Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
SHOCK AND AWE OVER GAZA — Jonathan Cook reports from the West Bank on How the Media and Human Rights Groups Cover for Israel’s War Crimes; Jeffrey St. Clair on Why Israel is Losing; Nick Alexandrov on Honduras Five Years After the Coup; Joshua Frank on California’s Water Crisis; Ismael Hossein-Zadeh on Finance Capital and Inequality; Kathy Deacon on The Center for the Whole Person; Kim Nicolini on the Aesthetics of Jim Jarmusch. PLUS: Mike Whitney on the Faltering Economic Recovery; Chris Floyd on Being Trapped in a Mad World; and Kristin Kolb on Cancer Without Melodrama.
Here’s what you Europeans fail to understand. I’ll give it to you real simple because I know some of you folks are still struggling with your indigenous languages. Everybody says the 20th Century is “The American Century”. This kind of shuts us down before we even get up a head of steam, doesn’t it? Because […]

The American Century

by Chet Batsmack, American

Here’s what you Europeans fail to understand. I’ll give it to you real simple because I know some of you folks are still struggling with your indigenous languages. Everybody says the 20th Century is “The American Century”. This kind of shuts us down before we even get up a head of steam, doesn’t it? Because I just shot a glance at my Old Glory desk calendar and it says this is the year 2002. So the American Century is over, by your lights. In a pig’s eye, Hoss. The American Century has only just begun, and we’re fixing to make it last a thousand years.

Europeans have this nasty habit of treating us Americans like a bunch of hayseed rubes, like we never been to the opera. So what? The opera is just a bunch of fat people yodeling. America is a sophisticated country, but in a down-home way. And if our culture is so godawful bad how come you all keep lapping it up? You don’t like our way of doing things, take off them blue jeans and quit watching action movies. I go to Germany and the cable TV in the hotel is five channels of Baywatch and one channel of infomercials for swinger’s clubs. Where’s the other two hundred channels? We got plenty more shows. Lately I don’t hear that many complaints about the culture, though. You got a new beef, and it makes me mad. I’d like to bust you Europeans upside the heads for it. For a bunch of people who managed to squeeze in two World Wars inside of thirty years, you sure get worked up when the US of A decides to throw a war of its own.

We were there for you when Germany got sick of watching Baywatch and decided to roll into France. At least we showed up eventually. We did this twice, as I recall, and saved some Limey butts along the way, and all those little countries around the edges. And Poland, I think. Who got all the Jews? We did. We spent fifty years getting Russia off your backs, and that wasn’t any damn picnic either. Good old-fashioned American know-how. Sticktuitiveness, ever heard that word? Probably not. It’s a uniquely American idea, and it means a quitter never wins and a winner never quits. We’re not quitting now, just because everybody but Tony Blair doesn’t get what we’re doing in the Middle East. And what are we doing? We’re opening up a fresh can of Whupass and sprinkling it all around, that’s what. We know what’s good for that region. Shake those places up. They’re like pimples, and they need squeezing-and what’s more, we’ll take the oil that squirts out and we’ll burn it for free, how’s that for a stand-up kind of country? That’s America. It’s about time we had an empire, because we know how to do things right.

While you nellies are sitting around at the UN with your legs crossed like you have to pee, we’re mounting a war effort without any help. We’re putting our kids on the line. I don’t know what the French word for “bomb” is, and I guess we won’t be finding out anytime soon. All of a sudden we’re “unilateral”. How about some of you Italians shine up those carbines and join us in the desert? Then it’ll be a “multilateral” campaign, and you can all shut up. And don’t start this whining about needing some kind of reason for the war, how about Saddam Hussein is a creep, is that reason enough? You all started World War One because the Archduke Ferdinand (whoever he was) showed up in Sarajevo without a flak jacket on. One tiny little terrorist attack, and the whole joint goes up in flames for four years. We got our clocks cleaned last year, and you expect us to niggle around with all these little details like whether Saddam was directly involved with it, or if he wasn’t, does he have the capability to strike at us? I mean just look at the guy, he’s got one eyebrow on his forehead and another one under his nose, what more do you need? He’s obviously some kind of maniac. When the Iraqi army shows up in Belgium, don’t ask the USA to save your women and children. Not if you weren’t there in the Gulf with us in 2002.

And no more sneering about wagging the damn dog. That’s what Democratic “Presidents” do when they get caught with their hand in the Tillie. Our man George W. is an upstanding, Christian, God-fearing Republican gentleman, but he doesn’t fear anything but God. I mean sure, he was scared out of his wits on 9/11 (who wasn’t?) and he won’t come clean about all those complicated business deals, like anybody could even understand them! But you can’t tell me that these things make him less of a great guy, and there’s no chance he could morally conscience fighting an entire war to distract us just because our economy is in the toilet and there’s a tidal wave of scandals coming at him. He’s not scared. His legacy will endure. Even if he was worried, I bet he’d have his reasons. You Europeans think a President has to be some kind of intellectual genius to run the world. I’m here to tell you that is a lie. George W. Bush will lead our nation out of the Clinton-inspired recession and into the blistering hot deserts of that godforsaken land on the Persian Gulf, and he will probably be in the first tank into Baghdad, or at least in spirit, because obviously seeing as we’re getting no help watching our backs from the so-called “allies” he’ll probably have to stay in a bunker in the Homeland just to make sure Saddam doesn’t sneak up on him from behind with a shiv in his hand.

President Bush is fighting this war for darn good reasons that even he seems to have forgotten, since you all made him jump through hoops until his head spins even though it’s his God-given right to take out Camel Jockey Number One: forget weapons inspections, and terrorism, and all that- this war is about freedom. Saddam hates our freedoms, even worse than Osama Bin Loser. Forget about him, too. He may not be dead, but he’s as good as dead. It’s not like he can show up in America and expect to get away with it. He’s as yesterday as Al Gore. So never you mind about him, it’s Saddam we’re after. And when the Bully of Baghdad goes down, which shouldn’t take too long since his army is only a fifth the size it was when we worked him over last time, maybe we’ll straighten out these jokers in Iran. You think we forgot about that? No way, Jos?. Then look out, Saudis, because we can read a passport as good as the next guy, and there were a lot of damn terrorists from your neck of the woods.

And I’m warning you Europeans on behalf of the entire United States: any more funny business out of you, and we’ll see who’s next. I’d brush up my English, if I were you. And don’t be calling it that, either. We talk American, from now on. This is still the American Century. We’ll tell you when it’s over.

[Dictated to Ben Tripp.]

Chet and Ben can be reached at: credel@earthlink.net