|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
|The Morning Mendacity
Thursday, January 27th, 2005
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Ten floors underground, in the bowels of the Pentagon, the top secret Office of Highly Nefarious Operations, OHNO, is abuzz. Inspired by President Bush’s inaugural address, OHNO has taken Mr. Bush’s statement that “it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world”* as a directive. Shirley A. Stigmatic, Director of OHNO, explains.
“Here at OHNO, we translate the President’s policies into actions. Because we can draw on all the resources of the Pentagon, we are singularly positioned to implement the President’s ideas, no matter how difficult such implementation might appear to the outsider. President Bush was criticized for declaring that replacing tyranny with democracy around the world was essential to our security, without explaining how he planned to accomplish that goal. He couldn’t explain. The explanation is OHNO, and we are top, top secret. But think about it. We can draw on hundreds of billions of cash, tens of thousands of troops, every weapon ever conceived, planes and ships and rockets, oh my. We can go anywhere and do anything. Let me show you.”
Ms. Stigmatic, who granted this strictly off the record interview as a corrective to unfair criticisms of President Bush’s inaugural address, led me through a thick metal door, reminiscent of a bank vault, though several times larger. We found ourselves in a huge, brightly lit command center, the size of an airplane hanger, in which civilians and uniformed personnel walked around with clipboards, complex machinery whirred and flashed, and armored golf carts, filled with armed guards, patrolled the area. A giant map of the world, occupying one entire wall, winked with multi-colored lights. One of these, sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland, burned with a steady red glow.
“Notice the red light” Ms. Stigmatic said, following the direction of my gaze. “That is our next target. Crack teams are assembling as we speak to bring democracy and liberty to that oppressed region. Galaxy C5A transport planes, the largest in the world, are loading with tanks, artillery, and Stryker combat vehicles. Within the next few hours, our B1 and B2 bombers will begin their devastating attacks, accompanied by F18 and F16 fighters, to soften up the target. Special Forces are already in place, pinpointing the vital strike areas, clandestinely demolishing command and control infrastructure. A wave of paratroopers will follow to secure the capital and major towns. Then we send in the marines and the Apache helicopters to complete the liberation. Just imagine. These people will be getting their first taste of liberty in a matter of days!”
The severe Ms. Stigmatic, hitherto as chilly and impassive as a marble wall, sounded excited. I ventured closer to the wall to inspect the red light.
“But wait a minute” I sputtered. “Isn’t that Liechtenstein? A tiny and fabulously wealthy country the size of Washington D.C., with a population of thirty thousand or so contented middle class folks minding their own business, that includes a fair amount of farm land and a lot of banking?” I knew Liechtenstein because I’d skied there. They also have ski resorts.
Ms. Stigmatic pursed her lips. “Liechtenstein is ruled by a hereditary monarch, Prince Hans Adam II, whose son, Prince Alois, is already lined up to take over the throne. There are no elections to speak of; the Prince appoints the head of the legislature. Not exactly democratic, wouldn’t you agree? The banks in Liechtenstein engage in money laundering; we have proof. The government is a signatory to the Kyoto Treaty on global warming. Besides, their unemployment rate is under 2%. That’s practically communist. What more proof do you need that the country is desperately in need of liberation?”
“But they have no military at all in Liechtenstein. I mean, they rely on Switzerland for defense, and the Swiss military isn’t exactly threatening. Why are we assembling so much firepower? Why bother them in the first place when the Liechtensteiners are perfectly content as they are? Why wreck a peaceful and prosperous little country for the sake of a boneheaded ideology?”
As I became more heated, Ms. Stigmatic turned to ice.
“They’ll get their democracy, and they’ll like it” she said coldly. “Liechtenstein will become an example to the entire region. When we’re finished with them, we’ll tackle San Marino, Monaco, Andorra, even Luxembourg. By the time we’re done, the big boys will surrender without a fight.”
“The big boys?” I asked, afraid of the answer.
“Sure” replied Ms. Stigmatic. “Did you know that in Sweden, nobody is below the poverty line? How can anybody get rich, when no one is poor? But don’t worry. Their turn will come.”
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2005
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