An imaginary interview:
You're a member of an Islamist terrorist organization, right?
"I am, the grace of Allah."
Mm-hmm. We here in the corrupt and decadent West recently read of
an interesting twist in suicide bombing. One report said that a female
suicide bomber planned to board a plane with explosives secreted in her
nether zones, so she could escape detection and kill everyone on the
plane. This story ran right alongside news of the successful landing on
Mars of the Spirit probe an interesting contrast, really. A question: Do
you want to go down in history as a culture of death-besotted killers who
came up with the concept of the lethal Birth Canal of Death, or the
culture that put another robot on another planet?
(Silence) "Is this a trick question?"
No, really. Which would make you more proud? Coming up with cunning
ways to blow up men, women and children on airplanes, or putting
rockets on other planets?
(Thoughtful silence) "This planet, it is an infidel planet?"
Depends if there is life there, I guess. That's what the probe is meant to
"So the probe could discover Zionest infidels on another planet."
They'd be microscopic Zionists.
"But infidels nevertheless!"
"So! This robot you send when it finds these deviously small Zionists,
it blows itself up! Correct?"
Sigh. Yes. Yes, it blows up, and then other microbes throw a party and
the European Union warns Israel not to even look at Mars. Sheesh. OK.
Let me rephrase this. We've shown we can reach around the world and
topple governments, and target specific buildings from space. Does it
impress you guys at all that we can also aim rockets at Mars and land
the package right in the crater we intended to hit? Granted, the crater is
the size of Connecticut ...
"Which is full of infidels!"
Uh ... rrrrright. But again: We have precision, ambition, technology,
confidence and love of life. You have mud cities that collapse because
your mullahs ran a racket that kept the houses of Bam cheap and
shoddy. You have leaders of your rackets who dictate screeds into
cheap tape recorders from unheated caves. You have a scientific
community that seems to have patentophobia, and your newest rumored
advance in warfare would never be detected because of the very
modesty and respect of women you believe the West rejects. And you
believe you will win.
"With G-d's help, yes! Tell me more about this suicide space-robot of
yours. We would like to know if it can be reprogrammed to smash into
Mercury and teach it a lesson. Look at Venus the entire planet is
veiled, as it should be. Mercury is naked to the universe! If its moons
had any honor, they would shove it into the sun. The entire universe is
infested with infidels; it must submit or perish. We must explore the
universe in order to reject it! This cannot be left to the West we have
heard of how you put a satellite out with pictures of naked people
engraved on the side."
True. A calling card to anyone who found the Voyager probe; it showed
them how humans appeared, so visitors didn't show up and make
conversation with fish or dogs. But that's not the point. You see a robot
ship on another planet, and it does not make you wonder if perhaps
there are better things you can convince your people to accomplish?
"I seek only to undo the work of the Zionists and the Crusaders. They
will be defeated by satellites and robots and rockets. Truly Allah has
given us great tools to spread the way of righteousness."
Excuse me, but you weren't given these tools. We invented them.
"He has given them to you. And he will give you to us."
OK, thank you for your time. One more question: Does it get harder
here at Gitmo, or easier?
"The weather's nice. The food could stand some improvement." Pause.
"I would like some more floss. The waxed kind. Mint, if they have it. I
could never get that back home."