8.10.2007

Osama Owes Me a Fifth of Rum

To: Osama bin Laden,
Somewhere in Waziristan,
Pakistan

Date: Aug. 10, 2007

RE: war reparations

Dear Osama:

Please forgive the familiar form of address but our president and politicians mention you so much, everyone feels like they know you. As a matter of fact, I’m sure an hour doesn’t go by at an airport where your name isn’t invoked, especially in those infuriating security lines.

And that’s part of the reason I’m writing. I need to inform you officially that you owe me a bottle of rum. And not just any rum, mind you, but a bottle of Nicaraguan Flor de Caña dark rum, aged 12 years. Now, that’s a special rum.

I realize as a radical jihadist, such a demand on its face is an insult. No practicing Muslim wants anything to do with alcohol, jihadist or not.

But that is really no matter, because the alcohol is not for you but for me. And I am an infidel, so it shouldn’t matter if I imbibe or not. However, one might argue, if you had tried some Flor de Caña a long time ago, maybe this world wouldn’t be the place it is today.

Nevertheless, my bottle of rum was confiscated in Miami this week and I want it back. And you, sir, are the responsible party. So this constitutes official notice.

Certainly, you can argue I had a synapse lapse and I bear some responsibility for the confiscation. Yes, I do know about the security policy on carrying liquids (although these seem to vary from airport to airport and the mood of security screeners). And of course, a bottle of rum is almost akin to a Molotov cocktail. Of course, we would not have such screening policies if it were not for you, so I again point out your responsibility in this matter and how it outweighs even my own culpability.

I do realize the variance in security policies is not your concern and of course I realize the danger of schooling you on the specifics. However, for the purposes of argument, let’s say someone was to purchase a bottle of rum in the duty free area of an international airport. Further, the U.S. airline and its staff allow that bottle into to the passenger cabin as a carry-on for a flight bound for the U.S. When that flight arrives in Miami, after clearing customs, passenger and said bottle must again (for some inexplicable reason) go back and recheck through security although the rum was purchased in a secure area in another country. The official security policy is that the rum should be rechecked as stowed luggage. (You may not understand the logic of this either, but security personnel seem oblivious to the possibility that bottles would break in such circumstances.) Of course, given connecting flights and the lack of time, prudence and logic did not allow for that extra security step. So authorities impounded my rum at the security checkpoint in Miami.

And you sir, are directly responsible for that.

You are responsible for our national security hysteria: this hypnotic dance we are so absorbed in daily that security follows no real logic as we attempt to thwart the asymmetric threat.

And now I am out of breath from typing all that and you are responsible for that too.

I realize a rough, tough jihadist revolutionary has no time for Western whining, but I am also holding you responsible for ruining the day for thousands in Washington this week too.

You may not have read about this in your cave, but a suspicious box (which ended up being full of papers) caused the DC Metro to shut down three commuter train stops on Wednesday. This meant thousands had to wait for shuttle buses out in the baking sun on the hottest day of the year (so far) with temperatures above 102 degrees. Of course, without our terrorism hysteria, this would not have happened either.

So here’s what I expect when this long war is over, probably when I’m ready to retire: I expect to get my bottle of rum. And as interest, I expect you to provide a bottle of rum to another group too: everyone inconvenienced this week by false terrorism alarms in D.C. So you better be stocking up.

Before they catch you and execute you. As you deserve.

You’re on notice, Osama.

And by the way, take it easy on General Musharraf in Pakistan. He may be a dictator, but he’s our dictator. Or else we’ll have you put away a fifth for him too.

Sincerely,

Rick Rockwell

(The photo of Osama bin Laden is from the official prosectuion case file of Zacarias Moussaoui and is in the public domain.)






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3 comments:

cxx_guy said...

Actually, Ron Paul's proposition, that we issue "letters of marquis and reprisal" against bin Ladin, would have allowed you to be compensated for your bottle of rum. Such letters, which are authorized by the Constitution, allow the property of pirates to be seized. So vote Ron Paul, and buy the Rum with the tax savings.

Stephanie Kanowitz said...

That's great! If he sends you the rum, let me know so I can ask for some lip gloss.

Rick Rockwell said...

I like both these ideas... seizing every bit of property and cash linked to al Qaeda and terrorists is a grand idea. I'm sure the U.S. has folks working on freezing assets from terrorists but I'm guessing we have only started to unravel the intricate networks that allow terrorists to move assets on a global scale.

As for the lip gloss... rum... and whatever else would get the conservative, fatwa-issuing jihadists enraged... there is no better punishment than for them to accede to our Western cultural demands as part of the punishment... because part of their aim is to construct a society that doesn't allow such cultural freedom. (And I'm guessing the list of what has been confiscated under these questionable security policies is long and varied... so the penalty would be quite large.)

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