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Beam Me Up, Mrs. Williams
by Peter Kurth
August 12, 2004

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“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”

 -- George W. Bush

“If you haven't figured it out, abuse of power isn't something these people do. It's who they are. … They are as they seem: armed, dangerous and on the run.”

-- James K. Galbraith in Salon

Well, that should say it all, but somehow I think it won’t. In fact, “these people” are lower than scum at the bottom of a pond, and you can quote me. This week’s column was already half-written, blocked out, all planned, when I saw the lead headline in Monday morning’s local rag: “FORMER ALLIES SOUGHT IN IRAQ.”

Funny -- I didn’t know we had any allies in Iraq, if you don’t count Tony Blair’s pathetic band of Merrie Men and the repulsive Berlusconi’s several hundred Italian blackshirts, each of them ready to invade Ethiopia at the drop of a biscotto.

Turns out the “allies” in question are the Chalabis, uncle and nephew, Ahmad and Salem. The first, lest we forget, was the Bush administration’s main man when it came to gathering bogus information on which to base the invasion of Iraq (“weapons of mass destruction,” 40 minutes from doom, etc.). The second, raised and groomed in New York City, is – or was – supposed to be heading the official prosecution of Saddam Hussein.

You all remember Saddam? They used to call him “the Evil One” – at least, until he was dragged from his “spider hole” and stood poised to spill the beans. You have to wonder why a man like that couldn’t just flee into Egypt, or cozy up with the Saudis; the Bush administration, in any case, would rather eat bugs for breakfast than give him an open trial. But let the wire service tell it:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq has issued arrest warrants for Ahmad Chalabi, a former Governing Council member with strong U.S. ties, on counterfeiting charges, and for his nephew Salem Chalabi -- head of the tribunal trying Saddam Hussein -- on murder charges, Iraq's chief investigating judge said Sunday.

The warrant was the latest strike against Ahmad Chalabi in his removal from the centers of power. A longtime Iraqi exile opposition leader, he had been a favorite of many in the Pentagon but fell out with the Americans in the weeks before the U.S. occupation ended in June.

OK – deep breaths. How many lies can you count on two hands? The most glaring is the last, which pretends that “the U.S. occupation” of Iraq has ended. It hasn’t and it won’t, not for a good long time. In the last week alone, hundreds – hundreds – of Iraqi citizens have been slaughtered by our troops, and for every one, two, six or nine of “ours,” ten times that many of “theirs” are dead in the street, each and every one of them labeled an “insurgent,” or an “Islamic fundamentalist,” or a “radical Shi’ite” or – you know – just a woman on her way to market when the bombs fell.

Here’s some more news to curl your hair: According to a recent survey conducted at the University of Michigan, 49 percent of people in the Detroit area support “the increased surveillance of Arab-Americans,” and “40 percent of the general population would support the detention of Arabs and Muslims without the evidence to prosecute them.”

So get out that duct tape and hope for the best. You can’t be too careful with a lot of wogs running loose.

You want “radical?” You want “fundamentalist?” Did you hear about that woman in Arkansas who died on the highway a few months ago because she thought she was seeing the Rapture? You know I’m not making this up:

Thirteen other people were injured after a twenty-car pile-up resulted from people trying to avoid hitting the woman, who was apparently convinced that the rapture was occurring when she saw twelve people floating up into the air, and then passed a man on the side of the road who she believed was Jesus.

“She started screaming `He's back! He's back!' and climbed out through the sunroof and jumped off the roof of the car," said Everet Williams, husband of 28-year-old Georgann Williams who was pronounced dead at the scene.

“I was slowing down but she wouldn't wait till I stopped," Williams said. “She thought the rapture was happening and was convinced that Jesus was gonna lift her up into the sky,”

As it happened, it wasn’t Jesus, but a man on his way to a “toga party” whose car had broken down by the side of the road. And the twelve people floating in air were a dozen “blow-up sex dolls” that got loose in the melee:

Ernie Jenkins, 32, of Fort Smith, who's been told by several of his friends that he looks like Jesus, pulled over and lifted his arms into the air in frustration and said “Come back,” just as the Williams' car passed him, and Mrs. Williams was sure that it was Jesus lifting people up into heaven as they drove by him.

“I think my wife loved Jesus more than she loved me,” the widower said when asked why his wife would do such a thing. When asked for comments about the twelve sex dolls, Jenkins replied, “This is all just too weird for me.”

Right. Something tells me Mrs. Williams would have voted for Bush had she lived that long.

Peter Kurth is the author of international bestselling books including Anastasia: The Riddle of Anna Anderson, Isadora: A Sensational Life, and a biography of the anti-fascist journalist Dorothy Thompson, American Cassandra: The Life of Dorothy Thompson. His essays have appeared in Salon, Vanity Fair, New York Times Book Review, and many others. Peter lives in Burlington, Vermont. He can be reached at: Visit his website at:


Other Articles by Peter Kurth


* Such Emptiness! Such Depth of “Preparedness!”
* Absent on AIDS
* King James and King George

* Beheadings
* F--k this, Dick!
* Reagan Idiosis
* Chickenhawk Chic
* Letter to Mars
* Robbing "Defeat" to Pay "Appall"
* Standing Small
* Bible Time
* One Man's Flip Is Another Man's Flop
* Kee-reist is More Like It
* Star Wars
* The Breast That Ate Pittsburgh
* Monkey See, Monkey Do
* Crank Call
* A Cynic's Guide to the Top Stories of 2003
* Talking Turkey
* Let Them Drink Coke
* The Gang that Couldn’t Talk Straight On Iraq
* Party Rules