What’s the Score?

I’m as American as they come. I maintain my lawn with an obsessive-compulsive fervor and I can drive the ball off the tee damn close to 300 yards when I get my whole ass into it. Heck, I’ve even got a Ph.D. in American History. Yet I’m not “sold” on this war, and quite frankly, a lot of other Americans aren’t either. Listen up George, I’m giving you a freebie here…this is how to get those pesky “citizens” who are so concerned with American credibility abroad and whatnot on board with the corporate takeover of Iraq.

Two words: Freedom Units (or “F-U’s” for short). We all know about the system in place to gauge terror here in America (though I admittedly don’t know which color corresponds with how much crap should be in my pants), but Americans have no way to measure how free we are, or how free the world is for that matter. Americans love to “know the score.” It’s a cliché you hear time and time again, so why not give us what our soft little minds are already accustomed to; tell us the score in Freedom Units.

Here’s how Freedom Units could work. For every time some 19 year-old kid who joined the Army to help pay for college, doesn’t even speak the local language and has been told three different times that he was going home, harasses an Iraqi citizen at a checkpoint, America is up one Freedom Unit. For every time the Attorney General denies an American Citizen the judicial process because he’s an “enemy combatant,” America puts 3 Freedom Units on the board, and for every time America displays the corpse of an enemy to demonstrate its imperial power, that’s 7 Freedom Units for the good guys. I’ve kept the scoring similar to football, because if it’s remotely related to football, Americans will dive in headfirst. I can hear it now: “How many F-U’s did we get from the Bush Administration today? 14? Wow! What a great day for freedom!”

Which brings us to the scoreboard. Obviously, Haliburton will get naming rights, and it should be placed in Washington DC. Ideally, it could go on the site where the Jefferson Memorial currently stands. It was, after all, that confounded liberal who said “A prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a people who mean to be free.” Since that obviously rings of relevance today, Jefferson’s Memorial must go. The Haliburton Scoreboard will mark the era of a new America, where we always know the score.

MICHAEL KIMAID teaches history at Bowling Green State Unversity in Ohio. He can be reached at: mkimaid@bgnet.bgsu.edu