The ‘gift’ of western democracy




You wake up late one Saturday morning. You get out of bed and brush your teeth. You step outside to grab your mail. As you open the door, you vaguely see something gliding in the pale blue sky of spring above Suburbia, Iowa. You see a package drop from the unidentified flying object to the idyllic white-picket city landscape below. On impact, your field of vision is suddenly filled by an outburst of orange. Your eardrums register a sound above the usual decibel range. Your nerves register a sting as a flying piece of shrapnel embeds itself into your neck. You can taste arsenic in the air as blood begins gushing from your wound. As you stumble towards the suddenly-deconstructed buildings ahead, you see mangled bodies, hear blood-curdling screams as beautiful white bodies take their last breath. Lying in the wreckage are humans in various states of being, some with limbs blown off, some slowly bleeding out, others being burned to death. Many are dead already. Suddenly, you realize what payload this package was carrying, one that had oft been sent overseas but never reciprocated: that payload was democracy.

As you analyze the scene before you, you realize what an enormous opportunity such an event forebears. The demand for doctors will invariably increase, causing for more stable, high-income jobs. Scientific experiments could be carried out on the impacts of such weapons on the human body. General contractors, architects, and construction workers could be hired to rebuild the buildings that once stood. You never thought this opportunity could be granted in the U.S., but this scene is not unfamiliar to Iraqis.

During the Bush Administration, the U.S. armed forces and other coalition troops civilized the savages of Iraq by procuring to them the gift of Western democracy. Many an Iraqi body was riddled with freedom as liberty burst forth from Yanqui guns. Liberated from the confines of an earthly presence, hundreds of thousands of civilians reached a higher plane of existence. For those Iraqis who remained alive, they were granted the gift of being able to truly appreciate life knowing that it could be taken away from them at any second. The power vacuum created by the ousting of dictator Saddam Hussein was filled by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which surely signaled a return to a more organic state for the Muslim dwellers of the country. And citizens could rest easy knowing that all zero weapons of mass destruction had been removed from the country. Still others were gifted strength by being tortured at black sites such as Abu Ghraib prison. As the Marine Corps Recruiting office slogan goes, “pain is weakness leaving the body.” Imagine how much weakness left their bodies as they were being raped and sodomized, or beaten with batons. How gracious of the Bush Administration to grace such ungracious savages with such a gift.

I am surprised to learn that some people are angry that noted feminist Laura Bush is being paid untold thousands to come speak on UNI’s campus. Some have noted her complicity in the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Bush Administration, and believe that oil is not a legitimate reason to murder hundreds of thousands of civilians. They further note that students’ tuition should not be spent on inviting a war criminal’s wife to campus. However, all of this is clearly ridiculous. As UNI’s official press release states, Laura is an “advocate for … women’s rights” and “continues her work on global health care innovations, empowering women in emerging democracies … and supporting the men and women who have served in America’s military.” Considering Iraq is an “emerging democracy” par excellence, I am certain that Iraqi women will be relieved to hear just how much Laura Bush is empowering them. And what better way to promote “global health care innovations” than using humans as test subjects for more and more grotesque torture techniques, or should I say enhanced interrogation techniques. Finally, I am so glad to hear of Laura Bush’s work “supporting the men and women who have served in America’s military,” because they sure do need a lot of support. So many of them have been injured physically or mentally, having had limbs blown off or returned with PTSD, for some mysterious reason.

We may never know how they ended up like this, but at least Laura Bush is here to help them heal.