The Konformist

September 2001

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W's speech


Mr. Speaker, Mr. President Pro Temporariness, members of Congress, and fellow Americans: In the normal course of events, presidents come to this chamber to report on the state of the union. Tonight, they have sent me instead.

We've seen the unfurling of flags, the lighting of candles, the unfolding of flags, the giving of blood, the waving of flags, the saying of prayers, and the savage beatings administered to people who dress differently and do not wave flags.

Tonight, we are a country awakened to danger. Who would have thought that callous disregard for the lives lost to American bombs abroad might one day lead to calamity? Our grief has turned to anger and anger to resolution and resolution to jingoism and jingoism soon will be transmuted into a new batch of experimental and traditional weapons raining down on the human beings who inhabit the world's hovels. Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, just as I say, let me adjust this mike.

I thank the Congress for showing its leadership at such an important time by granting me the untrammeled right to imprison and destroy our designated demons du jour.

All who love America and who are uncommonly tolerant of shallow manipulation were touched on the evening of the tragedy to see Republicans and Democrats joined together on the steps of this Capitol singing ''God Bless America.''

And you did more than sing. You acted, you signed over $40 billion to the military-industrial complex. Money that was nowhere to be seen earlier when desperate requests came in for better schools or teacher's salaries or affordable housing. Speaker Hastert, Minority Leader Gephardt, Majority Leader Daschle and Senator Lott, I thank you for your abject subservience, and for prostrating yourself before the needs of the corporate complex.

America is not alone in this. We will not forget South Korean children gathering to pray outside our embassy in Seoul, the way we forgot about them when they vainly huddled under a bridge to avoid being strafed in 1951, or the ones gunned down in Kwangju.

Let me thank all the countries standing by us, except for Canada.

America has no truer friend than Great Britain.

I'm so honored the British prime minister had crossed an ocean to show his unity with America in plotting yet another cataclysm of violence against the poorest nations on earth.

Thank you for coming, friend.

On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country. Americans have known wars, but for the past 136 years they have been wars on foreign soil, except for one Sunday in 1941, which would have been on foreign soil, had we not annexed Hawaii and turned it into a fortress guarding our overbearing presence in Asia.

Americans have known the casualties of war, but not at the center of a great city on a peaceful morning. That knowledge, until now, has belonged almost exclusively to our adversaries.

Americans have known surprise attacks, but rarely from the receiving side.

All of this was brought upon us in a single day, and night fell on a different world, a world where freedom itself is under attack, and I am not referring to the repressive laws we are about to enact.

Americans have many questions tonight. They are asking, ''Who wrote my speech?" They also want to know why it is that when a reporter asks me a question, I often look like a spaniel who has just heard an unfamiliar command.

The evidence we have gathered all points to a collection of loosely affiliated terrorist organizations known as al Qaeda. You may have heard of them before. I hadn't. They are the fundamentalists we bankrolled to kill Russians, and whom we now accuse of bombing American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and say are responsible for bombing the USS Cole.

Al Qaeda is to terror as the mafia is to crime or I as am to the inane phrase and malapropism. But its goal is not making money, something we might respect. Its goal is remaking the world and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere. What dad likes to call New World Order, only I don't remember him giving permission to Al Qaeda or anyone else to try it.

The terrorists' directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans and make no distinctions among military and civilians, including women and children. Why they don't pick on Denmark or Australia beats the heck out of me.

They are recruited from their own nations and neighborhoods and brought to camps in places like Afghanistan where they are trained in the tactics of terror. They are sent back to their homes or sent to hide in countries around the world to plot evil and destruction. Everyone knows this, if they are familiar with the historical works of Stallone, or read Marvel publications.

The leadership of Al Qaeda has great influence in Afghanistan and supports the Taliban regime in controlling most of that country. In Afghanistan we see al Qaeda's vision for the world. Afghanistan's people have been brutalized, many are starving and many have fled.

Women are not allowed to attend school. You can be jailed for owning a television. Religion can be practiced only as their leaders dictate. A man can be jailed in Afghanistan if his beard is not long enough. Knowing this, you ask, why did we give the Taliban $43 million a couple of months ago.

Simple. We thought at the time they could guarantee Unocal's pipeline, so we didn't sweat the small stuff.

