The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
Killing Kindly
Wednesday, July 9th, 2008
The Nossiter Net is cast  to snare some of  the riper rascalities of the day.  Comments?  Send a letter to the editor.
Asked about higher U.S. cigarette exports to Iran, John McCain said "Maybe that’s a way of killing them." The syntax may be clumsy, but foreign policy and military affairs expert McCain is surely onto a good thing here. Considering that Iraq and Afghanistan have cost us trillions of dollars and tens of thousands of casualties, McCain proposes that our next war be a casualty-free, profit-making venture. Who could possibly object to that?

Military contractors for one. Big defense has profited mightily from the Bush administration’s bellicosity, and a war waged with death sticks instead of bullets would leave Halliburton and Grumman and their colleagues high and dry. Ditto the oil companies, since killing Iranians with coffin nails won’t do anything to hyper inflate the cost of oil the way our shooting war in Iraq has.  But the tobacco companies will cheer, and if we export big pharma’s cancer cures the pharmaceutical companies will do nicely too. As for the paradox of sending cures to those we seek to kill, it isn’t one. Remember that although hugely profitable, big pharma’s cancer drugs are largely ineffective.

Then there’s the fact that cigarettes don’t kill immediately. Fox News and CNN would be deprived of the exciting combat footage and breathless war reporting that have boosted their ratings for the past seven years. Newspapers and magazines will miss the dramatic post explosion photos that have helped fight their circulation losses in the Bush era. Against this must be weighed the fact that cable TV and other news outlets spend more time on Lindsay Lohan and Brittany Spears than on our wars anyway.

Cigarettes do kill utterly indiscriminately, so the level of what the Pentagon likes to call collateral damage would be very high. This hasn’t troubled us much in Iraq and Afghanistan though, where civilian casualties have far outstripped military ones for years. There seems little point in wasting any more worry on the Iranians than we do on our other foes.

Of course killing Iranians by cigarette will take decades. Bush has already warned us we’re engaged in a long war, in effect endless, so that shouldn’t be much of an obstacle. Furthermore, as super patriot John McCain is doubtless planning, we can speed up the operation considerably. Let those Iranians eat McDonalds and KFC and Pizza Hut and Sara Lee, and drink Coke and Starbucks and Budweiser. In short, unleash our artery hardening, cholesterol-raising fats and high fructose corn syrup, deploy our weapons of mass accumulation. After all things go better with Coke. The Iranians who escape cancer will be polished off in no time by obesity and diabetes and heart disease, an outcome as American as apple pie, a la mode of course with a side of Reddiwhip.
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2008


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A NOTE TO READERS ***Update***
Another three week plus hiatus, from April 30th until May 23rd, again due to Yahoo Geocities dismal service.

There was nothing new at The Nossiter Net between March 3rd and April 26th, 2007, nearly eight weeks.  The reason:  tech sabotage. Yahoo Geocities, the host for this site, denied access for the entire period.  At one point, they even managed to lose all the files.  In many discussions with Yahoo staff, no clear explanation was forthcoming.  No one seemed able to fix the problem.  Ruling out the possibility of Dubbya’s revenge, I finally wrote to Mr. Terry Semel, Chairman and CEO of Yahoo! Inc and described the ordeal the page had undergone since the beginning of March.  A week later, a helpful Yahooo engineer named Jason called.  He had my letter before him.  Though he couldn’t do the repairs on on the spot, he promised a fix by the next day.  That was April 26th, nearly two months after shutting me down in the first place.

The Nossiter Net apologizes, which is more than I can say for Yahoo Geocities.

                              




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