The following came across my desk yesterday:
Dear Georgey Worgey,
This is Osama. How are you? How have you been? Sorry that I’ve been incommunicado lately. After you and your Cold Warrior buddies visited me in Afghanistan, I needed a break from the hectic grind, so I took some time off, traveled, and saw some friends. In total, I was in Bali, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. You wouldn’t believe the great pictures I got while abroad! Once I put them on my computer, I’ll be sure to e-mail you some. Don’t make fun, though; I packed the wrong bathing suits for this trip and wound up with the Speedos.
Even though I was gone, I still had some time to read the paper and I saw what you’ve been up to. I have to say, I’m a little jealous and angry right now. You’ve been spending all your time trying to bring down Saddam when it’s really me you should have been focusing on. I know that I’ve been playing hard to get, but I didn’t think that you would really use what happened a few Septembers ago as an excuse to try and topple Saddam. (Nice job, though. The American public totally fell for that war on terror thing. You really got them to forget that I was the real target pretty quickly. And having your lackey Tommy Ridge say all those things about borders and broads and colors? That totally makes the whole thing waaaaay dramatic.) Are you doing all this just to please your dad? For oil? You never give a straight answer.
And while I’m airing my grievances, I have to say that it also hurts that you keep ignoring me now, marginalizing my feelings. All that sweet talk about “Don’t worry, baby, this will all be over soon and then we can be together” won’t work anymore. I know that you were just using me – calling me evil, pushing me away, making me the bad guy – while John shred the Constitution, little by little. I know that you were talking out of both sides of your mouth, telling me all was well and then backstabbing me, letting Rummy say mean things and plot my demise. (Why do you always let him have his way? It’s not fair. He’s going to get us into World War III, and when he does, don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
But what hurts most of all is that you aren’t even taking care of your own backyard these days. Get it together, man.
I can sort of understand why you’ve intermittently used and ignored me to advance your international agenda, but at this point, I almost pity you because America seems to be falling apart. I mean, look at the place! The economy has been terrible since you came into office, your tax cuts squandered the surpluses you expected, your corporate-criminal friends all got busted for corruption, your citizens are losing their rights, your lieutenants abuse the justice system, your racist party mates are all going down, you’ve alienated a lot of your allies, you can’t deliver a public address if your life depended on it – should I continue? The only U.S. citizens worse off than you are the voters who’ll probably, despite it all, reelect you in 2004. Although, I guess that’s what they deserve if they’ve allowed this to go on for so long.
But I can’t stay mad at you, honey. Call me sad or pathetic or whatever, but I’m the Tina to your Ike. And that’s why I’m back. I hope that you’re not mad that I told the Muslim world to prepare to counter a U.S. offensive in Iraq. I just missed your attention and wanted to remind you who your real number one should be. I mean Saddam? He’s such a jerk. And don’t give me that “you don’t know the things he says to me in private” malarkey. I’m the guy you should be gunning for. I’m the reason you got involved overseas in the first place, and I’ll be damned if you’re going to use that to go for some dictator guy who had only seven working planes the last time you went out with him. (OK, so that was your dad, but there really isn’t a difference.)
If not me, at least go for the North Korean, Kim Jong Il! He certainly seems more dangerous to the United States. But that’s just me; you might have your own priorities.
Anyway, it’s getting late and I should probably end this note. Again, I’m sorry that we lost touch for a little, but I’d like to think that my Al Jazeera broadcast got your mind back to where it should be. How’s the fam? The girls getting into any more trouble?
Litman is an LSA senior and a member of the Daily’s editorial board.