by Jack Swenson

The beginning of the end of terrorism occurred with the opening of an entertainment park called Terror World on a tract of land outside of Crawford, Texas, in the year 2038 during the administration of Jenna Bush, the first woman President of the United States.

Terror World was the brainchild of an aged Paul Wolfowitz, the architect of the failed invasion and occupation of Iraq in the early years of the century. The elderly functionary generously credited former Secretary of State Colin Powell for sparking the idea with an observation in his memoir Mea Culpa published in 2008. Powell’s notion was that terrorism could not be understood nor defeated unless we were willing to consider the hypothesis that many if not all terrorists had no political agenda or ideology but simply liked to main and kill.

The idea that terrorism against the general population could be reduced or stopped entirely by addressing these base motives grew, Wolfowitz said, over the course of several years as subsequent events convinced him that Powell’s postulate was correct. An example was the failure in 2006 of the Iraqi constitution to undercut the insurgency in spite of the fact that, under pressure from the United States, the document had been amended to Pacify the Sunnis. Indeed, after ratification, violence increased, and before the withdrawal of our troops in 2011, a total of more than thirty thousand U.S. soldiers had died.

Dr. Wolfowitz said that he was also persuaded by his reading of dozens of transcripts of interrogations of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison. To a man the suspected terrorists were unmoved by news of the death of Osama Bin Laden in Islamabad in 2007, but with almost no exception they broke into tears when told that included in the terms of their parole would be the provisions that former prisoners were forbidden to possess weapons of any kind, that they could not ride on busses, trains, or airplanes, and they could not watch American television.

Terror World was an instant success. Planeloads of terrorists were flown in, all expenses paid, to a newly constructed airfield outside of Crawford. The visitors, almost all of whom were young men, many but not all Muslim, were in high spirits if a little rowdy on the flights, according to the stewardesses, although nothing like American football players, they said.

The guests gawked in wonder as they were greeted at the gate by larger-than-life-sized Disney characters in black hoods shooting AK-47s wildly into the air. They would try, often unsuccessfully, to guess the identity of the disguised figures. “There’s Mickey!” a bearded fellow would cry. “No, no,” his friend would say, tugging on the sleeve of the other man’s fatigue jacket. “Look. See the bill? It’s Donald!”

The most popular attraction at Terror World was the double-decker bus that suicide bombers were allowed to ride. The passengers were British felons. Another favorite was a ride on a jumbo jet filled with members of or employees of the New York Times. The jets were escorted by flights of F/A-22 Raptors to the border of California where the pilot was permitted to proceed to a target of opportunity in either San Francisco or Los Angeles. The inaugural flight reduced the Transamerica building in San Francisco to a pile of smoking rubble, eclipsing in the media, for a few days at least, the Barry Bonds, Jr. doping scandal.

Other attractions that were enjoyed by the foreign visitors were the Whack a Jew game and another called Pitch a Bible in the Toilet. The Virgin Brothel was also popular. Since no virgins of any age could be found in the South, the girls had to be imported from small towns in Iowa and Minnesota.

The number of terrorist incidents during 2039, the year following the completion of Terror World, dropped by fifty percent, and the results were even better the following year after an embassy was built and staffed within the confines of the park and the U.S.S. Cole was taken out of mothballs and transported to Lake Arrowhead.

The year after that the number of incidents dropped to fewer than two hundred, and by 2041 not a single terrorist action was reported, which led the President, during her State of the Nation address to declare, “The war is over. Bring the boys home!” And after a snappy salute, she added, “Mission accomplished!”