crystal ball

  How to Save the World‘s Fearful Predictions for the next 18 months:

  1. Iraq: Bush will attack Iraq sometime between Feb.19 and Feb.26. The attack will last no longer than 72 hours. The “collateral damage” will be a death toll of 50,000 civilians, up to a million maimed or injured, and millions more left homeless. Anarchy, disease and famine will set in, in that order, within three months. Bush will declare victory and announce a new regime within two weeks of the attack. He will also initially deny reports of civilian devastation, and when (in a few months) the truth comes out, he will attempt to justify it, since it will no longer be possible to say whether containment of Saddam would have worked instead of war.
  2. The West: With the media muted and fixated on the aerial visuals, U.S. response will be grimly supportive, passive and resigned. After huge protests in the days leading up to the war, during which protesters will be harrassed, hurt, arrested and accused of treason, the protests will dwindle to a few die-hards, since the war will be “over” and the damage already done.
  3. Rest of the World: Islamic fundamentalists will topple the governments in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia, and several other states in bloody fashion, creating more terrorist havens and less stable oil supply than before the war. A jihad against the West will be declared, but there will be only a few small, disorganized attacks in the Americas or Europe. Americans will sheepishly dismantle their plastic-and-duct-tape house condoms and put them away until Bush’s next war. The main attacks will be against Israel, which will fend them off by threatening, but not actually using, nuclear weapons. A new cold war stand-off will arise in the Mid-East, with suicide bombing continuing, but, fearing nuclear attack, Arab states will stop taking credit for the bombings and overtly supporting the bombers. Bin Laden, the big winner in the conflict, will thank God and Bush for achieving much of his dream of a united fundamentalist Muslim Arab world. Korea will do nothing and will not be attacked, nor will it disarm, proving that it can use nuclear deterrence as well as anyone else. Dozens of other countries will quietly try to develop WMD to deter possible attacks from those that already have them.
  4. United Nations: In the aftermath of the war, the U.N. and NATO will be declared dead/irrelevant, by Bush’s team and by media in many U.N-hostile nations. In hindsight, even the U.S. media will admit that Bush himself killed the U.N. and NATO by simply declaring his willingness to unilaterally start an unprovoked, pre-emptive war without U.N. sanction, and by declaring the U.S. exempt from the U.N.’s International Court of Justice. The U.N. will hang on as a venue for global political debate, negotiation and moral suasion, but be relocated outside the U.S., which will withdraw from it. NATO will simply disappear, its sole function effectively subverted.
  5. Five Years from Now: It will all have been for nothing. Finding Iraq ungovernable, the U.S. will keep only a central Iraq “Canal Zone” (incorporating the largest oil fields, refineries and oil ports) and a Kuwait DMZ, and allow the rest of the country to be partitioned into several states, most of which will have governments not unlike Saddam’s, and which will become embroiled in civil wars and/or genocide. Some of them will be annexed by Iran, Turkey and/or a new state of Kurdistan. Afghanistan will suffer the same balkanization and/or partial annexation fate. Bin Laden will still be at large, with many places to hide and raise money. Bush will not be re-elected, mainly because with Saddam gone and no other country to credibly and safely attack, voters will refocus on Bush’s abominable economic and social agenda and overwhelmingly vote for anyone else. And if Bush does find another country to attack, voters will tire of war and vote him out anyway.

You heard it here first, folks. Be on high alert, and act accordingly.

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