Sam Smith, June 2002 – Your editor woke up this morning to find in his Washington Post a map of the damage that a radiologically dirty bomb would do if it exploded at a certain location in downtown DC. The area of serious damage came within five blocks of my house.
The dividing line between a policy issue and a crisis is personal proximity and frankly I’m getting a little pissed off. While I realize that one has little control over such matters, I still feel it grossly unfair that I should die because of the arrogance, stupidity, and desire to prove himself to his father of a nepotized preppie Yale frat boy in conspiracy with a megalomaniacal Israeli war criminal.
Just to be on the safe side, however, I have written a codicil to my will in case others survive the current insanity better than I. It goes like this:
“I do hereby declare, make and publish this as the First Codicil to my Last Will and Testament.
“FIRST, being of sound mind (at least until the nerve gas attack), should I die a victim of the Bush war on whatever, I urge my heirs, assigns, and anyone else who is interested to regard George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Ariel Sharon – just for starters – as major co-conspirators in my death. Their reckless and despicable behavior placed their puerile political ambitions over simple safety and decency. They wrongly regarded the sanctity of their grandiose policies as more important than the peace of tranquility of my ‘hood. Like many Washingtonians, I would have much preferred being the citizen of a serene and happy city than of a cruel and mindless empire.
“SECOND, though I may have died at the hands of a Muslim or Muslims, I hold no anger towards their religion or culture. People who have been screwed for as long as they have sometimes do stupid things out of desperation especially when a country as big and powerful as America declares de facto war against them. In any case, I urge my heirs, assigns and others to continue eating at Middle Eastern restaurants, to say something friendly to a Palestinian being harassed at the airport, and to buy a hot dog from the Egyptian vendor around the corner from my office if you happen to be in the vicinity.
“THIRD, should any commentator or journalist be so brazen as to use my death as an example of why we should continue the war against Muslims or whatever, I give my heirs, assigns, and others explicit permission to call him or her a “lousy, rotten, low-down sonofabitch” and such other language as would not be permitted in court.
“FOURTH, I urge you to join with others to bring our land back to its senses, to end policies that are brutal and self-destructive such as our treatment of Palestine and the embargo against Iraq, and make America once again a place that is admired rather than hated.
“FIFTH, remember not to drink the beer in the refrigerator until it has been decontaminated.”