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Jewish World Review Sept. 17, 2001 / 28 Elul, 5761

Julia Gorin

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Just deserts -- ONLY the most enlightened society could evolve so highly as to put itself into a position to be held hostage by some lower, alien species.

Who is responsible, the world is demanding. Here's a clue, World: It wasn't the Serbs. Bigger surprise: It wasn't the Israelis.

Oh the jubilation of the Arab world! It must be two-fold, because they had been thinking just in terms of getting a body count. It didn't occur to them that they'd be hitting our economy too. How could it? The word "economy" isn't in the Arabic dictionary (even in oil-rich countries to whom we had to point out that they had oil).

Which reminds me: Only could an enlightened society do something like inform a cockroach that it's sitting on top of oil-then drill it for him and pay him for it. Instead of doing what every other great power in history would have done and just conquering the cockroach and taking the oil, we set up diplomatic relations.

Since no kind gesture goes unpunished, here we are. It's a shame that firefighters and police always end up paying disproportionately for society's high-mindedness.

Speaking of high society, why did terrorists keep going for the Twin Towers instead of the single tower at UN Plaza? If we do rebuild the World Trade Center, it should be on the condition that the UN occupies the top floor.

So what now? Retaliate? A more appropriate verb would be "erase": You take a globe in one hand, and an eraser in the other, and you start rubbing.

Here's how the globe will look after:

Afghanistan becomes, simply, Stan, because that'll be the only guy left alive.

The Palestinians become Pals, because they'll have no choice when there are only six of them left.

Libya will become Lib once the women shed their veils and become American feminists.

Iraq is left only as Ra, as in the Egyptian god of the sun, to whom we'll them.

Oman reduces to O. (Sure, now they get it.)

Egypt will become Gyp, its people homeless and wandering the desert like gypsies, as a reminder of how they gypped Israel and the U.S. by signing the so-called peace agreement for financial gain.

Iran. You'd better.

Lebanon=Non, as in none left.

United Arab Emirates will become United American Emissaries, issuing edicts on our behalf to what's left of the Arab world.

Sudan we'll call Suds, because that's what'll be left when we get through cleaning.

Syria? Be serious: We won't even leave the S.

And that's if we're merciful. So just consider this a global warning for a cleaner environment.

Meanwhile, clueless reporters have been asking the president what the financial costs of such an erasure might be. Probably not comparatively more than the $4 billion the last guy, their hero, spent overextending our military to save Islamic militants in Yugoslavia.

Speaking of whom, we'd better be glad that Bush is in instead of him or his would-be successor, because those two would have already apologized. To the terrorists and countries responsible, that is. Among those involved, incidentally, is Iraq. This according to Israeli intelligence (notice how Israel shared that information with us instead of forcing us to install a spy to find it out so he could then rot in prison for 20 years like Jonathan Pollard).

Speaking of anti-Semitism, I'll be donating blood to the Red Cross once the lines slow down. But since they won't even grant membership to the Israeli rescue and relief service, who knows if they'll accept Jewish blood?

Regardless, now that our real threats have been graphically spelled out for us, perhaps we can stop concocting problems for ourselves to think about-like fifty parts-per-billion arsenic in the water, reparations, or whose side we should be on in the Middle East conflict (duh). Like carbon dioxide, campaign finance reform, and a man named Milosevic. Missile defense? Is there any question? Prayer in school: Where are we not praying now? What is the purpose of our military? Not peacekeeping.

Gun control? Can you say box cutter? Annoying cell phones? Thank god. Racial profiling? I don't hear any objections now.

Certainly not from the ethnically mixed neighborhood of Washington Heights where, thanks to the practice, the George Washington Bridge wasn't blown up.

The day after the attack, CNN showed a 1998 interview with an Afghani leader explaining his people's desire for retribution after we deployed cruise missiles in retaliation for the embassy attacks in Africa. He said that we Westerners are brought up to not want to die or injure ourselves and so we fight from miles away, with missiles, like cowards-unlike his people, who face their enemies close up and sacrifice their lives. He has a point: I suppose if I were Afghani, I'd want to kill myself too.

Americans got their "just desserts," Egyptians called out last week--despite the $3 billion we've been donating to their country since its "peace" with Israel. Maybe instead of $3 billion dollars we should leave them with just desert.

Indeed, it seems our enemies are practically begging us to put them out of our misery. And we should heed their call-before the Islamic fundamentalists become indestructible and emerge as the only life form left to reign the earth after a nuclear holocaust. Them and the cockroaches.

JWR contributor Julia Gorin is a journalist and stand-up comic residing in Manhattan. Send your comments by clicking here.

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© 2001, Julia Gorin