Friday, January 05, 2007

And now for something completely different!?

After all the lofty words and sober musings this week, how about a lighter touch? This comes from across the pond, courtesy of Monty Python alum Terry Jones, in today's Guardian:

"Early this year the Bush administration is to ask Congress to approve an additional $100bn for the onerous task of making life intolerable for the Iraqis. This will bring the total spent on the White House's current obsession with war to almost $500bn - enough to have given every US citizen $1,600 each. I wonder which the voters would have gone for if given the choice: shall we (a) give every American $1,600 or (b) spend the money on bombing a country in the Middle East that doesn't use lavatory paper?

Of course, there's another thing that George Bush could have done with the money: he could have given every Iraqi $18,700. I imagine that would have reduced the threat of international terrorism somewhat. Call me old-fashioned, but I can't help thinking that giving someone $18,700 brings them round to your side more quickly than bombing the hell out of them. They could certainly buy a lot of lavatory paper with it..."

I've heard worse ideas in four years of watching this stupid war.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jones' columns are great fun. He just put them together in a new book, titled, apprpriately enough, "Terry Jones's War on the War on Terror." (

Salon magazine ( has a good column on the book.

Jones's Salon Q&A includes some great observations:
Q. One of the strange manipulations of language you get into is that the war on terror is a war on an abstract noun.

A. An abstract noun can't surrender; it can't do anything really. How do you know when you've won? When the noun gets kicked out of the Oxford English Dictionary? But that's a very useful tool for politicians, to declare an unwinnable war. They can keep it going as long as they like. They can decide when it's won.

Q. That reminds me of one of your own essays, where, with a very straight face, you consider how if Britain had decided to adopt the same policy with the supporters of IRA terrorists, you would have had to bomb the U.S., since so much of the IRA's funds came from here.

A. There's more logic in that than there is in bombing Iraq because of al-Qaida. Iraq has no connections with al-Qaida at all. I'm sure Osama bin Laden hated Saddam Hussein, with his worldly, nonreligious government. Al-Qaida would be dead against that sort of thing. What they should have done was get al-Qaida to attack Saddam Hussein.

8:28 AM  

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