a vile fix, designed to create the impression of a solution to international violence while in fact perpetuating it. The wisdom of the anagrams, as well as plain common sense, makes it clear that massive violent attacks such as those that occurred on September 11 will only be prevented through the development of more thoughtful strategies for FIXING the fundamental problems that give rise to the desperate rage that motivated the attacks in the first place.
Irregular Times require backtalk. So talk back to us!