(As reported in the Universal Banner and Globe, Worldville-on-Potomac, November 11, 2032, via angelcynn.warp )
Perpetual War for Perpetual Skating
On January 10, 2029, U.S./Global President Wiley Cutthroat had a notion. This notion spread to his cabinet, half the Congress, most important think tanks, and all the kept media. What it was, was this: in a mighty philanthropic gesture, America would turn all of Sweden into a gigantic international theme park and skating rink.
Bitterly clinging to their national sovereignty, welfare state, and corporatist economy not fully controlled by American capital, the arrogant Swedes refused America’s offer. In response, two New Neocons produced an instant book proving that Sweden had always been the main enemy of the United States. After all, Sweden’s little colony in Delaware had inconvenienced the Dutch in New Amsterdam and, had the Swedes gotten away with it, their defiance might have serially inconvenienced the English and, later, the Americans (after 1776). Case closed.
The new crusade appealed to the president’s juvenile imagination and reinforced his belief that the world should consist solely of pacified zones and Good People. Unhappily, there remained lawless zones whose Bad People had not yet submitted to Sam, Uncle. Luckily, under the Permanent Crisis and Eternal War Act of 2023, an overseas adventure allowed the president to say when we were really/especially “at war.” Just saying so “triggered” innumerable, unknowably large powers for doing any old thing that occurred to the Commanding Chief. No one – neither Congress, nor the courts, nor the DAR – could thwart those any-old-things, before or after the deed.
Presidential attorney, global ambulance chaser, and former Office of Legal Counsel advisor Jing Dew wrote a raft of new half-secret memos firming up the effable Unitary Executive Theory, and Attorney General Yale Barratry threatened imprisonment of anyone who doubted their truth. Secretary of the Overseas Interior Stan D’Over (on loan from Britain’s newest New Labour Party) seconded the motion.
As the crisis occasioned by Swedish defiance unfolded, the USG pursued its goals by its signature method: bombing. Relying on historian A.J.P. Taylor’s offhand remark that what a society’s leaders typically do defines its civilization, it directly follows that Yankee civilization is about preaching and bombing. On the practical side, having been at it for a century or more, U.S. military intellectuals possessed highly nuanced bastard scholastic categories for demonstrating the rightness of American bombing. This discourse took up much time at CENTCOM (still in Tampa) and led ultimately to a highly successful web-TV show: “Precision Annihilation.”
Three weeks in, the Swedes declined a generous ceasefire offer of a week’s time for packing up their Dalarna folk art, austere furniture, and smokeless tobacco and moving to Finland. They dug in and had to be Shocked and Awed. When this failed, there was fierce hus-til-hus fighting and the gutting of Stockholm. Worse luck, many now radioactive fjords may be without fish and Russian submarines for centuries.
In a tragic targeting mistake, missiles destroyed the library of the University of Uppsala. U.S. Secretary of Global Education Charlie Philistine expressed regret and impatience just before arresting everyone who denied that we had better stuff in American libraries. “None of that medieval, runic crap, though,” he muttered darkly.
Meanwhile, the usual government contractors, consolidated as Happy Valley Monopoly Associates, Unlimited, moved in the heavy equipment to build the massive ice-park. Progress was rapid, except where Swedish terrorists attacked civilian contractors. In a horrifying incident, Swedish insurgents spray-painted the entire runic alphabet (“futhark”) on a U.S.-NATO napalm supply tank. The Southern Progressive Lawfare Center noted that “Neo-Nazi hate groups often use runic characters.” The proper political officers took the matter very seriously and ordered more air strikes.
Peacekeeping is hell, as General Sherman more or less said.
Last week’s gala Conference on Force Transformation in the Age of Tundra met at the American Institutional Enterprise to consider campaigns in Lapland, the Yukon, and Siberia. A high point came when Homeland Canines shredded an anti-American reporter for asking what the enterprise was and what, precisely, was American about it. This outcome spared the SoD (Secretary of Defense) the trouble of “designating” the man. Since the deceased’s speech pattern had shown suspiciously Scandinavian tonality, the Vice President detained half the population of Minnesota and parts of northern Utah and banned re-runs of “Fargo.”
The conference chair, M.P.T. Barnum went on and on about global ballistics and economic interfaces, but could not restore order. The assembled militarists, some of them actually in the military, shouted him down. “Old hat!” screamed Byron Waster, a 16-year-old New Neocon from North Dakota. “Just nuke everyone and get it over with,” he added, with due gravitas. (His ascent to philosophy will be smooth.)
The conclave ended with a bangless whimper.
Alas, after three years of icebound warfare, things had not gone well. The breakthrough promised under Operation Lapp Top soon stalled. Tens of thousands of reindeer were killed. The usual rock stars and merchant bankers issued an appeal to the impoverished American middle and working classes to support the destitute Saami (formerly Lapps).
Free Speech in Wartime
Meanwhile, domestic debate focused on the ethics of discussing the war. Jason Spratt of the Worldville-based Plato Institute for Talking about Freedom gave an influential talk: “Our commercial republican and classical liberal heritage, still embodied, however vestigially, in the Most Wonderful Government on Earth, demands that we press on, waist deep in the Big Icey. See all of Hamilton’s Federalist essays and Madison’s Federalist #10. Fascist dogs who demand withdrawal must be arrested under the Patriotism and First Refuge Act. This is not the time to question the policy that led to this dark moment.” He added, “There is, anyhow, no plan so crazy, criminal, or just plain stupid, which once undertaken by the Last Best Hope of All Mankind, cannot be transformed into the highest human wisdom and a boon to All Mankind, everywhere in the world. Ice-skating and democracy: one and inseparable!”
