A letter to the London Observer from Terry Jones (from Monty Python).
Letter to the Observer
Sunday January 26, 2003 The Observer
I'm really excited by George Bush's latest reason for bombing Iraq: he's
running out of patience. And so am I! For some time now I've been really
pissed off with Mr Johnson, who lives a couple of doors down the street.
Well, him and Mr Patel, who runs the health food shop. They both give me
queer looks, and I'm sure Mr Johnson is planning something nasty for me, but
so far I haven't been able to discover what.
I've been round to his place a few times to see what he's up to, but he's
got everything well hidden. That's how devious he is. As for Mr Patel, don't
ask me how I know, I just know - from very good sources - that he is, in
reality, a Mass Murderer. I have leafleted the street telling them that if
we don't act first, he'll pick us off one by one.
Some of my neighbours say, if I've got proof, why don't I go to the police?
But that's simply ridiculous. The police will say that they need evidence of
a crime with which to charge my neighbours.
They'll come up with endless red tape and quibbling about the rights and
wrongs of a pre-emptive strike and all the while Mr Johnson will be
finalizing his plans to do terrible things to me, while Mr Patel will be
secretly murdering people. Since I'm the only one in the street with a
decent range of automatic firearms, I reckon it's up to me to keep the
peace. But until recently that's been a little difficult. Now, however,
George W. Bush has made it clear that all I need to do is run out of
patience, and then I can wade in and do whatever I want!
And let's face it, Mr Bush's carefully thought-out policy towards Iraq is
the only way to bring about international peace and security. The one
certain way to stop Muslim fundamentalist suicide bombers targeting the US
or the UK is to bomb a few Muslim countries that have never threatened us.
That's why I want to blow up Mr Johnson's garage and kill his wife and
children. Strike first! That'll teach him a lesson. Then he'll leave us in
peace and stop peering at me in that totally unacceptable way. Mr Bush makes
it clear that all he needs to know before bombing Iraq is that Saddam is a
really nasty man and that he has weapons of mass destruction - even if no
one can find them. I'm certain I've just as much justification for killing
Mr Johnson's wife and children as Mr Bush has for bombing Iraq. Mr Bush's
long-term aim is to make the world a safer place by eliminating 'rogue
states' and 'terrorism'. It's such a clever long-term aim because how can
you ever know when you've achieved it?
How will Mr Bush know when he's wiped out all terrorists? When every single
terrorist is dead? But then a terrorist is only a terrorist once he's
committed an act of terror. What about would-be terrorists? These are the
ones you really want to eliminate, since most of the known terrorists, being
suicide bombers, have already eliminated themselves.
Perhaps Mr Bush needs to wipe out everyone who could possibly be a future
terrorist? Maybe he can't be sure he's achieved his objective until every
Muslim fundamentalist is dead? But then some moderate Muslims might convert
to fundamentalism. Maybe the only really safe thing to do would be for Mr
Bush to eliminate all Muslims?
It's the same in my street. Mr Johnson and Mr Patel are just the tip of the
iceberg. There are dozens of other people in the street who I don't like and
who - quite frankly - look at me in odd ways. No one will be really safe
until I've wiped them all out. My wife says I might be going too far but I
tell her I'm simply using the same logic as the President of the United
States. That shuts her up.
Like Mr Bush, I've run out of patience, and if that's a good enough reason
for the President, it's good enough for me. I'm going to give the whole
street two weeks - no, 10 days - to come out in the open and hand over all
aliens and interplanetary hijackers, galactic outlaws and interstellar
terrorist masterminds, and if they don't hand them over nicely and say
'Thank you', I'm going to bomb the entire street to kingdom come.
It's just as sane as what George W. Bush is proposing - and, in contrast to
what he's intending, my policy will destroy only one street.