Philip K. Dick, Meet George W. Bush by Tom Engelhardt
Imagine, for a moment, that you live in a small town somewhere near the Southern California coast. You’re going about your daily life, trying to scrape by in hard times, when the missile hits. It might have come from the Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – its pilot at a base on the outskirts of Tehran – that has had the village in its sights for the last six hours or from the Russian sub stationed just off the coast. In either case, it’s devastating.
In Moscow and Tehran, officials announce that, in a joint action, they have launched the missile as part of a carefully coordinated “surgical” operation to take out a “known terrorist,” a long-term danger to their national security. A Kremlin spokesman offers the following statement:
“As we have repeatedly said, we will continue to pursue terrorist activities and their operations wherever we may find them. We share common goals with respect to fighting terrorism. We will continue to seek out, identify, capture, and, if necessary, kill terrorists where they plan their activities, carry out their operations, or seek safe harbor.”
A couple in a ramshackle house just down the street from you – he’s a carpenter; she works at the local Dairy Queen – are killed along with their pets. Their son is seriously wounded, their home blown to smithereens. Neighbors passing by as the missile hits are also wounded.
As it happens, there are no terrorists in the vicinity.[…]
How would it feel if the shoe were on the other foot?