Monday, May 05, 2003


Raven is grumpy this morning. We had french toast for breakfast (freedom toast, if we were in Washington, D.C.), and Raven hates french toast. He feels that soaking perfectly crunchy bread in a batter of milk and eggs and then frying it is a barbarity—and drenching it all in maple syrup is the final straw.

“The Final Solution, precisely”, Raven indicates as he pushes his plate away. “This is as close as it gets to Terrorism by Food.”

Surely you exaggerate, Rave—the annals of war are filled with run-ins with spoiled food, c-rations and other culinary culprits. On some Pacific islands during World War II there was cannibalism. Not to mention what has traditionally been served up in prisons.

“I suppose Guatanamo fare is not worse than this, but I think we could be eating better.”

What does it matter, if we can’t stomach what’s happening in the world? Rumsfeld has tipped his hand, and now we can expect Phase Two in Iraq: The War against Terrorist Networks.

“Maybe you could open a fast french toast eatery there”, Raven snickers.

I could be part of any of the network of terrorists he’s swearing to hunt down, I suppose. And about as legitimate as any group he’s identifying, too. It’s all a bit retro—probably more appropriate for the Algerian National Liberation Front, circa 1955—but as we talked about a couple of days ago, the 50s are back with a vengeance: North Korea, McCarthyism, the Military-Industrial Complex as Public Enemy Number 1.

“What about poodle skirts and hula hoops?”

They don’t need to retread those frivolous elements to create a diversion—they have the Patriot Act so they can put the screws to anyone who doesn’t conform to their standards of citizenry. They can barge into Chinese restaurants, stand the customers up against the wall for hours and drag undocumented Mexicans out of the kitchens and slap them in mini-Guatanamos with impunity—all the while shouting, “Don’t you assholes know we´re at war?”

“So, who’s next on the menu?”

Well, in the fifties the French blamed the terrorism in Algeria on Tunisia and Egypt. Robert Fisk mentions that in his piece in La Jornada today, “¿Terminó la guerra?”. He says that Rumsfeld will put the blame for the terrorism in Iraq (read: shiite resistance to the US military occupation) on Iran and Syria.

“Rounding up the Usual Suspects, in short.”

Right. Play it, Sam. Again.

Raven may be black, but he’s no Dooley Wilson. But then, I doubt that too many people would mistake me for Humphrey Bogart....

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