Is Hell Too Good for the Iraqi Warmongers? :: Satire ::

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“Abandon every hope who enter here.”

— Dante Alighieri

The first book of Dante’s “The Divine Comedy,” is simply called, “Inferno.” It deals with the author’s descent into hell, guided by the greatest poet of antiquity, Virgil. [1] The purpose of the journey is to free the writer of his “temptation to sin.” [2]

Born in 1265, in Florence, Italy, which was then a notable Republic, Dante became involved in politics as a young man, but he made the mistake of making an enemy out of a powerful, and vindictive, politico, Pope Boniface VIII. He was soon forced into exile, never to return to his native, and beloved, Florence. Dante, nevertheless, as a result of his writings became so famous that after his death, he was known only by his first name. [3]

Let’s visit the dreaded Inferno in the year 2065. What might Dante find in a future journey into the underworld? Are you wondering if the Iraqi warmongers will ever be punished for their evil deeds? Then, get ready to join Dante, as he reprises his original effort.

Here’s Dante’s account, in 2065, as conveyed, via an ftp of the future, to yours truly, in 2006:

“The first lost soul I recognized there was Barbara Mikulski! She had been a U.S. Senator, a Democrat, from Maryland. Mikulski was stuck forever in an infant’s high chair and repeatedly stung by huge horseflies, whose ugly heads all resembled the Right Wing ranter, Michael Savage. She was in a special section of Hell, which had been set aside for those who were neutral on some great issue. In her case, it was the Iraqi War, which she voted against, but also voted to fully fund. Her career, which had started out so hopefully, ended with her selling out to the Power Brokers.

At the next lower circle, I saw suffering members of the Media, who had so zealously pimped for the Iraqi conflict. They were corralled into a deep pit of tar. There, I noticed, covered with feathers, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, Charles Krauthammer, George F. Will, William “Slots” Bennett, Mona Charen, Rush Limbaugh, John Podhoretz, Sean O’Hannity, Brit(ish) Hume, A.M. “Mad Max” Rosenthal, Christopher Hitchens, Judith Miller, Jonah Goldberg and Mortimer Zuckerman. Their punishment also included constantly sucking in and breathing out radioactive depleted uranium dust. It was pumped in through a vent. As a result of that ordeal, all of their heads lit up in the dark. It was a horrific sight. I pitied these war hawks their tragic fate. O’Reilly screamed at me: ‘I only did it for the money. Please get me out of here. I take back everything I said.’ Limbaugh whined, ‘It was the pills that made me do it.’

What came next, shocked me even more. It was a scene of the supra-greedy souls, who had reaped obscene profits from insider deals and cost-plus contracts from the Iraqi War. There must have been a thousand of them. Only their heads, which looked like hog heads, were visible. Their bodies were buried in the foul and oily waters of the River Styx. Occasionally, they were forced to swallow some of that slime. There was a neon light sign on the banks of the river, which explained their grisly fate. It read: “This Area is Reserved for the Pig-like Iraqi War Profiteers. It was Designed by a Condemned Executive from Halliburton.’

As I descended further into the abyss, I heard even more desperate wailings. They came from terrified souls swimming around endlessly with no means of escape in a huge black pot of boiling blood. On the pot, in bold red letters, was crafted: “We Are the Damnable Neocons!” In the massive enclosure, I did see the badly scared face of Paul Wolfowitz, the prime architect of the Iraqi War. Next to him was Bill Kristol, along with Richard Perle. Strangely, Kristol and Perle’s heads were on backwards! There was one forlorn face that was bobbing up and down in the boiling blood, which caught my attention. It took me a moment to focus on it. It was Irv “Scooter” Libby! He yelled to me, “Dick Cheney did it! I was a patsy.” As for the identity of the other Neocons, I couldn’t make them out. I needed to move on. I did think, however, when observing this scene of terror that God’s justice is, indeed, absolute.

