Thursday, April 01, 2004An Alternate History
According to today's Washington Post, on the eleventh day of September, 2001, Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to give a foreign policy speech in which she intended to outline the Bush administration's tough new initiative on homeland defense, one which would address "the threats and problems of today and the day after, not the world of yesterday."
What threats might those be, you ask? Good question. Considering what happened on that same day, you'd be smart to guess that those threats might include things like asymmetrical warfare, militancy in certain Middle Eastern nations, and -- of course -- terrorism.
You'd be smart... and you'd also be wrong. No, Condi's speech that day was going to consist mostly of an introduction to one of Bush's pet projects: a missile defense system. Not that missile defense would ever do a thing to protect Americans here and abroad from Saudis running amok with 747s, briefcase nukes, or rockets borne on donkey carts. The "world of yesterday," indeed.
God, how I wish I could have seen her face that morning. Imagine it: Condi, sitting in a bunker, perhaps with a copy of her completely irrelevant and now rather stupid-looking speech in her briefcase, hiding from a bunch of guys to whom, although she'd been warned about them, she had paid almost no attention throughout her first nine months on the job.
But nobody has perfect foresight; who among us would have dreamed that such a thing would happen? I know I certainly didn't. And like the intelligent, decisive woman she is, she immediately insisted that President Bush drop all his plans for missile defense and instead focus intently on eradicating from the face of the world our primary enemy: Osama bin Laden. And once they had dealt with Osama, together they set about creating a new initiative for homeland defense, one that really would deal with the threats of our complex modern world. They set about strengthening our security at ports and plants, bringing domestic and international intelligence groups together in productive harmony, and forming close, trusting bonds with other nations. Simultaneously, while working to protect us at home, they also set about creating genuine peace and justice abroad, lessening the anger and frustration that makes the people of the world despair so completely that they come to believe that only by killing others can they make themselves heard. And they did it all completely selflessly, with no thought whatsoever to their own personal gain or profit.
And that, boys and girls, is why we never hear the words "missile defense system" anymore; why Osama is now held securely in a Federal prison in accordance with the judgement of an international court; why the once troubled nations of the Middle East are now peaceful, prosperous, and stable; and why Bush and Rice are being jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this year.
Happy April Fool's Day, George and Condi. |