Terry Jones's War on the War on Terrorby Terry Jones, Steve Bell (Illustrator)
Terry Jones is known the world over as one of the beloved creators of the legendary Monty Python. But independent of the Python team, Jones has been writing columns targeting the Anglo-American response to September 11. His wit and venom are particularly focused on the messianic vernacular of Bush and Blair and the semantics of the "war on terror." As Jones writes
Terry Jones is known the world over as one of the beloved creators of the legendary Monty Python. But independent of the Python team, Jones has been writing columns targeting the Anglo-American response to September 11. His wit and venom are particularly focused on the messianic vernacular of Bush and Blair and the semantics of the "war on terror." As Jones writes, "What really alarms me about President Bush's ‘War on Terrorism' is the grammar. How do you wage war on an abstract noun? ... How is ‘Terrorism' going to surrender? It's well known, in philological circles, that it's very hard for abstract nouns to surrender." Terry Jones's War on the War on Terror proves that in times of high political anxiety, humor and irony are most potent antidotes to the spin emanating from the White House and Downing Street.
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Terry Jones, of Monty Python fame, prolific writer of fiction and non-fiction, has written a very funny book on current affairs, composed of articles he wrote for the Guardian and the Observer from 2001 to 2004. He shows the real reason for the attack on Iraq quoting the Project for the New American Century¿s `Rebuilding America¿s Defenses 2000¿: ¿The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.¿ The same report admits, ¿adversaries like Iran, Iraq, and North Korea are rushing to develop ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons as a deterrent to American intervention in regions they seek to dominate.¿ So they want nukes to deter American aggression ¿ sounds reasonable. Terry is not very nice to Mr Bush. He cites an undersecretary in Bush¿s administration as saying, ¿George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the U.S. [That bit¿s right, anyway!] He was appointed by God.¿ So was it God who wanted to take health insurance off four million Americans, and jobs off two million? Did God want to withdraw benefits from working families earning less than $35,000 a year, by cutting Medicaid, supplemental health insurance, nutrition assistance and welfare? CNN reports, ¿Half of all Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck ¿ effectively one paycheck away from poverty.¿ But then he (He?) balanced all this by generously awarding tax breaks worth $50,000 per person to America¿s richest one per cent. It¿s only fair that Bush¿s crony Blair gets some stick too. In `Grading Tony¿s latest essay¿, Terry writes, ¿Tony¿s uncritical acceptance of information supplied by the U.S. reveals a naivety that would be surprising in any sixth-form pupil, let alone one who has hopes of going on to university and then government, as I know Tony does.¿ He ends, ¿To be quite candid, Mr. and Mrs. Blair, it¿s lucky that your son is not in a position of power otherwise his lack of insight and his crass ignorance would place us all in appalling peril.¿ Other classics include, `I¿m losing patience with my neighbors, Mr. Bush¿ and `It really isn¿t torture¿.