Our fall pledge drive ends on Friday, and we're still $6,000 short of our goal.
Help make in-depth reporting sustainable with your tax-deductible donation today.
Whichever side of the fence you land on, chances are you agree that America's not a very secure nation these days: economically, electorally, or physically. So we grabbed our lensatic compass, rucksack, and canteen, then mounted out across the global media landscape for a quick recon. Whether you're scared because our military isn't good enough—or you're scared because it's too good—here's all the ammunition you need, in a handy debrief.
Today is our special Orwellian edition! Black is white, down is up, and we've always been at war with Oceania! In this installment: Islamophobia is the new Beatlemania; Iraq is the new utopia; Afghanistan is the new Iraq; a robot heat ray is the new billyclub; virtual war is the new war war; and sometimes James Bond loses...his life.
The United States government's national threat level is Elevated, or Yellow. You're welcome.
The war on terror has succeeded entirely! Thanks to our insistence on fighting Islamofascists abroad and at home, the American homeland is now completely safe haven for everyone who hates Muslims, their buildings, and their desire to work 20-hour days in a New York cab without fearing that their throat could be slashed by some whitebread alcoholic college kid with a mean streak. Mission accomplished, Islamophobes!
Speaking of places with accomplished missions, Operation Iraqi Freedom is dead; long live Operation New Dawn! (Which, advocates will hasten to point out, is nothing at all like Operation Red Dawn.) US troops are pulling out, leaving lots of stuff behind, like 50,000 colleagues, 1 million pieces of equipment, and $3 trillion of your tax dollars. But man, look at the amazing security that buys! Besides, now that the patriotic Sunni militia men are well cared-for by a fully functioning Iraqi government, the few remaining US soldiers have plenty of time on their hands to look for Saddam's still-elusive weapons of "bass" destruction!
In Afghanistan, some fifth-column troops are asking "WTF Are We Doing in Afghanistan, Again?" Duh, we're killing evildoers. Sometimes independently of orders, because we like soldiers with initiative! But men, you'd better hurry up with your mission: The Taliban tells us that your performance-enhancing drugs are no longer having a positive effect in the field, because you "are living under constant fear of being attacked and killed by Afghan Mujahideen." Don't listen to that claptrap! Would you trust insurgents who dye and comb their lovely locks as much as these guys?
Back on the homeland, the Los Angeles County sheriff has identified a perfect law-enforcement weapon: Raytheon's Active Denial System, which zaps perps "with a beam that momentarily puts them in agony." It's so good at inflicting maximum pain, the Army stopped using it in Afghanistan for fear of alienating the locals with their beams of excruciating awesomeness. "I already had contacts at Raytheon who were reeling from the short-sided, self-serving cowardice of people who were more interested in saving face than saving lives, and leveraged it right into getting it into our jails," says former LASD Commander
John Effing Wayne Charles "Sid" Heal. Sure, those freedom-haters over at the ACLU think it's a "dubious" weapon to use on street thugs and eye-legal immigrants, but what do they know? LA deputies, set phasers to "intolerable heat!"
Antisocial geek hackers are the future of the US military's cybersecurity program. Except for the ones that are all into that WikiLeaks thing!
But you know who's gonna be bossing around all those geek dudes and their gung-ho military counterparts? The ladies, that's who.
Also in WikiLeaks news, they like the kindler, gentler CIA now. Lions and lambs, people. Lions and lambs.
I don't know about geek hackers, but how about if the Army hires the guys who get really good at this new video game, where you can play as the Taliban? Brought to you by the same computer-game company that makes DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue!
Also, we could probably use some more of those kids who play the flight simulators, to maybe kinda cut down on this sorta thing.
Also also, not to rub salt in Oceania's wounds (we've always been at war with 'em, after all!), but it's hard out there for a Britannic MI6 operative. Like, stabbed and stuffed in your bathtub hard. Who would do such a heinous thing? An Islamic mosque, that's who. Wake up, citizens!