Saved by the Bomb: Senator McCain has Hit Upon a Solution to All the Republican Party's Woes: A Nuclear War with Iran
Campaigning in Oklahoma the other day, the Republican senator John McCain was asked what should be done about Iran. He responded by singing, "Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran", to the tune of the Beach Boys' Barbara Ann. (Join the hilarity and see for yourself on YouTube.) How can any thinking person disagree? I mean, any country with a president who doesn't shave properly and never wears a tie deserves what's coming to it - a lot of American bombs, with a few British ones thrown in to ensure we don't miss out on the ensuing upsurge in terrorism.
The problem is how to unload enough bombs on Iran before next year's US election to bring about enough flag-waving to get the Republican party re-elected. This is essential if we are to safeguard the revenues of companies such as Halliburton - particularly at a time when the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction is discovering what a shoddy job Halliburton has been doing. In projects at Nasiriya, Mosul and Hilla - declared successes by the US - inspectors have discovered buckled floors, crumbling concrete, failed generators and blocked sewage systems - due not to sabotage but largely to poor construction and lack of maintenance.
The trouble is that the re-election of the GOP is becoming more problematic as opinion turns against George Bush's little invasion of Iraq. Even Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah recently condemned the US action as "an illegal foreign occupation"; his nephew, Prince Bandar, hasn't been returning calls for weeks.
More worrying is the plummeting popularity of the party, as White House corruption becomes ever more difficult to disguise. The LA Times reports that what Representative Thomas M Davis III called a "poisonous" environment has begun to dent fundraising - an unheard-of problem for the Republicans.
So the only solution is to bomb Iran, as Senator McCain so wisely and amusingly suggests. The real issue is whether to use regular weapons or do the job properly and go nuclear.
Nuclear bombs have the advantage of being much bigger, and they will also pollute vast swathes of Iran and make much of the country uninhabitable for years. With a bit of luck some of the fallout will sweep into Iraq and finish off the job the US and UK have begun without incurring more costs.
But the biggest advantage of nuclear weapons is that the repercussions would be so enormous, the upsurge in terrorism so overwhelming, that the world would be totally changed. A year before 9/11, Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis "Scooter" Libby signed a statement for the Project for the New American Century, a neoconservative thinktank. They rather hoped for "some catastrophic and catalysing event like a new Pearl Harbor" to kickstart their dream of a world run by US military might. A nuclear war would do the trick in spades. The Republican party could expect to stay in power for the next 50 or even 100 years.
Of course, a large proportion of the human race could be wiped out in the process, but that shouldn't be a problem as long as there are anti-radiation suits for White House and Pentagon staff. Such a shake-up would give the US a golden opportunity to corner what's left of the world's oil reserves.
In 1955 Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell said the world was faced by a "stark and dreadful and inescapable" choice: "Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war?" Senator McCain wasn't bothered by such questions; the human race may be standing on a precipice, but the Republicans have a chance of permanent re-election.
Terry Jones is a film director, actor and Python. Terry-jones.net
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