The Guardian May 28, 2003

Mr President Please Attack Appalachia

by Mike Bryan

You have promised the Iraqis that they will share in the wealth of their 
oil. We could use some of that same sharing here. We have coal and timber 
that is being extracted, yet very little of the profits remain in our area. 
If the Iraqis are to share in the profits from their natural resources, we 
would like to share in the profits from ours.

You have promised healthcare for all Iraqis. We could use the same thing 
here. Far too many of us are without health insurance and adequate access 
to good healthcare facilities.

You have also promised to rebuild the schools in Iraq. We too have schools 
that need rebuilt and that need more funding. Certainly you can find a 
justification for attacking us.

We have weapons of mass destruction. Just go inspect the former uranium 
enrichment plant near Piketon, Ohio. You will still find all sorts of 
radioactive waste on and around that site.

Test our waters. Test our ground. Test our air. You will find an abundance 
of chemical and biological agents that could be used as weapons. We 
literally live among them.

After all, Appalachia is America's third world. Terrorists are breeding 
everywhere. Where there is poverty there is unrest. Where there is poor 
education there is suspicion. Where there is neglect there is anger. As far 
as potential dangers go, Appalachia should be near the top of your list.

Stomp out the bad before it turns thoroughly evil. Pre-emptively strike us 
now before it becomes too late. Do it before we make something else out of 
our fertiliser ingredients.

Since Appalachia is a highly religious area an attack could easily be 
explained as the fulfillment of prophecy. Many here would even agree with 
your need to attack us. In fact, we would probably help supply the troops.

Without any long-term energy strategy or alternative planning, once the oil 
is gone the US will become increasingly dependent on coal and wood. 
Appalachia has lots of that. Even today, the profitability of many US 
businesses would be threatened if Appalachia refused to supply them with 
electricity, coal, and other resources.

Can America afford to wait until a crisis is at hand before attacking 
Appalachia? The decision is yours. You do not even have to involve the 
United Nations since we are within US borders. You can go it alone. The 
rest of the country will be fairly easy to convince about the need to 
attack us.

The national news media will surely rise to your side. Prejudice against 
hillbillies already devalues our lives in comparison to those in the rest 
of the country, so our devastation and casualties would have to be nearly 
as high as in Iraq before anyone from outside Appalachia complains too 

Besides, people here have lived as second-class citizens for so long we now 
thoroughly expect to be treated as second-class citizens  and the rest of 
the nation expects to treat us that way. How else could you explain the 
relatively small outcry currently raised by our exceedingly high 
unemployment rates, poor education, high pollution, poor healthcare, high 
poverty, and poor leadership?

In fact, attacking us will probably help cement your re-election. You might 
experience some local militia counterstrikes, but those will probably be 
disorganised and minor.

After all, Appalachia lacks any central command, what with its being 
comprised of the parts of 12 states and only the whole of one state. West 
Virginia could be your focus. Find someone evil there to target, such as 
Jay Rockefeller.

He asked the FBI to investigate those forged documents you used to help 
justify your war against Iraq. How embarrassing that must have been: 
International Atomic Energy Agency Chief Mohamed El Baradei addressed the 
UN and publicly humiliated you by showing your assertion that Iraq was 
trying to import uranium from Niger was based on crudely faked information.

Someone should pay for such an embarrassment and who better than a Democrat 
who is a Rockefeller?

So Mr. President, you have all the elements you need: weapons of mass 
destruction, a nearly third world enemy, potential terrorists, someone to 
call evil, and an easy path to victory.

Now all you have to do is attack. And please, do it soon. We need the 
reparations, better schools, better infrastructure, universal healthcare, 
and a fair share in the wealth of our own resources.

You also promised Iraq democracy. We could use that here as well.

Please, Mr. President, attack Appalachia next.

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Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America

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