Go ahead. Bring 'em all home

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News from the front...

"Al-Qaida leaders, long-known to covet biological weapons, have reached at least the threshold of production and may already have manufactured them, according to a newly obtained cache of documentary evidence and interrogations recently conducted by the U.S. government."

-- Washington Post, March 23.

Any terrorist working his way toward a target in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., or New York City today must love seeing all of the Homeland Security law enforcement people occupied by demonstrators. Talk about opportunity.

That's why it's time to throw in the towel. It's time for the United States to bring its troops home. Right this instant. And not just from Iraq. All of the troops. Every single one of them. From everywhere. Bring them home to the United States and close the gates after them.

We might even wait to close the gates until we've given those who want to leave the United States enough time to pack their bags. It seems there are lots of unhappy Americans these days (one Iranian-American was saying on television Sunday that our actions in Iraq will "turn us into a country we won't want to live in any more"), and we ought to give them a chance to find a country that might better suit their social, financial and spiritual needs.

We'll give them 24 hours to get out and then we'll close the gates. And we'll lock them. Nobody in. Once you leave, you don't come back. At least not until you click your heels and repeat, "There's no place like home" 1,000 times with sincerity. Just like Dorothy had to do.

And Dorothy was in Oz. Imagine how desperate she would have been to get home to Kansas had the tornado dropped her in, say, Yemen (where they also hate Americans). They would have forced her to wear a veil and to always walk 10 paces behind Toto.

We'll put all of those extra troops we'll have along our own borders. We'll stick our Navy outside New York, Miami, L.A. and San Francisco.

Let's start the withdrawal from Europe. Forget NATO. Let the French, Germans, Italians, Greeks and the rest protect themselves. Russia is no longer a real threat anyway (although we have recently heard they have been helping Saddam), so there's no need for them to worry about the Russians. They can keep an eye on one another, just as they did prior to World Wars I and II. Perhaps a third time will be the charm.

Then we'll satisfy those anti-American protestors in South Korea by throwing ourselves a farewell party in Seoul. "Good luck," we'll say through a Korean translator. "Keep an eye on those guys to the north, though. We have pretty good information that they'd like most of you dead. Here's one of our cards. Call us when they attack and we'll send you a copy of our '10 Things to Know in the Event of Nuclear Attack' handbook."

Latin America? You're right. We have no business sticking our nose in your business, either. We'll leave you alone. If your citizens start disappearing in the middle of the night again, call Germany. They'll send you a case of brats and some anti-American bumper stickers.

Seriously, it's bad enough to see America kicked around by Americans while our troops are in danger. It's worse watching America kicked around by citizens of countries whose own governments have more problems than a dictator in the crosshairs of a 2,000-pound bunker-buster bomb, no offense to Mr. Saddam, or his seriously twisted sons.

I'm sorry. I get carried away. You see...I happen to be one of those seemingly endangered pro-American types. I don't hate our government.

I do believe the war with Iraq has lots to do with oil (I have two cars and most of my friends have at least one), but I also believe it's about freedom and good versus evil (Saddam is the bad guy and Bush is the good guy, for those of you who may be confused today. Or, if we were lucky, Saddam is the dead guy.). I believe America is the best country in the world and that, truth be told, 95 percent of those anti-American protesters abroad would move to America tomorrow if we made it easier to do that.

Want proof? As someone suggested after Sept. 11, how about we open up all of borders in the world for the next 48 hours, allowing anyone to move anywhere they choose with no paperwork, no passports, no hassles. You come, you get instant citizenship.

Which country do you think will have the largest line waiting to get in?

If you guessed Argentina, you haven't seen its unemployment lines. That's why they had so many anti-American protesters the other day. Argentina's unemployment rate is 20 percent, and 58 percent of its people live in extreme poverty. A demonstration is an affordable form of entertainment in Argentina.

If you guessed China, you probably just forgot that they squash anti government protesters with tanks in its capital square. And, yes, it's the same China that is condemning us for using force in Iraq.

Perhaps we ought to give this isolationism a little more thought, though. We could test it out for 20 or 30 years, maybe sticking our heads out the window from time to time just to see how the rest of the world is faring. We'll put our government Red Phones on answering machines: "You have reached the United States of America. You know ... the guys you hate so much? We're closed today, but if you are calling for aid, or to tell us you are under attack, stay on the line and one of our representatives will be with you in 30 years. If this is France and you're calling to surrender, we accept."

Jeff Ackerman is the publisher of The Union newspaper in Grass Valley, Calif.


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