Several onlookers found Spratt’s oration “cruel and unusual.” For this, they were cautioned. After a ten minute debate, Congress passed a Universal Permanent Probation Act.
Yet Another Peace Theory
Meanwhile, Vedic Druid Handsome and Max Retro Boot-Heel pursued the hot topic of “Scando-fascism.” The new formula led otherwise sober publicists to demand a wider war -- against Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Shetland, Orkney, the Faeroes, and even Jersey (Old Jersey, not the new one) -- to stamp out Viking evil forevermore. This was the new “key” to perpetual peace, which quickly supplanted the older Democratic Peace Theory and the 19th-century British buy-opium-or-else theory.
On the economic-theoretical side, an assault on Shetland held out the happy prospect of eliminating udal, or allodial tenures, forever. Accordingly, Chicago School economists Renegado Flatfoot and Winston Knowbetter undertook complex mathematical analyses showing the campaign’s ethical basis. The key notion was that a reduction of transaction costs justified any amount of carnage above some arbitrary placeholding number, viz:
TC – N
Δ’ = bombs away!
Although no one knew what the delta prime stood for, a famous Federal Judge praised the theorem1 as the greatest advance in economic science since Milton Friedman’s paper of 1953. Some Catholic New Neocons provided the theorem with a pseudo-Thomistic gloss which cleverly obscured their underlying Calvinistic notion of presidential “charism.”2 Lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel added the economic (but not the theological) matter to Presidential signing statements. Speaking for his friend and colleague Nicolò Machiavelli, political scientist Harry Wolfman endorsed the war, its proposed extension, the next war, the war after that, and wars without end. (The ascent to philosophy is arduous.)
The chauvinist masses took several minutes away from web-televised sport and sex to demand more carnage. Yellow ribbons bearing the legend “Kick Viking Ass” appeared everywhere. Even the President of Harvard had one. Pressure groups forced ribbons on whole neighborhoods as robotic radio hosts cheered them on. Most people needed no forcing, although a man in Hibbing, Minnesota, caught singing old Bob Dylan songs, was forced to eat lutefisk to the point of death or organ failure. The pain was “extreme” but not “serious.” (For definitions see U.S. Global Federal Code, clxxviii, 1 (b) ii, 756 and 798 n.)
Federal District Court #289 found that it was certainly not torture but only “enhanced homicide.” (See Erik Square-Head v. Sam, Next Uncle, and a Patriotic Mob, 34 Wheat & Chaff 685.) In a surprise move, the Justice Department adduced the near-fatal beating in 1812 of Light Horse Harry Lee by justifiably incensed patriots (and not a “mob” as the blame-America-first types claim) as an important precedent. Justice Department lawyers rightly added that Lee’s death a few years later had nothing whatsoever to do with the beating, but resulted solely from the unhealthy climate of Georgia -- or perhaps Bermuda.
“They’re All Quislings Over There” became the number one country hit. By presidential order, airport lounges worldwide played the song continuously. The President also adjourned Congress and closed the courts except for revenue cases.
A Slight Mistake
A patriotic campaign, honestly undertaken, to purge Scandinavian words from American English (or its remnant) backfired when it was learned that everyday activity would falter without th*m. Once more, economists looked to transaction costs. Before the campaign ended, however, several people served jail time for ordering scrambled e**s in a public restaurant. The campaign d**d with a b*g b**g, but left Old Nick, Old Scratch, and Friday unscathed, as well t**y might be. The whole thing proved very a*k***d. (We are filling banned words with asterisks, just in case.)
Look to Norway or Some-Damned-Where
Despite the resistance of narrow isolationists, deplorables, bitter clingers, and pre-9/11 bumpkins, the Universal Nation chose to “stay the course and slay the Norse.” As President Cutthroat says, “Build it and they will skate.” He adds, “You just can’t build a dang-old world market resting on peace, transparency, and human rights without making an omelet. Bring on the, uh, eggs! We’ll smash those rune-mongers!”
The writer, editors, and publishers of this news story believe in Good Faith that nothing herein contained violates any provision of the Test Oath Act for Detention (TOAD Act, 2011), which prudently provides for universal entrapment, interstellar surveillance, and appropriately indefinite, cruel and usual punishment under the electrical and all other implied powers ever dreamed up by the Supreme Court.3
1 For educational purposes only, compare Eric A. Posner and Alan O. Sykes, “Optimal War and Jus ad Bellum,” John M. Olin Law & Economics Working Paper No. 211 (April 2004).
2 See Franz Neumann, Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism, 1933-1994 (New York: Harper & Row, 1966 ), 87-92. See also, pretty much anything by the new, improved Hadrian Furmule, especially The City of God and the City of Sam (forthcoming). His election as Pontifex Max of the Universal Americanist Church is in the bag. Bets may be placed at the usual venues. Ladbrokes is open!
3 See Burnt Njál vs. Eight Unnamed Federal Electricians and Three Power Cords, 29 Sparks & Kindle, 432. The Government cited Benjamin Franklin, ffounder, in favor of the Electrical Power.