The following letter from Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame) appeared in the
Observer newspaper on Sunday January 26, 2003.
I'm really excited by George Bush's latest reason for bombing Iraq:
he's running out of patience. And so am I! For some time now I've been
really pissed off with Mr Johnson, who lives a couple of doors down the
Well, him and Mr Patel, who runs the health food shop. They both give
me queer looks, and I'm sure Mr Johnson is planning something nasty for me,
but so far I haven't been able to discover what.
I've been round to his place a few times to see what he's up to, but
he's got everything well hidden. That's how devious he is. As for Mr
Patel, don't ask me how I know, I just know - from very good sources - that
he is, in reality, a Mass Murderer. I have leafleted the street telling
them that if we don't act first, he'll pick us off one by one. Some of my
neighbours say, if I've got proof, why don't I go to the police? But that's
simply ridiculous. The police will say that they need evidence of a crime
with which to charge my neighbours.
They'll come up with endless red tape and quibbling about the rights
and wrongs of a pre- emptive strike and all the while Mr Johnson will be
finalising his plans to do terrible things to me, while Mr Patel will be
secretly murdering people.
Since I'm the only one in the street with a decent range of automatic
firearms, I reckon it's up to me to keep the peace. But until recently
that's been a little difficult. Now, however, George W. Bush has made
it clear that all I need to do is run out of patience, and then I can wade
in and do whatever I want!
And let's face it, Mr Bush's carefully thought-out policy towards Iraq is
the only way to bring about international peace and security. The one
certain way to stop Muslim fundamentalist suicide bombers targeting
the US or the UK is to bomb a few Muslim countries that have never
That's why I want to blow up Mr Johnson's garage and kill his wife
and children. Strike first! That'll teach him a lesson. Then he'll leave
us in peace and stop peering at me in that totally unacceptable way.
Mr Bush makes it clear that all he needs to know before bombing Iraq
is that Saddam is a really nasty man and that he has weapons of mass
destruction - even if no one can find them. I'm certain I've just as much
justification for killing Mr Johnson's wife and children as Mr Bush
has for bombing Iraq. Mr Bush's long-term aim is to make the world a
safer place by eliminating 'rogue states' and 'terrorism'. It's such a
clever long-term aim because how can you ever know when you've achieved it?
How will Mr Bush know when he's wiped out all terrorists? When every
single terrorist is dead? But then a terrorist is only a terrorist once he's
committed an act of terror, right?
What about would-be terrorists? These are the ones you really want to
eliminate, since most of the known terrorists, being suicide bombers,
have already eliminated themselves. Perhaps Mr Bush needs to wipe out
everyone who could possibly be a future terrorist? Maybe he can't be sure
he's achieved his objective until every Muslim fundamentalist is dead? But
then some moderate Muslims might convert to fundamentalism. Maybe the only
really safe thing to do would be for
Mr Bush to eliminate all Muslims?
It's the same in my street. Mr Johnson and Mr Patel are just the tip
of the iceberg. There are dozens of other people in the street who I
don't like and who - quite frankly - look at me in odd ways. No one will be
really safe until I've wiped them all out. My wife says I might be
going too far but I tell her I'm simply using the same logic as the
President of the United States. That shuts her up.
Like Mr Bush, I've run out of patience, and if that's a good enough
reason for the President, it's good enough for me. I'm going to give the
whole street two weeks - no, 10 days - to come out in the open and hand over
all aliens and interplanetary hijackers, galactic outlaws and
interstellar terrorist masterminds, and if they don't hand them over nicely
and say 'Thank you', I'm going to bomb the entire street to kingdom come.
It's just as sane as what George W. Bush is proposing - and, in contrast to
what he's intending, my policy will destroy only one street.