Agitprop 4 Dummies

By Warren Pease

We decode some of Wednesday's administration propaganda pieces, as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle . . .

The Bush administration has told television network executives that Osama bin Laden and his associates may be using videotaped messages to secretly communicate with each other, and asked the networks to "exercise judgment" in broadcasting the messages.

Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, called the networks on Wednesday to raise administration concerns about the broadcast of messages "that could be a signal to terrorists to incite attacks," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said.

Fleischer also revealed that if you play some of the videotapes backwards at higher speeds, you can hear a faint, heavily accented voice wailing, "Osama is dead, Osama is dead."

"The Office of Homeland Security is investigating," Fleischer said as German beer hall polkas played in the background, members of the White House press corpse danced in their new leiderhosen, and then trooped off to file more bootlicking stories about the complete and total wonderfulness of each and everybody in the Bush administration, including the guys who fill the coffee urns in the press room.

Fleischer also said he had played some old Black Sabbath stuff backwards and forwards at different speeds hundreds of times and hadn't yet caught any references to suicide bombers. "But we're all over it like a cheap suit," Fleischer said, who should know all about cheap suits.

President Bush issued a new "Most Wanted" list on Wednesday, stepping up the worldwide pressure on 22 suspected terrorists, some of whom have been at large for years. "Terrorism has a face and today we expose it for the world to see," Bush said.

"We list their names, we publicize their pictures, we rob them of their secrecy," the president said at FBI headquarters.

Bush then saddled up his little horsy, donned his fringed chaps and red neckerchief and pearl-handled six-shooters and big ol' white Texas hat, got a boost up from Poppy, and rode off to avenge the countless slights, large and small, he's received every day over the course of his little weenie life - starting when that bitch Pamela in his second grade class slapped him silly because he was trying to cop a quick feel in the cloak room. "I'll get her, I'll get them all," the Adolescent-in-Chief vowed menacingly as he rode off. And thousands of practical jokers who've been jerking his chain since around 1953, including Ari Fleischer, began to drink heavily.

The U.S. military on Wednesday defended its daily humanitarian deliveries to Afghan civilians from criticism by aid groups that the packages of food being dropped from the sky are propaganda.

The military said the drops are designed to ensure people who have been cut off from aid normally provided by international organizations do not go hungry.

But the Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization Medecins Sans Frontieres condemned the operation, saying Wednesday that the drops were a "military propaganda operation" that could endanger future aid operations.

"We would be more comfortable if it were not the Army distributing aid," said Christine Marcilly, a Paris-based spokeswoman for the agency, known in English as Doctors Without Borders. "If the same people who are waging war are dropping supplies, those receiving the aid and being bombed confuse the two roles."

"But look at it this way," a Pentagon briefer said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "We can either flatten them with incredibly expensive bombs and missiles, or we can flatten them with a couple of tons of really cheap brown rice and Top Ramen. As a taxpayer, which would you prefer?" Fleischer leaped across the room with a chloroform pad to silence the full-bird Colonel, but reporters scribbled busily while the TV cameras rolled.

An overwhelming majority of polled Americans supported Sunday's military strikes in Afghanistan even though most believe they will provoke more terrorism attacks in the United States.

The ABC News-Washington Poll telephone survey conducted after the start of Sunday's air strikes found 94 percent saying they support the military action, with 83 percent saying they "strongly" support it.

A large majority, 82 percent, said they expect a long conflict. Also, 71 percent said they support President Bush's call for entering a broad war against terrorism and not limiting the attacks to those behind the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

The survey found that 93 percent of those questioned approved the way the president handled the situation, while another 87 percent were strongly in favor of spicy bean dip with corn chips. Of the remaining 13 percent, 7 percent favored salsa and the rest didn't care as long as they got to eat the whole giant-sized bag themselves.

Pollsters also asked general questions of randomly selected respondents designed to gauge their levels of intellect and awareness. According to the telephone surveyors, several of those polled had joined the long lines at an auto parts store in West Texas a few months back, where an oil splotch on the floor of the back bathroom was said to resemble the profile of the Virgin Mary.

Others told pollsters they had recently been kidnapped by aliens and held for ransom, which had cost their families and friends several thousand dollars each in small, unmarked bills paid to a guy named Vinnie, who said he was a Venusian but who respondents said looked Sicilian instead.

Finally, the poll revealed that while most Americans can now find Afghanistan on a map, they remain confused as to why floppy-eared dogs have become military targets. "Afghans are such a docile and loving breed," said dog-training maven Barbara Woodhouse from her London flat. "I simply can't imagine what the American president is thinking." And the entire planet, in a display of unanimity unseen since the harmonic convergence, chanted "as little as possible -- oooooooommm" for twenty-six straight hours.

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The author stands ready to do his duty to influence the foreign policy of this great land, but the pollsters never call, write, email, fax, telegram, telex or any other damn thing. But you can still do your part by sending your profound insights, sophomoric rebuttals or simple-minded death threats to High marks for creativity, particularly on those death threats.

Copyright SRC, Inc. 2001. All rights reserved.

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