February 20, 2003

· Politics

The Dept of Homeland Security would like to take this opportunity to explain the current political situation to you all.

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Reports about North Korea are disturbing.

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We don’t want to act as though the sky is falling on our heads…

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But North Korea’s Nuclear capability is quite frightening. The CIA says their ballistic missiles could hit the west coast. Their leader is a bit loony, too.

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That might mean no more San Francisco.

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But the message about this nuclear threat is not getting through to the right people.

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Instead, they are paying attention to Iraq, looking for nasty weapons (though not as nasty as nukes). Soon they will invade.

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We are invading because Saddam has nuclear weapons, is in league with Al Qaeda, is in material breach of U.N. resolutions, is a very bad man indeed, who gassed his own people, and the United States has never ignored, tolerated or supported that sort of thing when it suited us. Well, OK, maybe we did, but Donald Rumsfeld is really sorry for helping Saddam in the 1980s. He sees that was wrong now, and wants to make amends.

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Many people have been protesting the proposed attack.

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They think it is not in U.S. interests, is a distraction from preventing further terrorist attacks, or might lead to a big geopolitical disaster or long-term mess.

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But the White House is ignoring these protests, because policy is not made by focus groups. At least, not by focus groups made up of loony-left hippy-dippy fifth-column protestors, anyway. (Who knew there were quite so many of them? Some of them were even disguised as normal people.) And the war’s going to be over really quick anyway.

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Besides, if things get messy after the invasion, we can always back out…

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…and wash our hands of the whole thing. Right?

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In the meantime, don’t buy any of that fancy French food. It isn’t patriotic.

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Attorney General Ashcroft would also like you to lay off the book-reading for a while.

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And remember, Don’t Mess with Texas.

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I am Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Markets and Management Studies program, and the Duke Network Analysis Center.

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