What showed up when I went down to the next level was totally unexpected. It was a violent creature from the mystic past, which I had encountered in my original journey with Virgil. It was the Minotaur, a half man, half bull. There were seven of them who were penned inside a monster-sized cage. They were restrained in such a way, that they could regularly rip the intestines out of each other. They would then heal and repeat the bloody process. I was appalled to see, up close, their contorted faces. They were the Iraqi War Hawks from the U.S. Congress: Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA), Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Then, I detected something even more revolting, from time to time, these raving Minotaurs were given a rat to feed on. The rat’s figure mirrored the image of Donald Rumsfeld, who once held the office of U.S. Secretary of Defense under the Bush-Cheney Gang. Every time a rodent was eaten by them, another one was shot down a chute into the cage to be soon devoured by the salivating beasts. Each rat looked like Rumsfeld! Oh, what an awful, eternally recurring fate for that warmonger. I rushed on to another circle by climbing down some steep steps found behind the cage.

In this next circle, I saw people swinging, head down, from the top of a long parallel bar. Their feet were tied tightly to that high iron instrument with barbed wires. Their heads were covered over with a burlap bag. I could hear them moaning and begging to be released from their perpetual torment. There was a sign there, too. It said: ‘These are the Cowardly Assassins who Ordered the Murders of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Francis Kennedy to Benefit the New World Order Thugs. Absent the Killing of these Three Men, There would have been No Iraqi War.’ Next to the Assassins was a figure, also disguised with a mask. Only his eyes were visible. He was entombed in a solid wall made of feces! The stench was unbelievable. Underneath him were found embedded these cautionary words: “Buried Upright Here, Stands a Lawyer, Who Disgraced His Profession by Advocating the Torture of Detainees at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo Bay.”

To the right of these lamentable souls, I saw a human figure, whose head was buried in a rock, while his feet were protruding upwards and being burned by flames. And behind him, there were another hundred souls in the same predicament. ‘Who were they?’ Above them, I saw a hanging sign which answered my question. It read: ‘These are the Wire Pullers, Who Engineered the Iraqi War from behind the Curtain. In Life, They Demanded Anonymity for their Massive Crimes. In Hell, We are Pleased to Grant that Wish.’

Don’t asked me how, especially without my friend, Virgil, but I then got my courage up to go down even further into the blazing Inferno. The particular circle I then reached was the hottest level, so far. It was like standing next to one of the fiery furnaces, which melted the gold for the proud Medici Clan of Florence. It was steaming at this point and the sweat was just pouring off of me. There, I spotted these two unworldly forms, howling away loudly. They were forever tied together – face to face. Their hands and arms were chained behind their backs. They were being deliberately starved, so that the only food they had to survive on was each other’s nose, eyes, mouth and lips. After they fed on each other, they would heal, and then the hungry duo would begin anew their savage, cannibalistic ways. Upon closer observation, I could see who they were. It was George W. Bush and Dick Cheney! They were the only President and Vice President in U.S. history to ever be jointly impeached and removed from their offices.

I could only watch this madness briefly. It was a scene right out a nightmare. Then, it got worse. The ceiling suddenly opened up and a crying, struggling poodle was dropped down for these two ferocious fiends to feast on. This pitiful canine had all the features of – Tony Blair! He was once the UK’s Prime Minister. Bush and Cheney quickly ripped the dog to shreds. The canine would then be renewed to life, lifted up to his high berth and lowered again for another feeding frenzy, which was repeated ad nauseam.

Finally, it was all too much for me. If Virgil were with me, maybe I could have carried on further. I ran towards the door, marked ‘Exit,’ as fast as my feet could carry me. I couldn’t wait to get back to my computer and to let ‘BillyClub’ Hughes know how the Iraqi War’s instigators were paying for their awful sins. (4) When I opened the door and saw the stars in the heavens, I was so happy. If I live long enough, I might publish a sequel to ‘The Divine Comedy,’ on the just fate of these pathetic warmongers.”

Notes:

[1]. Virgil may have had some of the Celt in him, too. See, Will Durant’s, “The Story of Civilization,” Part 3, “Caesar and Christ,” p. 235.

[2]. “Dante’s Inferno,” by Allen Mandelbaum.

[3]. This practice of being known only by your first name, however, shouldn’t immediately bestow genuine credit on any individual’s life or their works, since, today: Cher, Madonna, Prince and that rude a..hole, Geraldo, are also known only by their first names.

[4]. This pundit’s latest Podcasts, under the rubric of “The BillyClub” can be found here: http://web.mac.com/bhughes2/iWeb/The% 20BillyClub/Podcasting/Podcasting.html

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