Deep in a cave or high on a mountain, in Pakistan or Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan or, maybe, sunning on the French Riviera, is a furious Osama bin Laden.
“Infidels!” he screamed to his aide.
“Yes,” said the Aide reassuringly, “that is truly what the Great Satan is.”
“How dare them!” stammered the financier and leader of al-Qaeda.
“What is it this time?” asked the Aide. “Did they capture one of our thousand great and glorious deputy leaders? Did they reduce the violence outside of Baghdad?”
“Worse! They made Bush Number 1!” He looked directly at his Aide. “Do you know how disgraceful that is?!”
“I do not understand, Oh Great and Wonderful Courier of Absolute Wisdom.”
“Bush!” said bin Laden, sputtering out the word. “He’s the most despised man in America.” The Aide tried his best to suppress a laugh, but a giggle left his dried lips. “Do not mock me, you son of a camel driver,” said bin Laden who turned his computer screen to his Aide. “There!” he commanded. “Seek wisdom through your own eyes.” And there, before the Aide was the latest AP–AOL poll. One-fourth of all Americans declared that George W. Bush is the Biggest Villain of 2006. Osama bin Laden was far behind, with only 8 percent of the vote. “Four times worse than me!” said bin Laden, almost choking on his words.
“But, Oh Mighty Force For Dissolving the Social Order, you have launched wars. You have brought about terror. You have disregarded human rights and shredded the written laws of more than two centuries. You alone have given new interpretations to our Holy Book.”
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“And so has that Sand Flea Upon a Camel’s Ass,” said bin Laden, “and he’s done it four times better.”
“But you have been able to do it without a press corps regurgitating your propaganda. You know how the media always inflate someone’s worth.” It didn’t help.
“I was once the most wanted man in the world,” said bin Laden. That Dung Beetle on the Droppings from a Bloated Goat put 10,000 of his troops into Afghanistan. He said he’d hunt me down and bring me before his witch trials.” Bin Laden wiped a small tear. “But then he changed his mind, put his own weapons of mass destruction into Iraq and forgot about me. It’s as if I don’t matter.”
“Please do not cry,” said the Aide, “by invading Iraq, he opened a new land where you could unleash your terror!”
“Bush! It’s always Bush! You don’t think I could have gone into Iraq if I wanted to, killed Saddam, and made the world safe for terrorism without Bush?! Is that what you think?”
“Never in a thousand years, Almighty Benefactor of the Weak and Poor. I would never criticize you. Please don’t kill me. Saddam kept you out, but only because you allowed it. If you wanted to go to Iraq, you would have gone there long before the Great Satan invited our glorious revolution to do battle, and we would have been the first to destroy the 3,000 year civilization of that country.”
“Praise Allah! Allah is with us! Allah Bless al-Qaeda!”
“That’s the spirit,” said the Aide. Here’s even better news. The American With the Constant Smirk is also the most praised American.”
“Do you take me for a fool!?” thundered bin Laden. “I can read and analyze statistics better than that Fool of a Mixed Malaprop. Only 13 percent of Americans say he’s the Biggest Hero of 2006. That’s only half of all who say he’s the Biggest Villain.”
“That shows you how foolish those Americans are,” said the Aide. “He creates a war—and that is good—but he stays behind the battle, like he always has done, and while his troops are sweating and dying, while they’re eating condensed sand, he’s in an air-conditioned villa in Texas and eating barbequed mourning doves, which he just killed.”
“He’s even better than me at killing birds of peace,” said a lugubrious bin Laden.
“Mighty one, you have shown your power to spare the smallest of sparrows, as Allah has so ordered, while launching a jihad against the heretics.”
“That is true. And I should not forget that those foolish Americans not only made their workers, the soldiers of the desert, only the Number 2 Heroes, they . placed Oprah as the third Biggest Hero!”
“That’s the spirit, oh Wise and Noble Warrior. The Americans are nothing if not shallow.”
Bin Laden again looked at his Aide, a smile emerging. “Bush may have helped make the world safe for terrorism, but in two years, he will no longer be President, and I will again regain the honor of being the Worst Villain. Prepare for my coronation.”
[Walter Brasch’s current books are America’s Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Government’s Violation of Constitutional and Civil Rights,; ‘Unacceptable’: The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina; and Sex and the Single Beer Can: Probing the Media and American Culture. They are available through amazon.com and other on-line sources. You may contact Dr. Brasch, professor of journalism at Bloomsburg University, at email@example.com, or through his website, www.walterbrasch.com.]
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