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The Circus is Back in Town

The Circus is Back in Town

by Julie Webb-Pullman

Roll up, roll up, ladies and gentlemen, to the latest sideshow in the Bush three-ring circus Ring One in Afghanistan was a blast, Ring Two in Iraq really knocked your socks off - I hear you asking how they can possibly follow up those spectacular performances with another international hit...but fear not Their intrepid entertainers have been hard at work behind the scenes rehearsing Ring Three for the upcoming season in...Latin America

This week’s shows are courtesy of the US Interests Section, in the vibrant city of Havana, Cuba. No expense is being spared to bring you one of the greatest attempts at destabilisation in the history of humankind. Houdini and his escapism pale in comparison with what is being attempted here, even David Copperfield hasn’t tried anything so seriously delusory. Lightshows, illusion, it’s all up there

Audiences have been flocking to the show, with Tuesday’s crowd exceeding one and a half million, all gob-smacked by the sheer audacity of the performances. Streaming electronic banners proclaim gems such as ``Only in totalitarian societies do governments talk and talk at their people and never listen,'' clearly a reference to the Bush Administration’s invasion of Iraq against the recommendations of many of its own advisers, numerous US citizens and the greater proportion of the rest of the world.

By Thursday they were rolling in the aisles at the billboard proclamations that Palestinians had voted for the first time in 10 years and President Bush believes people have the right to choose how they live their lives, especially after his refusal to accept the actual winners of those elections, Hamas.

There are clearly some technical glitches that prevent the streamer of the Vienna Declaration from screening, especially the bit which says “...democracy is based on the freely expressed will of the people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems...”, but they’ll surely be ironed out, or steamrolled, before the season is over, just like the bit about terrorism which says it includes activities aimed at “...destabilizing legitimately constituted Governments…" , the self-proclaimed purpose of this week’s performance, according to Interests Section chief, Michael Parmly.

But ladies and gentlemen, this is not your usual walkover - a truly unique aspect is the degree of audience participation. Even as you read, members of the Havana audience are busily bulldozing away creating their own mystery installation – is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a Bush Credibility Meter? After all, if the top of the Interests Section is the 100% mark and the ground is zero, they are going to have to do a lot of excavating to record an accurate reading, which must by now be seriously in the negative

And don’t worry if you just can’t make it to the Havana sideshow, the US guarantees none will be left unsatisfied. Rehearsals are already underway in Paraguay, and those unlucky enough to miss out now will receive complimentary tickets to the next enthralling episodes undoubtedly planned for Venezuela, Bolivia, and Chile.

Roll up, roll up.


The writer is a New Zealander, who edits and writes for Prensa Latina.

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