The Cold War is over...
... Welcome to The Could War!
The First Official Memo From the Department of Homeland Security
- Honest to gosh! -
We in the Department of Homeland Security have taken note of the
way that during the 20th century, the government was able to convince
American voters to approve of policies that would otherwise seem
absurd, just by claiming that the nation was at war even when there
was no military conflict and no Congressional declaration of war
had been signed. They called it the Cold War, and the very idea
that the country was at war enabled politicians to start new wars without even declaring them, sending tens of thousands of Americans to their deaths in far-away little countries that had no ability, let alone interest, in doing any harm to the United States.
Oh, how we long for those good old days, when immense budget deficits were no obstacle to multi-billion dollar budgets for elaborate weapons we would never use, when every child in the nation pledged allegiance to anything we told them to before they dutifully practiced hiding under their desks for protection from nuclear bombs, when the threat of attacks from mysterious foreign conspiracies was enough to justify the denial of civil rights to huge numbers of hard working citizens.
Well, everything that's old is new again! The Cold War may be over, but now The Could War has begun.
The Could War is a new and improved version of its predecessor, for while our old enemy the Soviet Union was vulnerable to political extinction, our new enemy (international terrorist evildoers) will never go away. There could always be secret camps of terrorists hiding out in uninvaded, impoverished little countries without adequate air defense systems. There could always be regroupings of old terrorist groups that we thought had been destroyed. There could always be hidden terrorist cells within the United States, just waiting for the right time to attack. Ther could always be new terrorist groups, representing different despised cultural groups, devising ingenious new methods of attack that we had not anticipated. Thus, the Could War will always be necessary and will never end! (Note to Undersecretary of Homeland Security: notify executives at defense contract corporations to prepare for an unprecedented influx of funds into their bank accounts.)
The Could War will have to be fought on many fronts:
- Before September 11, 2001 we needed to spend billions of dollars
a year doing experimental testing for a Star Wars nuclear missile
defense system because of the Soviet Union could attack at any moment, (even though they ceased to exist way back when George Bush Senior was president). After, September 11, 2001 everything has changed. Now, we need to spend billions of dollars a year doing experimental testing for
a Star Wars nuclear missile defense system because terrorists have
flown big airplanes into prominent buildings. For this reason, we
believe that terrorists also could send intercontinental nuclear
missiles to attack American cities.
Of course, there's no evidence that any terrorist group has ever
come close to obtaining a nuclear bomb, much less an intercontinental
nuclear missile. However, it's important remember that not one
single part of the Star Wars nuclear missile defense system yet
works, even after billions of dollars of spending every year since
the late 1980's. The important thing is that experts who work for
big defense contract corporations say that eventually, the system
could work. It just goes to show you that nothing's impossible,
and that goes for the terrorists too. Better safe than sorry, right?
- A table knife could be used to stab a pilot by a terrorist who had broken down the door on an airplane, so we need to use only
plastic knives in airport restaurants. Of course, knives could be used to hijack buses, trains or trolleys as well, to disastrous effect! Will it be necessary for the Department of Homeland Security need to confiscate knives from restaurants outside of airports as well? We recommend a task force to explore this matter further.
- A terrorist could hide a small but deadly weapon behind a belt buckle, so we'll have to unbuckle our belts and have our zippers frisked before we board airplanes. Of course, a weapon could be hidden under any article of clothing! Strip searches may therefore have to be implemented at all security checkpoints. At the very least, airport travelers should unbutton their shirts before boarding airplanes and have their stomachs patted down.
- There could be a dirty bomb attack in a coastal city, so
we need to spend billions of dollars to intercept and screen all
ships for radiation before they reach their American ports. The problem is that a nuclear bombs in suitcases could be driven into the country at any border crossing. So, not only will radiation detectors have to be installed at every customs checkpoint on the Canadian and Mexican borders, but suitcases will have to be strictly forbidden. All Americans will understand that the risk is too great to ignore.
- There once was one fellow who tried to blow up a plane by lighting
his shoe with a match. He failed miserably, but someone else could
try it again, so from now on Americans will all have to take off
their shoes to be run through special new shoe screening machines
before they board airplanes. Those of you with orthopedic shoes
will come under extra scrutiny.
Come to think of it, someone could put a plastique explosive device
in their parka too, so we'll have to strip those off at airport
security checkpoints too. What about terrorists using plastic, undetectable
knives disguised as bookmarks? It could happen, so all books
must now be turned upside down and shaken vigorously. Women with
wigs will need to take them off and send them through the scanning
machine. Hey, you could hide anything in there!
- It would be just like an evil terrorist to attack us on a holiday.
Although there's no evidence of any specific plans, we always
need to be on high alert when we take time off to celebrate, just
in case. Check all cranberries on Thanksgiving! Sparklers on the Fourth of July must be confiscated! Trick-or-treaters must beware of pumpkin-bombs on Halloween! Yule logs are perfect disguises for pipe bombs! It could happen, you know, so be vigilant!
- Thanks to the unique vision of John Ashcroft, we now have a national public alert system with color codings for the particular terrorist dangers expected on any particular day, ranging from relatively innocuous colors like blue all the way up to bright red for very serious impending doom. Our special public warning committee at the Department of Homeland Security suggests that in order to support the Could War effort, two new levels of alert be added to this system: infrared and ultraviolet. These two new levels should only be used in extreme emergencies, such as when public support for the Could War is undermined by embarrasing political scandals.
There are many sacrifices that we'll have to make because of the very real and very serious dangers of the Could War. Wartime requires that we give up some freedoms in order to gain security for our homeland so that we can all continue to live in freedom. After all, we're in a war of freedom against fear!
Don't worry, the loss of freedoms will only last for as long as the war continues, and we in the new department of Homeland Security are sure you won't mind. Terrorists could attack at any time and any place, so as our great leader George W. Bush himself has stated, this Could War against terrorist evildoers will probably never end.
Of course, anything could happen. America had best prepare itself for a long, long struggle.
Don't let us do all the talking. Talk back!
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