My Turn: Another tale from the jungle

Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2003

The thought of an inarticulate, 800-pound gorilla swatting a naughty, 20-pound monkey would be a thoroughly tragic narrative of imperialist aggression in a battle of ill-matched opponents if it were not for one little, sad fact: This monkey is rabid.

As we falteringly attempt to swing out of our trees and aspire to walk upright, we need to pause and consider this naughty, sick, little monkey more closely. We cannot simply write his plight off to an aggressive gorilla that wants the monkey's banana juice so he can fuel his gas-guzzling S.U.V. and pad the checkbooks of his cronies.

Let us ask, "Just how naughty is this monkey?"

This monkey came to the top of his tree, Iraq, through much trickery and skullduggery of his own. He disenfranchised his own monkeys and had executed as many as 500 of his fellow top-tree monkeys by 1979.

He misbehaved and invaded a neighboring tree, Iran, in 1980. The monkeys of these trees swung back and forth through the branches, flinging sticks and stones and names that did hurt until over 1 million Iranians were dead. At least 10,000 died when the naughty monkey ordered the flinging of noxious pooh. When all was done more than 105,000 Iraqis had died. The world's 800-pound gorillas chose to ignore much of this. They didn't much like the Iranians and had lucrative deals for superior sticks and stones and other goods.

The naughty monkey misbehaved again on March 16, 1988: He flung more of his noxious pooh upon the dissidents of Halabja in the northern branches of his tree. Only 5,000 lesser monkeys died this time. There was some quiet notice but there were still lucrative trades to be had. Besides, after taking a licking in his neighboring tree he would probably fade away.

He did - for two years. In 1990 he overwhelmingly stomped upon the sovereign rights of the Kuwaiti tree for a small banana. There he terrorized and murdered. The world cried-out and the 800-pound gorilla's daddy took action as only an 800-pound gorilla can; he stomped the naughty little monkey just so he could return that banana. Many monkeys will still tell you this is so as they pump banana juice into their sedans and S.U.V.s and fly in banana juice-powered jets.

The United Trees slapped the naughty little monkey on the wrist and told him he was bad. But they did make some strong resolutions of words to keep him behaving. Resolutions like number 687 told him he had to get rid of his large sticks and stones and, especially, his noxious pooh. The naughty monkey didn't like this but he agreed for a little while.

The 800-pound gorilla didn't forget. The naughty monkey didn't forget. He dreamed of being a gorilla, too. So the United Trees placed banana sanctions upon him but he would hide them. United Trees inspectors saw it was so. The monkey ejected them from his tree and the sanctions continued and his lesser monkeys suffered. Some wanted to end sanctions because they were losing many bananas themselves. Some didn't like the suffering of the lesser monkeys. The United Trees cried and moaned and the naughty monkey stayed untrustworthy and the sanctions continued.

This has become poisoned water over a cracking dam. There have been 12 years of ineffectual sanctions against a monkey that has acted like a gorilla for more than 20. He has shown far less regard for the lives of other monkeys, in his quest to be a gorilla, than our current 800-pound gorilla and more combined. This gorilla, from a tree called upon to act time and time again, has said, "Enough!"

On one pole, many monkeys will tell you that it is all for banana juice. On the other pole they will cry that it is for our freedom. These are only thoughts, interpretations and ideals. What matters is the sickness that has spread from this monkey for decades. A feckless world body has haltingly diddled, doodled, hooted and screeched. It has never concluded until an 800-pound gorilla has cried, "Enough!"

Yes, maybe we should be very careful what kind of gorilla we vote for.

Pat Morrissey has lived in Juneau for nine years and worked in Alaska's fisheries for 12.

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