The United States respects the people of Afghanistan -- as we do all of our bombees and others we threaten with annihilation. After all, we are currently its largest source of er, humanitarian aid -- but we condemn the Taliban regime who are now in our way.

Tonight the United States of America makes the following demands on the Taliban.

Deliver to United States authorities whomver we tell you to. And don't keep nagging us for evidence. We don't have to show you any stinking evidence.

Release all foreign nationals, including American citizens you have unjustly imprisoned. Protect foreign journalists, diplomats and aid workers in your country and stop holding up their mail from Langley. Close immediately and permanently every terrorist training camp in Afghanistan. And hand over every terrorist and every person and their support structure to appropriate authorities.

Give the United States full access to terrorist training camps. We need them. The Liblabs here have shut down ours at The School for the Americas.

Inasmuch as you have no defense against our bombs, these demands are not open to negotiation or discussion.

Once you accede to our demands, we will resume financing your fundamentalism, as we do Saudi Arabia's.

I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. But this is a free country, and that is why we allow our legislators and TV celebrities to refer to you as diaper-heads. Your faith is practiced freely by many millions of Americans and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. But Operation Infinite Mendacity is going to change all that.

The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends. It is not our many Arab friends. It is not our friends. It is our enemy. When we ask you to disembark a plane so that regular Americans can travel safely, do not take it personally. Get that chip off your shoulders.

Our war on terror begins with Al Qaeda, but it does not end there.

It will not end until all evil has been found, all evildoers stopped and defeated, including the ones they call the Joker and the Penguin.

Americans are asking ''Why do they hate us?''

They hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government. (LAUGHTER)

Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote (LAUGHTER) and assemble and disagree with each other.

They want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries including the Saudi Arabian democracy.

We're not deceived by their pretenses to piety.

We have seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. Indeed, who but Muslims started the two world wars that took 70 million lives? Who is responsible for Korea and Vietnam?

Americans are asking, ''How can America and its allies possibly defeat a man who is hiding in a cave in the poorest country on earth?"

We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence (by the way, does anyone here know Farsi?), every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war.

Now, this war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, when Americans laughed along with Stormin' Norman at the sight of terrified Iraqis scurrying to escape our surgical bombs. We may not go back to the good old days of the Highway of Death, but I guarantee there will again be stragglers to strafe. And soon Americans will once more wake up to find themselves bombarding a country they cannot locate on a map.

It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where not a single American was lost in combat. Think of that. We bombed a country for months, wreaked havoc on its infrastructure, killed and maimed thousands of its citizens, and we didn't lose a single hero. And still some people hate us.

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated air strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes visible on TV and covert operations, the details of which shall not be revealed until all of us are long dead.

We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place until there is no refuge or no rest. As Mark said:

O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst . . .

And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism or, this time, draft dodgers. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either serve our machine or be considered terrorists.

Today, dozens of federal departments and agencies, as well as state and local governments, have responsibilities affecting homeland security.

These efforts must be coordinated at the highest level. So tonight, I announce the creation of a Cabinet-level position reporting directly to me, I call it the General Emergency Section Tracking Anti-American Populist Opposition.

These measures are essential.

Many will be involved in this effort, from FBI agents, now free to employ sleazier sleazebags as intelligence operatives, to the teams that are once again authorized to assassinate the leaders of other nations. All deserve our thanks, and all have our prayers.

I ask your continued participation and confidence in the American economy as it plunges toward the abyss.

America is successful because of the hard work and creativity and enterprise of people who frequently cannot afford a roof over their heads. These were the true strengths of our economy before September 11. and they are our strengths today.

Tonight I thank my fellow Americans for what you have already done and for what you are about to do without even being aware that you are doing it.

And ladies and gentlemen of the Congress, I thank you, their representatives, for what you have already done to help untangle us from the restrictions of the Bill of Rights and granting me absolute power.

We will come together to promote stability and keep our airlines flying with direct assistance during this emergency. Ordinary people will have to fend for themselves.

We will come together to take active steps that strengthen America's economy and put our people back to work, although first we will have to finish turning them out into the cold, and that may take time.

In all that lies before us, may God grant us wisdom and may he watch uniquely over the United States of America, because we are the only country that truly honors the separation of church and state.

Thank you.

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