Thanks again to Gerri Haines, Physicians for Social Responsibility. Health warning: do not read if you have weak kidneys. best, f.|
The Observer Sunday February 17, 2002
OK, George, make with the friendly bombs
By Terry Jones
To prevent terrorism by dropping bombs on Iraq is such an obvious idea that
I can't think why no one has thought of it before. It's so simple. If only
the UK had done something similar in Northern Ireland, we wouldn't be in the
mess we are in today.
The moment the IRA blew up the Horseguards' bandstand, the Government should
have declared its own War on Terrorism. It should have immediately demanded
that the Irish government hand over Gerry Adams. If they refused to do so -
or quibbled about needing proof of his guilt - we could have told them that
this was no time for prevarication and that they must hand over not only
Adams but all IRA terrorists in the Republic. If they tried to stall by
claiming that it was hard to tell who were IRA terrorists and who weren't,
because they don't go around wearing identity badges, we would have been
free to send in the bombers.
It is well known that the best way of picking out terrorists is to fly
30,000ft above the capital city of any state that harbours them and drop
bombs - preferably cluster bombs. It is conceivable that the bombing of
Dublin might have provoked some sort of protest, even if just from James
Joyce fans, and there is at least some likelihood of increased anti-British
sentiment in what remained of the city and thus a rise in the numbers of
potential terrorists. But this, in itself, would have justified the tactic
of bombing them in the first place. We would have nipped them in the bud, so
to speak. I hope you follow the argument.
Having bombed Dublin and, perhaps, a few IRA training bogs in Tipperary, we
could not have afforded to be complacent. We would have had to turn our
attention to those states which had supported and funded the IRA terrorists
through all these years. The main provider of funds was, of course, the USA,
and this would have posed us with a bit of a problem. Where to bomb in
America? It's a big place and it's by no means certain that a small country
like the UK could afford enough bombs to do the whole job. It's going to
cost the US billions to bomb Iraq and a lot of that is empty countryside.
America, on the other hand, provides a bewildering number of targets.
Should we have bombed Washington, where the policies were formed? Or should
we have concentrated on places where Irishmen are known to lurk, like New
York, Boston and Philadelphia? We could have bombed any police station and
fire station in most major urban centres, secure in the knowledge that we
would be taking out significant numbers of IRA sympathisers. On St Patrick's
Day, we could have bombed Fifth Avenue and scored a bull's-eye.
In those American cities we couldn't afford to bomb, we could have rounded
up American citizens with Irish names, put bags over their heads and flown
them in chains to Guernsey or Rockall, where we could have given them food
packets marked 'My Kind of Meal' and exposed them to the elements with a
The same goes for Australia. There are thousands of people in Sydney and
Melbourne alone who have actively supported Irish republicanism by sending
money and good wishes back to people in the Republic, many of whom are known
to be IRA members and sympathisers. A well-placed bomb or two Down Under
could have taken out the ringleaders and left the world a safer place. Of
course, it goes without saying that we would also have had to bomb various
parts of London such as Camden Town, Lewisham and bits of Hammersmith and we
should certainly have had to obliterate, if not the whole of Liverpool, at
least the Scotland Road area.
And that would be it really, as far as exterminating the IRA and its
supporters. Easy. The War on Terrorism provides a solution so uncomplicated,
so straightforward and so gloriously simple that it baffles me why it has
taken a man with the brains of George W. Bush to think of it.
So, sock it to Iraq, George. Let's make the world a safer place.
[Terry Jones is one of the Monty Python team.]