Dear Brother and Sisters in Tingly Apocalyptic Anticipation:

Well, goodness me, it looks as if Israel came up with a cagey trick that eluded even the imminently tricky, soon to be caged, Halliburton.  It seems that the quickest way to spend billions of dollars to make sure that Iraq's infrastructure is no longer the worst in the region is to bomb all the airports, roads and bridges in Lebanon.

Yes, if you heard the bombs falling, you'll know that democracy is on the march in the Middle East!  And, from the looks of things, it is apparently wearing rather clumsy boots and not sticking to any designated crosswalks.  If you ask me, it's more like democrazy!  But no matter what you call what we've sold to the world, America is clearly undergoing some acute seller's remorse now that both Iraq and Lebanon have used this whole "voting" thing to willfully elect crazy Islamic fundamentalists who hate America and Israel. 

Yes, the unwanted gift (secular democracy) from an uninvited guest (U.S. Marines) is perversely being used to bring about a surprisingly un-American result (majority rule). With mischievous ingratitude, Arabs are capitalizing on the purported mechanisms of "one person one vote" democracy to fill the seats of their local parliaments and condominium associates with more crazed, intolerant religious zealots than are ordinarily seen outside of the United States House of Representatives.

As anyone who has suffered my icy regard after watching me unwrap an ill-conceived hostess gift can attest, present giving can be a rather dicey undertaking.  As such, America really should have devoted slightly more attention to the type of democracy she was unloading on those fanatical, yelping heathens before showing up on their dusty doorstep, unannounced, with it. 

It is clear to me the cause of this disastrous mix-up.  Without thinking, as is his leitmotif, President Bush bundled up and exported Democracy 1776, a version of government made obsolete when the Supreme Court unveiled a beta version of Democracy 2000 on December 12, 2000. 

As some of you with fetishes for picturesque, historical chestnuts may recall, Democracy Version 1776 included something known by nostalgia addicts as the "Constitution." More to the point, Democracy Version 1776 was also a rather quaint type of government wherein citizens underwent the tedious, charmless task of actually tallying the votes cast.  Such laborious counting can, of course, lead to inconvenient results. This is precisely why America wisely dispensed with being subjected to the unpredictable vicissitudes of voters' actual preferences by making so many polling stations Democracy 2000 compliant after installing Diebold Vote Correcting Machines™.

You see, American Democracy Version 2000 is all about pushing placebo screens, rather than the anal, wholly superfluous preoccupation with memorializing those quixotic stabs at LCD pixels.  If we had only thought to bundle up a few container ships with Diebold Vote Correcting Machines™ and sent them to Lebanon, the same software that allowed our handsome President to win Ohio, would have ensured that Hezbollah was trounced by a number of votes roughly equivalent to 400 times the population of Beirut.  Instead, Islamic extremists are gaining power, making a trigger-happy Israel mail-order a few thousand more triggers. Oh, snap!

Whereas Truman adopted the Marshall Plan as the centerpiece of American foreign policy, our current president has adopted a more universal concept.  It is called the Law of Unintended Consequences.  To wit, President Bush made Iran powerful by destroying Afghanistan and Iraq.  And since Iran has had the temerity to fill the vacuum we created, they must be punished.  Of course, we have no troops to even keep New Orleans safe, much less make Tehran unsafe.  So America's new war with Iran has been outsourced to Israel and Hezbollah, who are respectively, if not respectfully, pushing the buttons on our bombs.  And Condoleezza Rice is left to turn shuttle diplomacy into scuttle diplomacy.  In a stroke of inspiration, Condi has appropriated her method of brokering peace from Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie by regarding America's two biggest threats (Iran and North Korea) with a snarling, "I'm not talking to her!  She knows what she did."   

And since our President is ignoring all inconvenient facts and foes, he's freed up more time for international freshman-mixer high jinx by becoming the Kevin Costner of global diplomacy, alarming German Chancellor Angela Merkel with a "no happy ending" massage at the G8 conference (left).  And perhaps to reassure dignitaries that he, unlike his father, is able to keep food in his mouth while meeting foreigners, W showed Tony Blair how he could talk with a buttered roll turning into slick paste between his teeth without any of it coating Tony's lap.  Although our President did manage to let slip out of that same mouth language that would have gotten a hefty fine from his own gloriously puritanical FCC. 
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