Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Come Back, Shams

The United States completely withdrew its final remaining few military forces from the former nation of Iraq in May of 2007. This followed the passage of the Persian Gulf Stability Act of that year, which cut off all funding for the war. Passed by only a bare majority in both houses of Congress, it was quickly signed into law by President Pelosi. That was only made possible by the impeachment and removal from office of both President George W. Bush and Vice-President Richard Cheney. While Cheney was removed for abusing his authority to enhance his stock options with his former company, Halliburton, the incident which sparked the removal of Bush involved, like Nixon before him, obstruction of justice. This remains controversial because it seemed to conflict with an explicitly designated Constitutional power of the President.

In February of 2007, U.S. Brigader General Joshua Coventry spoke to a large assembly of female students in Baghdad. This was a politically-chosen audience. It was intended to show both that the new surge of troops had so pacified the city that normal education was possible, and to show U.S. commitment to equal opportunities for women, beginning at the school level. Only a promise of massive military protection sufficed to produce a group of several hundred girl students for him to speak to.

The talk began poorly, when the General said, through his translator, that he was sent there personally by President Bush to help them. The result was an explosion of laughter from the teenagers. The General went on assuring the girls that Bush really did care about them, and the laughter began getting out of hand. The angry officer then began shouting at them to shut up, because when they laughed at our President they were laughing at the United States of America, which, since we were a Christian nation, meant they were laughing at the Lord Jesus Himself. This had no effect, except catcalls of the Arabic equivalent of "right on!" Finally he had a guard fire a gun at the roof, which quieted them down, at a serious cost to his reputation for level-headedness.

At this point one of the now-quieted girls began humming an Arabic tune. This was rapidly picked up by all of the others, until almost the entire room of students was loudly humming, and then they began singing the lyrics out loud. Asked what they were singing, the translator advised the General that it was a song called "Ahlan! Ezayek?", which meant "Hi! How are you?" That is what caused the General to completely lose control of himself, since he had already seen the popular YouTube of the music video of that song as shown widely on Arab television. He had also read about how the Kuwaiti singer, named Shams, was mocking and satirizing Bush. The popular video even showed her hitting U.S. troops over the head with a shoe. Worst of all, it ended with her walking off into the sunset, wearing a wedding dress and holding hands with Handala, the well-known Arabic cartoon symbol of the displaced Palestinians, thus implying unified Arab support against both the Americans and the Israelis.

That was just too much for the fundamentalist Christian General, who was publicly awaiting the upcoming Rapture. In a rage he ordered the guards to shoot down the singing students. Unfortunately, he forgot that the assembly was being broadcast live on local Arabic television, which showed plenty of blood spewing from bodies jerking about as new bullets crashed into them. The massacre led to an unprecedented unity among Shias and Sunnis, who both took to the streets rioting and attacking Americans, finally leading to orders to evacuate even the Green Zone itself.

The General did make it back to base, and then fled the country along with tens of thousands of troops whose supply lines were no longer considered secure. The world universally denounced the General's actions. The outrage reached thermonuclear proportions when President Bush promptly pardoned the General of any charges, leaving him free to retire and retreat from the public eye. The backlash from that pardon was what produced sufficient votes for the House to vote to impeach Bush for obstruction of justice, and for a narrow two-thirds margin of the Senate (including several Republicans) to convict and remove him. Charges were promptly filed against Cheney for corruption, and by May, dragging it out as long as possible, he too had been tossed aside. (Needless to say, Congress never even took up Cheney's attempted appointment of John Ashcroft as Vice-President.)

Ex-President Bush went into hiding at his family's new estate in Paraguay. Ex-President Cheney foolishly went on a hunting trip in Canada, where a clever local police officer arrested him on charges of war crimes. After a long legal battle over extradition, Cheney was finally shipped off to the Hague and tried by the International Criminal Court, denying their jurisdiction all the way. Untimately his final heart attack ended the trial before a verdict was reached. Shams the singer went on to become even more wildly popular, heralded as the woman who helped bring down the Last Crusader (as the Arab media began referring to Bush), and ultimately sharing the Nobel Peace Prize that year with environmental crusader Al Gore.


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