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Hope, Crosby and Al Qaeda


“Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.”

Niels Bohr

The newly democratic Iraq has descended into chaos and feminist Afghanistan must be in pretty sorry shape if the media never crows about it. There’s a suicide bombing every ten hours in the Middle East, the wily Osama and Saddam are still not accounted for, the terror alert is back to orange, U.S. embassies and consulates in Saudi Arabia are closed, more than half of America thinks Iraq knocked down the Twin Towers, and Al Qaeda has hung out a glowing neon “BUSINESS AS USUAL” sign.

In light of all this, everyone has a theory…everyone is making predictions: Who’s responsible, where they’ll strike next, what needs to be done, what went wrong, and all that. Some believe this recent wave is Al Qaeda’s last gasp. Others think the smaller scale attacks are designed to distract the U.S. from an impending major attack on its own soil. Saudi Prince Bandar pulled no punches, “My gut feeling tells me something big will happen either in Saudi Arabia or America.”

Well, the Prince1s gut aside, when someone I know told me today she was going to Zanzibar, an alarm went off in my overcrowded cranium. It was time I joined right in with my own supposition. It involves Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and their infamous “Road” movies. You know: “We’re off on the road to Morocco/This camel is tough on the spine.”

In six very funny flicks, the comic duo visited Hollywood sound stages rigged to resemble a half-dozen exotic locales. Innocuous enough, right? Well, check out three of their celluloid destinations: Bali, Morocco, and Hong Kong. That’s Bali (site of a massive terror bombing), Morocco (site of the most recent terror attacks), and Hong Kong (SARS). Some call it coincidence. Sounds like Osama bin Laden’s cave is wired for cable and, in a plot twist too contrived for even Austin Powers to consider, somebody’s been boning up on his Turner Movie Classics. Talk about keeping Hope aliveS

If I lived in Singapore or Zanzibar when Dorothy Lamour showed up, I’d be kissing my code orange ass goodbye.

Let1s see, Bali, Morocco, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Zanzibar…that’s five. What about the sixth road movie? Well, that one happens to be the most disturbing but yet most obvious and important of all: “The Road to Utopia.”

Consider yourself warned…

MICKEY Z. is the author of The Murdering of My Years: Artists and Activists Making Ends Meet ( and an editor at Wide Angle ( He can be reached at:



Mickey Z. is the author of 12 books, most recently Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on the Web here. Anyone wishing to support his activist efforts can do so by making a donation here. This piece first appeared at World Trust News.  

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