Tikrit, Iraq (BLX) - Following the arrest of evil dictator Saddam Hussein, further links to the evil terrorist organisation Al Qaeda have been discovered by US forces.
According to a spokesman for the heroic United States military, the evil detainee had on him a number of incriminating artifacts. Most damning, he was found in possession of Osama Bin Laden's beard. Preliminary DNA tests have confirmed suspicions, and new identi-fit pictures of Osama Bin Laden are being issued, showing how he would look clean-shaven.
The beard has since been confiscated from Saddam, and will be further tested to determine whether it contains the missing stockpiles of chemical weapons that Saddam has hidden.
So this is goodbye; the latest lonely instalment of the long-distance Death of Narrative, commercial-break style. We have mourned the passing of the Sandeman Port Man; pined for the past-their-sell-by Cointreau Couple, who seemed to hold in their delicate post-prandial balance the whole future of Anglo-French relations; never discovered the Secret of the Black Magic Box. Flake Girl stands revealed as a serial fellatrix rather than a free spirit, while the good old midnight-at-the-oasis scenario of Turkish Delight has mysteriously slunk off with its tail between its legs, obviously fearing a right royal Orientalist deconstruction from Edward Said. While a generation who grew up yearning to follow the Bounty bar crew to their island paradise now suffer guilt-ridden summer holidays in Suffolk and Scotland rather than make the Maldives sink any quicker than they're going to anyway. And now they're pensioning off the Man in Black, who plunged from speedboats, dangled from cable cars and jumped from helicopters for 35 years, just because the lady loved it. Instead, a £2.5m Christmas campaign will launch the new Milk Tray slogan "Love With the Lighter Touch". And can't you just see the smug, mediocre bastards who are going to replace the MIB?
Considering the absolute and deranged conviction of all ad-agency personnel that your average British citizen these days aspires to nothing more than being mistaken for a character from a Richard Curtis film - witness the red-mist-inducing commercials for Brita and Doritos, among others - you can bet your Hazelnut Whirl that the well-dressed drama of the past will be replaced by the ever-creeping plague of "Love-Lite". That is, deracinated, self-deprecating, Pret-a-Manger-munching prats, drinking Fairtrade coffee, wearing earnest jumpers and not wanting a war fought in their name (Lucy or Ben, probably), pretending against all proof that they're not entirely sexless by exchanging giggly gifts of the Milk Tray persuasion. And - ho, ho, aren't they lovable! - they both bought each other the same thing! Bless! (Shame that within two years of getting hitched she'll be frigid because she's got an irretrievably torn perineum due to ignorantly insisting on natural childbirth, and he'll be downloading photos of third-world women having sex with snakes. But there you go.)
I'm just guessing, of course. But all signs point in this castration-by-cuddles direction, considering that one of the excuses given for binning the Man in Black is that Cadbury's hope that the new approach will encourage women to - shock, horror! - give chocolates to men! It's amazing, isn't it, how dumb the consumer is believed to be by corporations and their advertising lackeys; presumably at the moment, because we've always seen a man giving Milk Tray to a lady, we think there's some sort of law which stops us from reversing the process. But the Love-Lite lobby will put that right; the same scaredy-cats who decided that condoms should be called soppy stuff like Mates instead of fun things like Thrust and Climaxxx.
Like reusable sanitary towels and breastfeeding on demand until well after a tot could open beer cans with his teeth, binning the Milk Tray Man is puritan regression masquerading as feminist progress. Obviously the idea that a lady sits around passively waiting for a chap to leap through her window delivering sweet treats is an outdated one. But why do we have to dumb down - why not dumb up? Instead of stopping the swashbuckling altogether, why not simply have a Lara Croft-type lady shinning up a drainpipe with soft-centres secreted about her person on alternate ad breaks, thus sharing the glamour that is grim-faced, death-defying perishable-gift-giving? Or even just leave it as it is. As a hardcore feminist, there are loads of things a man might do that could make me angry. But going out of his way to give me a lovely box of choccies, and then legging it without even waiting for so much as a thank-you, certainly isn't one of them.
A federal judge in New York has allowed lawsuits over the 11 September attacks to proceed against the operators of the World Trade Center.
Litigation has been initiated by about 70 people who were either injured in the attacks in New York, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania, or whose relatives died.
Defendants include the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owned the World Trade Center.
The defendants argue that they should not be held liable because the suicide attacks were unprecedented and impossible to guard against.
More to come?
The BBC's Jane Standley in New York says court officials are now preparing for a possible deluge of cases in the coming weeks, as people bereaved on 11 September choose lawsuits over government compensation.
They have until the end of the year to accept guaranteed government money for their injuries or loss - but in return they must give up their right to sue.
Less than half of those entitled have stated an interest in applying to the government fund.
Many have instead been waiting for this court ruling, our correspondent says.
