Monday, August 21, 2006

Will no-one take offence out there any more?

I haven't created a post which has really offended a substantial number of people for a long time. I hope this one will do it. I lifted the following from an email which has been doing the rounds recently. I edited it somewhat for brevity and I can't attribute because it is now too remote from its source to track it back. The text is nicely satirical, and raises the general issue of the failure of the more sanctimonious among us to actually accept the burden of solution. It also has a go at weasel words. It purports to be a letter from the Whitehouse to a concerned American citizen.

Thank you for your recent letter roundly criticizing our treatment of the Taliban and Al Quaeda detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Our administration takes these matters seriously and your opinion was heard loud and clear here in Washington. You'll be pleased to learn that, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself, we are creating a new division of the Terrorist Retraining Program, to be called the "Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers" program, or LARK for short.

In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to place one terrorist under your personal care. Your personal detainee has been selected and scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence next Monday... he is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint. It will likely be necessary for you to hire some well-armed assistant carers.

Although your insurgent is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his "attitudinal problem" will help him overcome these character flaws. Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences. We understand that you plan to offer counseling and home schooling. Your adopted terrorist (oops, "freedom fighter") is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We advise that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga group. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.

Your insurgent will not wish to interact with you or your daughters (except sexually), since he views females as sub-human. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him and he has been known to show violent tendencies and ungovernable lust around women who fail to comply with the new dress code that he will mandate as more appropriate attire. I'm sure you will come to enjoy the anonymity and reduced incidence of sexual assault offered by the burka over time.

Just remember that it is all part of "respecting his culture and his religious beliefs" -- wasn't that how you put it? Thanks again for your letter. We truly appreciate it when folks like you keep us informed of the proper way to do our job. You take good care of your insurgent - Good luck! Cordially, your friend, Don Rumsfeld. (PS, if you don't take up this offer, I'm afraid we'll be forced to send you a Frenchman.)