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Pretend Monsters More Fun Than the Real Ones

October 31, 2002

Halloween. Time for candied apples, rainbow-colored leaves and, of course, scary monsters. We love to be frightened by cinematic creations such as Hannibal, Freddy and Jason. Unfortunately, we also have some quite real monsters floating around this year: Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Nobody appreciates the terror that these ghouls inspire. Let's see how we've created these monsters ourselves.

Franklin Roosevelt is supposed to have said of a petty dictator: "He may be an SOB, but at least he's our SOB." During the 1980s, we could have paid the same compliment to both Bin Laden and Hussein.

Saddam's criminal pathology was just fine as long as he vented it on Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini. And Bin Laden was A-OK when he was blowing up Soviet tanks and not American skyscrapers.

By funding and training homicidal dictators and dangerous fundamentalists, we have created our own SOBs. The trouble is that they're not our SOBs any longer.

Like Dr. Frankenstein's creation, our Middle Eastern monsters have turned against us with a vengeance. The good doctor learned the hard way that, when you play with dangerous forces, you and countless innocents can get badly hurt.

We have to stop creating our own monsters. How? Well, many of our Middle Eastern monsters are pretty oily characters. We need to overcome our addiction to foreign crude. In the short term, we need to responsibly exploit our own oil resources. In the long term, we need to develop alternative energies, such as wind and solar power. Hussein will never control the wind. Bin Laden can't turn off the sun.

Dr. Frankenstein wanted to control the forces of nature, and his arrogance unleashed a catastrophe, one that destroyed him. Let's learn from Frankenstein's experience by controlling our nation's appetites and ambitions. If we do, then the only monsters will be those on the movie screen. Oh, and, of course, there are the 4-foot-high vampires, ghosts and witches who will ring our doorbell and say "trick or treat."

These little monsters are more than welcome at our house. Happy Halloween!

Steve Mozena


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