Haunting Europe


Who will be the next lucky recipient of the US/UK liberation? Mat Coward considers the front-running candidates.

It’s rumoured that the US is going off the idea of invading Korea or Iran in the immediate future. Intelligence sources indicate that those countries have developed cutting-edge sticks and stones technology, which could cause serious-to-severe bruising trauma if used against liberation personnel.

Still, there has to be a war. Apart from anything, the US needs a war to distract domestic attention from the war in Iraq, which itself has served its purpose of distracting domestic attention from the war in Afghanistan. The "when" has been fixed; it’s just a matter of figuring out the "where." Eager, as ever, to assist the empire in its righteous business, I offer below a few


Place: Ireland.

Pretext for invasion: The Institute of Biblical Archaeology, in Houston, Texas, discovers incontrovertible evidence (numerology can’t lie) that the aboriginal inhabitants of Ireland were, in fact, Irish-Americans. The Irish actually come from Iran (as their name, to be fair, would suggest), and have stolen the land God gave to the Irish-Americans. This ancient wrong must be righted.

Real reason: To destabilise the Euro. With Germany and France in recession, Ireland’s craic industry is the nearest thing the EU has to an economic engine-room.

Unconscious reason: As all American tourists know, Ireland just isn't Irish enough. They speak English, for heaven’s sake, and they use computers, and they listen to coloured folk’s music. Also, former Californian senators get giggled at openly when they address Ireland’s ungrateful inhabitants in Gaelic as "My fellow Irishmen and/or persons." Plus, why couldn’t they build Ireland next to Scotch-land, so you could do both in one day?

Place: South Africa.

Pretext: Government is thinking of distributing generic anti-AIDS drugs, in flagrant contravention of numerous White House press releases. This would lead to significant job losses amongst accountants in the USA - and how come the so-called human rights people never talk about that? Real reason: Map-reading error. They thought they were invading South Asia. As Dick Cheney quite reasonably asks: "If they is different places how come they is spelled the same?"

Unconscious reason: Uppity Negroes. It didn’t sit good with my Daddy, and it don’t sit good with me.

Place: French Polynesia.

Pretext: This is where all the Islamic terrorists are hiding. Yes, true, it’s an overwhelmingly Protestant country, but that just proves how damn cunning those Islamists are. Where better to hide than somewhere where no sane person would ever believe you’d hide? That way, nobody’ll ever look for you there. But they reckoned without the heroic creativity of the US intelligence community.

Real reason: Election’s coming up; the White House needs TV footage of GIs enjoying a user-friendly war in a paradisiacal setting. Invading hellholes was, in retrospect, a presentational error.

Unconscious reason: They speak French. They’ve got the word "French" in their name. They are self-confessed French-speaking, French-named French sympathisers. They’re French to all intents and purposes, but - unlike the French - they don’t have any missiles.

Place: Britain.

Pretext: Unnamed intelligence sources suggest that Franco-Germany is about to invade the UK. In order to prevent this outrageous breach of international law, and to protect Britain from the ravages of Euro-imperialism, the Americans provide the British with military advisors. One hundred thousand of them. And, of course, they have to bomb certain key installations in advance of the intervention, to prevent them falling into the hands of fifth columnists. These key installations include Heathrow, Parliament, and the RSC (which is an easy mistake to make; we’ll get the BBC next time, don’t you worry).

Real reasons: The UK remains the fourth largest economy in the world and, in terms of overseas investment, the second largest. Either destroy it or incorporate it; no superpower can comfortably live with it.

Unconscious reason: Fed up with being sneered at. Hoity-toity British TV shows on PBS, and we’re all supposed to think they're wonderful just because they're set in olden times with olden-time clothes and horses instead of cars. The eternal passion of the bully through the ages - to make the victim beg to be beaten, and then say thank you when you’ve done with him.

This war - there’s no getting around it - is going to be embarrassing for the British. Not so much the being bombed and occupied and not having any electricity for three years; more the fact that only one country in the world actually supports the invasion of the UK, and that country is, of course, the UK.

The British prime minister is delighted to be asked to join the coalition. He orders British troops to set sail for Suez, and then come back, so that they can take part in the invasion. Even his US superiors cannot help but be impressed when he tells the House of Commons that the existing British regime is a "real and immediate" threat not only to the people of Britain, but also to the British people, and then marches himself around the floor of the House by the scruff of the neck, kicking his own buttocks backwards, telling himself that he’s "Naughty! Very naughty!" before handing himself over to the sergeant-at-arms with a triumphant cry of "We’ve got him! The leader of the former regime is now in Coalition hands (though I think you’ll find he didn't personally know about a lot of the worst stuff)."

There again, it could be Cuba. Apparently, the CIA has learned that hundreds of Muslims, many disguised as shackled children or limbless geriatrics, are massing in a place called Guantanamo Bay. Nobody seems to know how they got there, but be reasonable - you can’t honestly expect Bush to just sit back and watch.

Mat Coward is a freelance writer. Read more at http://hometown.aol.co.uk/matcoward/myhomepage/newsletter.html"