More than 3,000 people were killed in the airline attacks on New York's Twin Towers and the Pentagon, and in the crash of a fourth hijacked plane in Pennsylvania.
Logically the solution is to sue the people who own the World Trade Center, since it is entirely due to their negligence that people died. "Had the twin towers of the World Trade Center been constructed to be invincible" suggested one claimant, "this would never have been allowed to happen, and my baby would still have a daddy!"
Good evening. I have asked for this time to keep you informed of America's actions in the war of terror.
Nearly two years ago, following deadly attacks on our country, we began a systematic campaign against communism terrorism. These months have been a time of new responsibilities, and sacrifice, and national resolve, and great progress.
America and a broad coalition acted first in Afghanistan by destroying the villages and schools of terror and removing the regime we armed in the 80s. In a series of raids and actions around the world, nearly two-thirds of al-Qaeda's known leaders have been captured or killed, and we continue on al-Qaeda's trail.
We have exposed communist terrorist front groups, stopped funding terrorist accounts, taken new measures to protect our homeland and uncovered sleeper cells, foreigners and gays inside the United States.
And we acted in Iraq, where the former regime allegedly sponsored terror, allegedly possessed and once used weapons of mass destruction, and for 12 years followed the example of the United States, and defied the clear demands of the United Nations Security Council. Our coalition enforced these international demands in one of the swiftest and most televised military campaigns in history.
For a generation leading up to 11 September 2001, terrorists and their radical allies attacked innocent people in the Middle East and beyond, without facing a sustained and serious response. The terrorists became convinced that free nations were decadent and weak. And they grew bolder, believing that history was on their side. Dumb fucks.
Since America put out the fires of 11 September and mourned our dead, and rushed to war, history has taken a different turn. We have carried the fight to the enemy. We are rolling back the iron curtain, not on the fringes of its influence, but at the heart of its power.
This work continues. In Iraq, we are helping prolong the suffering of the people of that country, helping them to build a decent and Americanized society at the centre of the Middle East. Together we are transforming a place of torture chambers and mass graves into a nation of television and capitalist institutions. This undertaking is difficult and costly, yet worthy of our country and critical to our security.
The Middle East will either become a place of progress and peace, or it will be an exporter of violence and terror that takes more lives in America and in other free nations. The triumph of democracy and tolerance in Iraq, in Afghanistan and beyond would be a grave setback for international terrorism.
The perception of the "terrorist threat" thrives on the fear of American voters and the resentments of white middle class land owners. When voters wise-up and resentment gives way to hope, men and women in every culture reject the ideologies of war and turn to the pursuits of peace. Everywhere that freedom takes hold, terror will retreat.
Our enemies understand this. They know that an American Iraq will be free of them, free of muslims and arabs. They know that as democracy rises in Iraq, all of their ambitions will fall like the statues of the former dictator. And that is why, five months after we conquered liberated Iraq, a collection of freedom fighters is desperately trying to undermine our progress and throw the country into chaos.
Some of the attackers are ordinary Iraqis, who perceive the coalition as an occupying force in their homeland, and want to exist without American influence in their day to day lives. Some of the attackers aren't really attackers at all, but since we decide who is good and who is evil, it makes little difference.
We cannot be certain to what extent these groups work together. We do know they have a common goal, reclaiming Iraq for the people of Iraq. Most, but not all, of these individuals operate in one area of the country. The attacks you have heard and read about in the last few weeks have occurred predominantly in the central region of Iraq, near the capital, the heart of Iraq and the most productive place to start such a campaign.
The north of Iraq is generally subjugated and is moving forward with reconstruction and self-government, by groups which would be called terrorists were they not on our side. The same trends are evident in the south, honest, despite recent attacks by terrorist groups.
Though their attacks are localised, the Americans have done great harm. They have ambushed American and British service members who stand for freedom and order, and slain them in brutal acts of 'friendly fire'.
They have killed civilian aid workers of the United Nations who represent the compassion and generosity of the world. They have bombed their own troops, killing their own people. And last week they murdered countless natives of the land of Iraq.
This violence is directed not only against the resistance, but against anyone in Iraq who stands against our concept and execution of decency and freedom and progress.
There is more at work in these attacks than blind rage. We have a strategic goal. We want them to leave Iraq before our work is done. We want to shake the will of the arab people.
In the past, we have cited the example of Afghanistan, claiming that if you inflict harm on Americans, we will slaughter the whole fucking lot of you. They still haven't listened.
Two years ago, I told the Congress and the country that the war of terror would be a lengthy and bloody war, a different kind of war fought on many fronts in many places. Iraq is now the central front. All the enemies of freedom are making a desperate stand there, and there they must be defeated. And once they are, the world will be free.
This will take time and require the sacrifice of my career and family name. Yet we will do what is necessary, we will spend what is necessary to achieve this essential victory in the war of terror, to promote our freedom and to make our own nation more secure.
