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Journeys through the American empire - Ed Brock

Yes, Dear? No, pack that SPF 140 sunblock. We're going to the desert, remember?

Oh, excuse, the wife and I were just packing. See, for several reasons we think now is an ideal time to travel to certain locations, what with the war and all.

You know what they say, love it or leave it. So, in keeping with the second option ?

First stop on the itinerary n Paris, France.

I figure the price of tickets has got to be pretty low, what with everybody being so bug-eyed hysterical about the French these days. All that will pass eventually, of course, as soon as people remember we don't care what the French say so long as they say it in French.

Oui, oui!

So we plan to hang out and laissez le bon temps roulez for a while, maybe taking a side trip to Germany depending on how bad my craving for beer and sausage gets, then it's on to sunny Baghdad.

Yes, yes, I know, it's going to be murder getting a hotel room for another month or year or so, but remember we'll be soaking up the amore by the Seine and Notre Dame for a while so I'm sure they'll have a Holiday Inn up by then.

And, being freshly liberated and all that, I'm sure the Iraqi people will be happy to have us. I plan to hit every Mesopotamian hotspot on the map. We'll be strolling on the streets of ancient Ur by day and dancing ourselves dizzy at night.

I hear disco is far from dead in the Middle East.

Yes, there's an up side to everything, even war. And I plan to be there for the opening stages of Pax Americana. And it'll be best to get there early, before the Iraqis have five or 10 years to get all resentful of the continuing presence of our army of liberation.

Pax Americana, as defined by the 2000 report "Rebuilding America's Defenses" by the Project for the new American Century, will require us to keep a strong military presence in Iraq in order to further "stabilize" and "democratize" the Middle East.

Assuming I'm wrong and many other concerned parties are wrong and the result of our occupation won't be further destabilization and violent resistance to our well-intended plans.

Also assuming that destabilization doesn't spread all over the world as America, seeking to assert its power on a global level, finds itself overextended as most empires do.

Of course, all this doesn't necessarily have to come to pass. After all, in November 2004 we get another shot at exercising our grand democratic tradition by voting the President out of office, and this time I won't waste my vote on some third party nobody.

That is, if we do get to have a fair election and a terrorist strike doesn't conveniently enable Bush to push the idea of Presidential Emergency Powers to the extreme.

Hum, maybe we should pack an extra bag?

Ed Brock covers public safety and municipalities for the News Daily. He may be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or via e-mail at ebrock@news-daily.com.