Well, the war has almost started -- I guess W. has to wait until the Super Bowl is over -- and the question of the day is, should we be doing this?
As I try to formulate my answer, I ask myself what the political leaders of my childhood in New Jersey would have done -- the most powerful people I observed back in my wonder years.
The Cosa Nostra. You know, the Mafia. The mob. Tony Soprano. What would this character (not entirely fictional) tell us?
Tony: These people have f*cked with us, big time. These Muslim terrorists, they hurt us bad. You can't just let sh*t like that go. You have to send a message back.
But Tony, we've already gone into Afghanistan and unseated the Taliban. We're rounding up Al Qaeda operatives all around the world, and making examples of a bunch of other people who look a little Qaeda-ish and have screwed up with immigration papers or something. Isn't that enough?
What about your own people? Ya gotta make it so that your own people know that you're their protection, and you're still there. Here these guys are on TV telling us they're gonna keep doin' this sh*t. Just tonight I see some bastard tellin' us 9-11 was a picnic compared to what's gonna happen next. That affects your people. You have to send a message. I'll give ya your Al Jazeera, pal -- you'll be eatin' sand pretty soon.
But that's not the American way, Tony. We worry about justice. We honor human life. When someone kills your people, you hunt down and punish the people who did it, but with due process of law, and only after it's proven beyond a reasonable doubt who the true perpetrators were. We don't go killing other, innocent people just because they have the same religion and share the desire to do us harm. At least not if they haven't tried to harm us yet. If one of your capos was assassinated by one of the New York families, you wouldn't be entitled to take revenge on some other family next door, would you?
Hey, look, I don't understand this sh*t. They're all Muslim terrorists to me. We got whacked big time by the Muslim terrorists, and here's their hotshot boss Saddam Hussein over there, and he's been livin' on borrowed time for as long as I can remember. I can understand Bush wantin' his a*s. Plus he tried to kill Bush's old man, ya gotta look at that.
Isn't this an exceedingly dangerous move? In addition to the lives lost in Iraq, we risk igniting a powder keg in that region, and maybe other regions as well.
Yeah. That bothers me. Bush is stickin' our neck out. But he's an oil man, right? He needs the friggin' black gold from under the desert to get him all hot and bothered. Well, let me tell ya, if this thing gets outta hand, it ain't gonna be good for the oil business, or any other business. There's too many nut cases running around with smallpox, anthrax, atom bombs, all that sh*t. He better hope it stays contained.
So you agree it's a risky business.
Yeah, sure. The whole thing could blow up in his face. But whaddya gonna do? Just sit here and turn the other cheek while these punks take out the friggin' World Trade Center? That sh*t's for girls.
There's no proof it's the same people.
Hey, there's no proof of a lotta things, but you know they're right. There's no proof I can come over there and shove that phone up your a*s, but we both know I can do it, right?
Tony, you're a Christian. The Bible says, "Thou shalt not kill." The Bible says, "We forgive those who trespass against us." You even say that when you go to church.
Hey, don't give me that Bible sh*t, erright? The Bible says not to eat scampi or scungilli too, but they're eatin' them in the Vatican right now. I been there, my friend, and let me tell ya, there really ain't a choice in the long run. Eventually we are gonna have to, like I say, make a f*ckin' statement. So we do it here, with Colonel Mustache. Maybe some of these other freaks over there will lay off. Plus, our people see that we're doin' somethin'.
Y'know, all this war bullsh*t is makin' me nervous. I wish we'd get it over with already. I got enough other sh*t to worry about as it is.