Published on
the Boulder Daily Camera (Colorado)

Ticking Everyone Off

AUSTIN, Texas — OK, sign me up for the Bush program. I'm aboard. Who else can we insult, offend, bribe, blackmail, threaten, intimidate, wiretap or otherwise infuriate?

Getting the Canadians seriously mad at us took real work. Our latest ploy in that direction was to contemptuously reject their compromise that had a few more days' delay in it than the British-U.S. version. Then, when our version didn't fly, we decided on a few more days' delay ourselves — without, of course, the contempt.

Then, to add to the festivities of "Let's Tick Off the Next-Door Neighbors Week," we started leaning on Vicente Fox of Mexico. Our ambassador to Mexico, Tony Garza, said: "Will American attitudes be placated by half-steps or three-quarter steps? I kind of doubt it." An unnamed American "diplomat" was quoted as saying it could "stir up feelings" here if Mexico voted against us, and does Mexico "want to stir the fires of jingoism during a war?"

President Bush said, "I don't expect there to be significant retribution from the government (what's significant?), but there might be a reaction like the interesting phenomena taking place here in America about the French, a backlash against the French, not stirred up by anybody except the people." For those who oppose the United States, "there will be a certain sense of discipline."

George W. Bush in chains and black leather. Why should we care that the overwhelming majority of the Mexican people are opposed to this war? To hell with democracy in Mexico — we're for democracy in Iraq. That's us: If you don't give us everything we want, you're with the terrorists. Anyone who questions anything we do is supporting Saddam Hussein, and dissent is treason. I love it.

Next up, Tony Blair, the first casualty of the war. How very smart to fall out with our closest ally. Nice going by Donald Rumsfeld, suggesting that we can't count on the Brits. They've already got 45,000 troops in the Middle East.

We've already ticked off the Pope, and now a tiff with Israel — outstanding. But we haven't done anything to Paraguay yet. How about doing something to annoy the Paraguayans?

We could have Rumsfeld make one his statesmanlike remarks such as, "Nyah, nyah, Asuncion sucks." And why leave out Mali? Mali is a silly name for a country. This is fun. Let's go insult some goobers in the South Pacific, too — say, Tonga. Don't leave out the Scots. Their guys wear skirts. Burkina Faso, now there's a dump. Only morons would name their capital Ouagadougou. Hee-hee. This is more fun than junior high school.

A French journalist observed in horrified wonder Tuesday: "Mon Dieu, Bush has made Jacques Chirac into a hero. Jacques Chirac!" What a little miracle-man that George W. Bush is. He has that wonder-working power.

One can hardly say enough about the courageous action of the U.S. House Administration Committee in renaming French fries "Freedom Fries" at the House cafeteria. In these critical times, it's good to know we can count on House Republicans. They'll teach those cheese-eating surrender monkeys a thing or two. (Guys, did you really have to just hand the French this one? That has to be the slowest pitch on record.)

This was in addition to Republicans trading tasteless anti-French jokes publicly during a hearing with Colin Powell. Just for the record, there are 6,000 French troops currently serving as peacekeepers in Afghanistan and the Balkans. As they keep watch in places they'd rather not be, I'm sure they all appreciate your gestures. Likewise, the Germans — described by Rumsfeld as a "pariah state" — have 10,000 troops in Afghanistan and the Balkans.

Have you ever seen such amazing arrogance wedded to such awesome incompetence?

Chickens coming home to roost all around. Turns out the reason some of the African nations are sticking with the French is because they get more in foreign aid from the French than they do from us. Thank you, Jesse Helms, for your many years of work destroying American aid programs.

Of course, we don't need the United Nations. Why should we worry about peacekeeping, nation-building or international cooperation on global problems when we can buy our friends, bully our allies and bomb everybody else? What a glorious future.

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Molly Ivins

Molly Ivins

Molly Ivins (August 30, 1944 – January 31, 2007) was an American newspaper columnist, liberal political commentator, humorist and author. From Americans Who Tell the Truth: "To honor a journalist as a truth teller is implicitly to comment on the scarcity of courage and candor in a profession ostensibly dedicated to writing and speaking the truth. Molly Ivins is singular in her profession not only for her willingness to speak truth to power but for her use of humor to lampoon the self-seeking, the corrupt and the incompetent in positions of public trust. Her wit and insight place her squarely in the tradition of America’s great political humorists like Mark Twain."

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