Thursday, May 12, 2005
the nomenclature of terrorism
Guys, I have some great news on the War on Terror front. Hamza Ali Ahmed al-Widmizyar (also known as Abu Majid) and Salman Aref Abdulkadir Khwamurad al-Zardowe (a.k.a. Abu Sharif) were recently caught. Yeah, I know – I’m pretty pumped too. Totally fucking awesome.
Look, I care about catching terrorists as much as the next guy. I don’t like pooing four to six times and loading up on Xanax before getting on a plane, I don’t like riding the subway thinking I smell anthrax when it’s really just some homeless guy's piss, and I don’t like sitting at my desk on a random Tuesday afternoon and having my boss drop by to give me a gas mask.
But I would care even more if these guys had normal, understandable names. I have no idea who or what “Ali Ahmed al-Widmizyar” is. That means nothing to me. You know what would mean something to me? Justin Davis. Ted Barkley. Even Tommy "The Arabian Fabian" Inez. These are names that I can relate to, or at least understand and associate with something besides a string of consonants and vowels that shouldn't go together.
If the US wants people to really care about catching these terrorists, something's gotta give. The government is going to have to give these bad guys Americanized names, or at the very least cool nicknames. For example, when you say "Chemical Ali", I know who you're talking about. He's the guy who used all the chemicals on those defenseless Kurds, that son of a bitch. But if you ask me who Ali Hassan al-Majid is, I'm going to look at you funny and ask if you feel ok.
Americans have notoriously short attention spans. If it doesn't make us fat, involve Brad, Jen, Angelina or some combination thereof, or promise to get us rich quick, we want nothing to do with it. "Salman Aref Abdulkadir Khwamurad al-Zardowe" is never going to go over in America. Tell me that name and I'll say, "Wait - what about salmon?" Nicknames are the way to go: they capture the imagination of the public and stick with you. Using Chemical Ali as an example, below are some suggestions for terrorist nicknames.
- Imad Fa'iz Mughniyah: Johnny Muggin' Ya
- Ali Saed Bin Ali El-Hoorie: Jackie Murder
- Hasan Izz-Al-Din: H to the Izz-Al-Din
- Ibrahim Salih Mohammed Al-Yacoub: Mickey "Sawed Off"
- Ahmad Ibrahim Al-Mughassil: Rashad Massengil
- Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan: David Sweden
- Shaykh Sai’id: "Skinny" Mario Costanza
And these are just off the top of my head. I'm sure the government can think of many, many more, probably at little to no cost to the taxpayer.
Conversely, if the terrorists themselves want to gain some real celebrity in the US, they're going to have to make the name change that so many celebrities do (and I know a lot about the entertainment business, being pretty much famous and all). The Hollywood name change is as old as Hollywood itself. Do you think Allen Konigsberg (Woody Allen), Cherilyn Sarkisian (Cher), Reginald Dwight (Sir Elton John), Demetria Guynes (Demi Moore), Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra (Meg Ryan), or Carlos Irwin Estevez (Sir Charlie Sheen) would have been as successful if they hadn't changed their names? C'mon now. I think not.
[Even I plan on changing my name when the time is right, switching from Jason Mulgrew to Michael Justice Friendandpower. I wanted something that said, "Hey, I'm your friend, but I also have a lot of power. And I also love justice." Hence, Michael Justice Friendandpower (Michael is one of my middle names).]
And so here are some examples of more palatable names that terrorists could switch to:
- Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah: Christopher Balance
- Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani: Zealand Burton III
- Fahid Mohammed Ally Msalam: Jonathan Proctor
- Mufti Rashid Ahmad Ladehyanoy: Weston Holmes
- Ayadi Chafiq Bin Muhammad: Roger Downes
- Abu Zubaydah: Steven St. John
- Satam Al Suqami: Peter Roland
Again, this is all just off the top of my head. I'm sure one could come up with many, many more.
But I'm certain that this would work and effectively mobilize the American populace against terror. Right now, we're stuck with:
Guy 1: "Dude, did you hear they got Ali Ahmed al-Widmizyar?"
Guy 2: "What?"
Guy 1: "Yeah, he's like some terrorist or something. I don't know; I saw it on CNN. I was just saying it to sound worldly."
Guy 2: "Whatever. So who do you think will win 'American Idol?'"
Guy 1: "I hope it's Bo. Man, I'd love to fuck that guy in a tent. Real rough-like, in the woods or something."
Guy 2: "Totally. I love that 'mountain man' shit."
When we could have:
Guy 1: "Dude, did you hear they got Chris Scott?"
Guy 2: "That totally fucking rules. I hate that bastard."
Guy 1: "Yeah, apparently some troops checked out a cave and found him and Saber Saw McGee."
Guy 2: "Yes! America: 1, Bad Guys: 0."
Guy 1 & Guy 2: “U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!"
Guy 1: "Let’s go drink some beers and look at some titties."
Guy 2: "I fucking love this land."
I'm not sure how to go about this, but I encourage you to spread the word and write to your Congressperson. If this past election has taught us anything, it's that if enough idiots get together and make enough noise, anything can happen. God bless democracy, and God bless America.