Out of Left
Isaacstani v.p. for
potentate housing, was startled
to learn he must find a palace
for Saddam and Bush to share.
the mother of all asylums
By STAN ISAACS
With the stalemate in the world situation involving
President George Bushs desire to move the United States
into a war against Iraq and Saddam Hussein, the time may be ripe
for the recently-discovered nation of Isaacstan to step in and
find a solution.
Isaacstans national legislative body, The Bath (the
esteemed members of The Bath ignore cries from critics that they
are all wet) voted recently to offer asylum as a way out
of this crisis. Isaacstan is ready to provide asylum to both
Saddam Hussein and George Bush as a way of removing the troublemakers
causing the worlds tension.
Lest there be any confusion by the uninformed about Isaacstans
arrival on the world scene, I should inform that the Peoples
Republic of Isaacstan came to light in one of my dreams. I thought
at first that it was only a dream, but my revelations about life
in Isaacstan, one of the Stans that dot the Middle East landscape,
created such a stir in some fanciful corners that I no longer
think of it as a figment of my imagination. Now, in the eyes
of many, Isaacstan lives along with Afghanistan, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Isaacstan was moved to act upon reading a recent development
reported in The Bleat, the nations newspaper. It was revealed
that a senior intelligence officer of Saudi Arabia was engaged
in discussions with Husseins son, Qussy, on a proposal
to offer amnesty to Hussein along with an exile home for members
of his extended family.
This seemed like a good idea, but somewhat limited because it
addressed only one of the central characters in the current standoff.
The wise men of Isaacstan believe that any option that removes
both Hussein and Bush without resorting to war is far superior
to a destructive military campaign that would cost $100 billion
dollars. Certainly, a good portion of the world would be happy
to see both Bush and Hussein put away in a safe place. Hence
They would be, you might say, the Mother of All Odd Couples.
Most of the population of Isaacstan-480,000-hailed this offer
because among other things, they are not happy with Mr. Bushs
seeming lapse of memory about the Osama Bid Laden reward. At
a time when Bush was talking about Osama Bin Laden--and not Hussein--as
the worlds No. 1 terrorist, the United States offered a
reward of $25 million for the capture of Bin Laden. Isaacstanians
had a bit of a giggle about this because they would try to capture
Osama for just $25.
artist's concept of the Bush-Saddam Palace, located
in as remote a sector of The Valley of Posh as they could find.
Both leaders will be offered the right wing, but, for purposes
of this illustration, Saddam won the toss.
Students of recent developments remember that at the height of
the search for Osama in the hills of Aghanistan, the Bleat won
a journalism prize for its headline, They Dont Do
the Hora in Tora Bora.
In his obsession with Hussein, Mr. Bush seems to have forgotten
all about Osama and the reward. The citizens of Isaacstan who
have been striving to earn that reward have not forgotten about
it. Some of the more militant among them think that Hussein should
have been offering a reward for any Iraqui that captured George
As part of its asylum offer, the Bath proposal called on the
United States to follow the example of Kazakhstan, Isaacstans
neighbor, to disarm. As Condoleeza Rice, Bushs national
security adviser, wrote in the New York Times the other day,
it is not unheard of for nations to voluntarily disarm. South
Africa and the Ukraine, as well as Kazakhstan, gave up their
weapons of mass destruction.
Some critics of the asylum offer see this a clever stratagem
by Isaacstan to get at some of the money the United States would
save if there were no war. Isaacstan is a poor country. As close
followers of its economy know, its monetary unit is the brick.
There are 100 million bricks to one U.S. dollar. Its chief industries
are yogurt processing, the production of goatskin cothing and
farming. It is rich in livestock with 13 million goats, 10 million
chicken and 209,000 pigs-but no sheep.
Isaacstan would hope that providing asylum for Bush would be
amply rewarded by Americans relieved to see war averted. This
may be wishful thinking because there are already great budget
deficits in the United States. There is such a need for social
programs that the escape from war might embolden a national cry
for a reversal of priorities by this, or, more likely, a future
Critics aside, Isaacstanians are flooding their churches, mosques
or whatever, praying for the day when they can welcome the Odd
Couple and avert war. The country is unique for being 33 per
cent Muslim, 33 per cent Catholic, 33 per cent Atheists, and
it has some former Protestant missionaries who were converted
to Judaisim in the city of Islamagood.
Isaacstanian hospitality would no doubt make a place for the
pair in its tourist center, the Valley of Posh. Tourist attractions
there include the sampling of 37 different kinds of yogurt, buying
goatskinware on the cheap and attending spirited games of thrashplotz--the
national game that is a cross between soccer and rugby played
in a sea of mud.
One can imagine a Super Bowl of Thrashplotz-between George Bush
and Saddam Hussein.
©2003 by Stan Isaacs. The
Stan Isaacs caricature is ©2001 by Jim Hummel. The illustrations
are from IMSI's Master Clips Collection, 1895 Francisco Blvd.
E., San Rafael, CA, 94901-5506, USA.
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