Dear Philippine Government,
Filipino taxpayers do not pay you to waste time advertising your thin-skinned pettiness by drafting official statements about jokes made by foreign comedians following the shameful servility you exhibited to the world in the face of terrorist intimidation. Get back to work, because you may soon have a rash of kidnappings of Filipinos to deal with, both locally and abroad, inspired by your response to the Khaled bin Al Walid Brigade.
I sure hope Leno’s writers get wind of these reports: it could make comedy gold for minutes on end. Welcome, Philippines, to the “laughing stock of the world” box. For the next fifteen minutes, you get to sit beside France. (Sarcastic, double-edged link intended. Besides, Leno isn’t so funny; Conan is where the good stuff is.) And Leno gets to join Claire Danes and Howard Stern in the panoply of American celebrities who have managed to raise the all-too-easily inflamed ire of Filipinos’ media-induced public opinion.
Meanwhile, Filipino troops have finished vacating Iraq, with still no official word from the terrorists on the hostage’s condition. Antiwar and anti-American ideologues are hailing the pullout as an act of “defiance” to US interests on Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s part, but defiant courage had little to do with it so much as the fear that a hostage’s head might be cut off by a gang of hooded kidnappers. Right action, wrong reasons, all too late.
Update: Hostage freed! Praise God for little blessings. Now prepare for the onslaught.