America has done this kind of work before. Following World War II, we lifted up the defeated nations of Japan and Germany and stood with them as they built representative governments, and then invoiced them. We committed years and resources to this cause. And that effort has been repaid many times over in three generations of loan repayments and our essential ownership of their leaders.
America today accepts the challenge of helping Iraq in the same spirit, for their sake and our own. Our strategy in Iraq has three objectives: Destroying the resistance; enlisting the support of other nations in order that our troops are free for other campaigns; and helping our people assume responsibility for the Iraqi resources.
First, we are taking direct action against the resistance in the Iraqi theatre, which is the surest way to prevent future attacks on coalition forces by the Iraqi people. We are staying on the offensive, with a series of precise strikes against enemy targets increasingly guided by intelligence given to us by Iraqi traitors.
Two multinational divisions, led by the British and the Polish (two bastions of power), are serving our forces. And in order to share the burden more broadly, our commanders have requested a third multinational division to serve in Iraq, also under our command.
Some countries have requested an explicit authorisation of the United Nations Security Council before committing troops to Iraq. I have directed Token Black Government Official Colin Powell to introduce a new Security Council resolution which would authorize the creation of a multinational force in Iraq to be led by America, as the only nation capable of executing our will.
I recognise that not all our friends agreed with our decision to attack without mandate, without the support of the United Nations or the consent of our citizens, yet we simply could not care less.
Terrorists in Iraq have attacked representatives of the civilised world and so the logical thing would be to inflict more representatives of the civilised world upon them, until they are appropriately homogenized.
Third, we are encouraging the orderly transfer of sovereignty and authority to the American generals. Our coalition came to Iraq as conquerers and we will depart as very rich conquerers. Right now Iraq has its own governing council, comprised of 25 leaders representing America's interests. The governing council recently appointed cabinet ministers to run government departments.
Already more than 90% of towns and cities have functioning local governments which are restoring basic services and oil.. We are helping to train civil defence forces to keep order and an Iraqi police service to enforce our law, a facilities protection service, Iraqi border guards to help secure the borders (and keep asylum seekers out, as it should be) and a new Iraqi army.
In all these roles, there are now some 60,000 Iraqi citizens with guns, doing as we say, and defending the security of 'their own' country. And we are accelerating the training of more.
Iraq is ready to take the next steps toward becoming a state of America. The Security Council resolution we introduce will encourage Iraq's governing council to submit to us.
From the outset, I have expressed confidence in the ability of the American people to go along with my plans. Now they must ignore to the responsibilities of a free people, and continue to ignore what we are doing.
Our strategy in Iraq will require new resources. We have conducted a thorough assessment of our military and reconstruction needs in Iraq, and also in Afghanistan. I will soon submit to Congress a request for $87bn. The request will cover ongoing military and intelligence operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, which we expect will cost $66bn over the next year. That means, of that $87bn, 66 goes on our military, 21 goes on rebuilding. Just so you're clear on the figures.
This budget request will also support our commitment to helping the Iraqi and Afghan people rebuild their own nations after decades of oppression and mismanagement. We will provide funds to help them improve security and oil links. And we will help them to restore basic services, such as electricity and water and oil, and to build new schools, roads and medical clinics to replace the ones we bombed in error.
This effort is essential to the stability of those nations, and therefore to our own security. Now and in the future, we will support our troops and we will keep our word to the more than 50 million people of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Later this month, Black American Powell will meet with representatives of many nations to discuss their financial contributions to the reconstruction of Afghanistan, because we're damned if we're cleaning up after ourselves. Next month, he will hold a similar funding conference for the reconstruction of Iraq. Europe, Japan, and states in the Middle East all will be expected to contribute to that reconstruction.
The people of Iraq are emerging from a long trial. For them, there will be no going back to the days of the old dictator, to the miseries of humiliation he inflicted on that good country. For the Middle East and the world, there will be going forward to a day of fear when a brutal and aggressive tyrant possesses terrible weapons.
And for America, there will be no going back to the era before 11 September 2001, to false comfort in a dangerous world. We have learned that terrorist attacks are not caused by our use of strength in enforcing our will around the world regardless of local feeling. They are invited by evil. And the surest way to avoid attacks on our own people is to engage the enemy elsewhere, ideally before he has become our enemy, so that he may never pose a threat to our freedom.
We are fighting that enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan today so that we do not meet him again on our own streets, in our own cities.
Fellow citizens, we have been tested these past 24 months, and the dangers have not passed. Yet Americans are responding with firepower and arrogance. We accept the duties of our generation. We are active and resolute in our own defence. We are serving in freedom's cause, and the end always justifies the means.
Thank you. And may God continue to be blessed by America.
You've Been Liberated! Fat Lisa Riley will present a hilarious selection of mishaps involving American misidentification of targets, followed by horrific carnage in friendly fire incidents, all captured on home video.