Terry Jones on what makes our leaders tick
Everyone agrees that President George Bush’s lobotomy has been a tremendous success.
Dick Cheney, the vice-president, declared that he was fully satisfied with it from his point of view.
“Without the lobotomy,” Mr Cheney told the American Academy of Neurology, “it might have proved difficult to persuade the president to start wars all around the world without any good pretext. But the removal of those parts of the brain associated with understanding the outcome of one’s actions has enabled the president to function fully and without hesitation. Even when it is clear that disaster is around the corner, as it is currently in Iraq, the chief executive is able to go on TV and announce that everything is on course and that he has no intention of changing tactics that have already proved disastrous.
“I would like to commend the surgeons, nurses and all involved with the operation,” said Mr Cheney.
Similarly, Donald Rumsfeld regards the surgery as an unqualified success. He writes in this month’s American Medical Association Journal: “The president’s prefrontal leucotomy has successfully removed all neural reflexes resistant to war-profiteering. It is a tribute to the medical team who undertook this delicate operation that, no matter how close the connection between those instigating military action and the companies who benefit from it, the president is able to carry on as if he were morally in the right.”
Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defence, is also delighted at the beneficial effect that medical intervention has had on the president. “Just imagine how the president might have responded to Ariel Sharon’s crazy schemes if we hadn’t had the foresight to take out the neural pathways normally connected with perception and understanding,” Mr Wolfowitz told a meeting of the Association of Muslim Neurosurgeons For An All-Jewish Israel. “The president is now capable of treating the man responsible for the massacres at Shatila and Sabra as a decent human being, whose advice on how to deal with the problems of Israel is worth not only listening to, but also taking.”
With all this acclaim for the US president’s lobotomy, it is scarcely surprising that Tony Blair, should have decided to follow suit and undergo similar psychosurgery.
Thanks to the inhibition of specific presynaptic terminals, Mr Blair now appears to feel totally comfortable giving his support to the US massacre in Falluja and to the activities of US snipers who have been so busy in that city shooting women, children and ambulance drivers in revenge for the murder of four mercenaries.
It is also believed that intervention in the motor speech area of his cortex now enables Mr Blair to describe Iraqis who respond negatively to having their houses blown up as “fanatics, extremists and terrorists”.
Similarly ablation of the oculomotor nerve means that Mr Blair is now able to see Israeli plans to retain Jewish settlements in the West Bank as a big step forward in the Middle East peace process.
What has come as a complete surprise, however, is the recent revelation that Mr Blair’s brain surgery may even predate President Bush’s. For without the removal of large portions of his cerebellum, it is hard to understand how the British prime minister could have turned down Mr Bush’s no-strings offer to keep British troops out of combat in Iraq.
Political commentators are thus finding it impossible to say whether it is Mr Bush or Mr Blair who has pioneered the use of executive lobotomies in the war against terrorism.
- Terry Jones is a writer, film director, actor and Python