DEAR PRESIDENT BUSH,
SOAPBOX Tuesday, March 18, is the fifth in the Town Hall series on war and peace called "The World on the Edge." The Soapbox forum sponsored by Seattle Weekly runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and features guest speakers and audience members sounding off. Following is a panel discussion of a war's political fallout. Admission is $5. Please join us. DETAILS ON THE SERIES
I write as a proud American and a resident of one of its many great cities: Seattle. You've probably heard of usSpace Needle, mountains, salmon, Microsoft. When you owned the Texas Rangers baseball club, your team was in the same division as our Mariners. We stunk back then. We hope you remain grateful. Oh, and Boeing sends its deepest love.
Mr. President, I have an enormous favor to ask of you:
Could you bomb us?
Not just once or twice for show; I mean really bomb the city of Seattle, hard, like what you're planning for Baghdad and probably for Pyongyang and Tehran and Damascus and whatever other 50 or 60 major world cities are in the Pentagon's files. Blast us back to the Stone Age. Make it hurt. Send us a message.
Don't hesitate or think too much about thisI wouldn't want you getting migraines or anything. But if you do, consider that we, too, are under the rule of a power-hungry leader we never voted for, one with unthinkable numbers of nasty weapons. But that's not all.
Mr. President, we're in the "blue" part of the country, the part that went for Gore, so I'm sure you'll understand that we've contributed more than our share of terrorists over the years. Those guys arrested a few weeks ago for stealing top-secret plans from the military? Our guys. We've been breeding them for years: the D.C. snipers, the Green River Killer, Ted Bundywe "harbored" them all. To your talented staff, making the case that we're an international menace should be a breeze.
Mr. President, let's face it: The biggest threats to global security come from the biggest countries, not the smallest. To pull them into line, you'll need to convince them that you'd take anyone out, even your own mother. Even your own city.
Hit us, say, with one of those big new post-daisy-cutter MOAB bombs, the ones that kill just like Hiroshima's nuke except with less radiation. Maybe drop a few thousand cruise missiles so that the fireball extends all the way out past the suburban sprawl. Dumb, smart, whatever.
Doing this would give all Americans a far healthier respect for the new American empire you're creating. The problem with obliterating Baghdad and its 5 million people is that they're just too far away. For most Americans, the handiwork of your genius is simply too abstract to fully appreciate. However, if you take out a place like Seattlea city they've likely visited, a place where they might have an old friendit becomes much more real. And since we're only three time zones away, an attack here will get far more media coverage than attacking some obscure dictator's playpen. Just askI'm sure the networks will cooperate.
Even better, viewers will be able to more fully appreciate what your weapons do, because the survivors will look like them (except for the burns), even speak the same language (mostly), value human life just as much as they do. Our dilemmas will seem so much more vivid to our fellow Americans than the fate of 23 million stage props to Saddam Hussein. It'll make for some amazing reality TV shows.
And, of course, a wealthy city like Seattle, with its big skyline and modern infrastructure, means trillions in rebuilding contracts after the warenormous windfalls you can award as party favors at your next 2004 fund-raising dinner. If you ever get bored, you can just bomb us again! Bomb, rebuild, bomb, rebuild . . . now that's putting our economy to work!
All in all, Mr. President, I think it's a perfect fit for the new American empire you're constructing. It's an unprovoked attack upon a defenseless civilian population, based on crimes committed by either unaccountable leaders or psychotic individuals who passed through town. It'll make your friends even richer, and it'll contribute, far more directly than any overseas campaign, to your re-election success. Dead people can't vote Democratic. And we'll get a rebuilt Alaskan Way Viaduct out of the deal.
Now that you've thought about it, Mr. President, I'm sure you realize that you can't back down. I trust Secretary of State Colin Powell will be making the necessary representations to foreign powers shortly. I think you'll be surprised at how many nations will be willing, even eager, to help with this one. - Your patriotic friend, Geov Parrish
P.S. I'm moving to Phoenix. Soon.
P.P.S. Damn! I just remembered! We don't have any untapped oil reserves. I guess that calls this whole thing off, huh? Never mind.