For months there were rumors that the Arab League was planning to punish the
Being young and American, I was eight in 1980, it really did seem farfetched to me that anyone could punish the
The first incident occurred and shook our collective confidence to the core. A single military plane was able to evade detection long enough to fly over the continental
· George Bush is not your popularly elected president.
· He is leading you down a course toward painful confrontation.
· If you do not rise up against his administration and stop the
transgressions in the Arab world, you will be punished.
Of course we do not take threats lightly. The president himself came on T.V. immediately after having heard the news and addressed the nation. He said that, "...if these thugs think they can make us rattle in our boots they've got another thing coming.
All the while the news of this impending punishment continued. Periodically on BBC America, they would show clips from Al-Jaseera showing very stoic Arab leaders laying down the case for the punishment of the
Over the course of several months they methodically built their case. They began by saying that George Bush was not the popularly elected president. Indeed he was not, however, he was lawfully elected which they overlooked. They went on to say that he was pulling the
Meanwhile, despite President Bush saying that we could not be "rattled in our boots" it was clear that our national feathers had indeed been ruffled.
The Arab leaders made use of the ranker to add to their message. They said that the Bush administration was hypocritical in that it has criminals and deceitful men claiming righteousness and the backing of God in attempts to free Iraqi people. Again, what was so disturbing about the case they made was the words they chose to use and the meter in which they delivered it. They did not call President Bush evil or a thug or even suggest that they had the backing of Allah in presenting their punishment to the
While all this news and jousting continued, life here in
The second air-dump of pamphlets hit right in metro
· The army has already been formed. It is among you and poised to strike.
With the CNN building itself awash with the fliers the news frenzy was indescribable. President Clough sent out a message to the entire Georgia Tech family. His message was classic Clough in its concern and compassion. It could not betray though, his sense of fear that we all shared. In his closing lines he said, "if the
By now the threat was sufficiently real that even the news of the Red, White and Blue began to pay attention to the Arab Leaders that had been making their case for months. CNN and Fox News reported that the message now was that
The Arab Leaders struck upon that national discord as well. They dissected the popular war stance, that support for the troops mandates support for the war. They suggested that Americans are so deeply self-interested that we were goaded into uncritical support of the war, in part due to our concern for the troops. The news broadcast countless scenes of battalions shipping out and the tearful good-byes. They leaders suggested that indeed soldiers are people, however, their mandate is to follow orders. Taken to its logical end, soldiers are simply weapons, they are theoretically incapable of making their own decisions and certainly have no say in the destination, duration or purpose of their deployment. The "support our troops and therefore the war" mantra, they claimed was simple and characteristic of American simplicity. They brought to light the conundrum raised by the Texas Governor. The largely black and Hispanic prisoners that he was volunteering for the draft would then become troops. If that were allowed to happen, then overnight, Americans would be forced to support a population that they have made a practice of forgetting. The Arab Leaders said that the
Then one night it began. As Americans were settling in to watch Fear Factor's D-cup white women in spaghetti strapped tank tops eat slugs and drink cow bile for $50,000, the punishment began. Soldiers of the Arab League marched on various cities in the
As news of the practices spread, the local instructions to only allow uniformed United States National Guardsmen or soldiers engage the enemy seemed ridiculous. Why should we wait for the soldiers if our families and livelihood were under immediate threat. The Punishing Forces declared that they wanted information on people who were war supporters. Although the divisions in the country were deep concerning our involvement in the war, no-one was willing to speak to these invading soldiers. In instance after instance people began devising methods of killing them. American citizens resorted to the ultimate practices of self-defense. Individual people would approach the soldiers under the guise of corporation and then try to shoot as many of them as possible. This invariably led to their own death. This became common as the punishment became more and more gruesome. Americans generally began to wholly embrace the stance of slain Muslim leader Malcolm X, we will defend our claim to our position on this earth and in this society, "by any means necessary." A self-proclaimed patriot drove a truck, under heavy fire, into a Punishing Force enclave and blew himself up and killed nearly two hundred of the invading soldiers. Every man woman and child was involved in the resistance to these marauding forces.
These horrific conditions continued for weeks. The Arab Leaders were claimed to have said that civilians engaged in fighting their forces would be viewed as unlawful combatants and would be treated accordingly. With the blood flowing in our streets and the death and terror tolls rising it was clear that it was unlawful not to fight. It appeared in that moment in our nation's experience if you did not fight, you were committing the highest form of treason. Everyone brought to bare every piece of courage they could muster if not to fight, to merely survive. All forms of guile and deceit were employed in resistance. It seemed a logical human response. When finally the news media were able to broadcast, the very voices of war, the hawks as it were, all agreed that we use every bullet and stone in defense of our great nation. Those citizens that blew themselves up and got themselves killed in the name of the
The siege did not last very long, the full weight of American forces returned in haste to defend the American homeland. As the punishment began to subside with the arrival of American forces returning from abroad, the terror, devastation and palpable fear was overwhelming. With the return of our military forces, the Punishing Forces were devastated. Those battles were long, ugly and gruesome, however, in the end it was the