If there’s one thing worse than all the spam I get, it’s the spam I get from real people. The other day, I was sent a forwarded email that I was sure to find funny and interesting. It wasn’t, and I didn’t.

It was an email that is currently doing the rounds that purports to be Robin Williams’ “Plan For Peace”. It isn’t, by the way, as snopes reveals here, it was just attributed to him because at some point someone appended a Robin Williams quote to the bottom, and it was then interpreted as indicating his authorship of the whole list. Ironically, the quote appended to the bottom seems to present the diametrically opposed viewpoint to that expressed in the rest of the email (unless the whole thing is supposed to be ironic, but I doubt it).

But I digress. The thing that intrigued me about this email, and the reason for writing about it here, was the assertion at the top that it is “hard to argue with [the] logic” of this “plan for peace”. Well, actually, I don’t think it is hard to argue at all. Anyway, that sounds like a bit of a challenge to me, so here goes…

The version of the email I was sent is the one shown on snopes; the original – slightly different – usenet posting is here.

1) The US will apologize to the world for our “interference” in their affairs, past & present. We will promise never to “interfere” again

So no more installing puppet dictators and/or tyrannical regimes around the world in accordance with the needs of the prevailing US foreign policy of the day then? Let me see, Pinochet, Hussein, the Taliban… I could go on, but somehow I don’t think that this kind of interference is quite what they are referring to.

3) All illegal aliens have 90 days to get their affairs together and leave. We’ll give them a free trip home. After 90 days the remainder will be gathered up and deported immediately, regardless of who or where they are. France would welcome them.

4) All future visitors will be thoroughly checked and limited to 90 day visits unless given a special permit. No one from a terrorist nation would be allowed in. If you don’t like it there, change it yourself, don’t hide here. Asylum would not ever be available to anyone. We don’t need any more cab drivers.

It’s depressing enough to hear this kind of right-wing, not-in-my-back-yard attitude expounded in this country by little-England Daily Mail readers et al., but coming from a country of immigrants, it rather smacks of hypocrisy. Of course, if that’s what you want, why doesn’t everybody in the US who can’t trace their roots back to the native Americans pack up and head back to their countries of origin. If the last person out could just turn out the light, that’d be great.

Oh, and no one from a “terrorist nation”? How are you defining that, then? I suppose St Patricks’ Day is going to be a quiet one next year.

6) The US will make a strong effort to become self sufficient energy wise. This will include developing non polluting sources of energy but will require a temporary drilling of oil in the Alaskan wilderness. The caribou will have to cope for a while.

Well, what’s the point of conserving areas of outstanding natural beauty when Soccer Moms have SUVs to drive…

7) Offer Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries $10 a barrel for their oil. If they don’t like it, we go someplace else.

First, perhaps this link might help explain how prices for commodities, such as crude oil, fluctuate according to supply and demand.

Secondly, the obvious fallacy in logic here is that, if you’ve already offered all the oil producing countries $10 a barrel, how are you going to go “someplace else”?

I could go on, but I think I’ve probably made my point by now. Don’t get me wrong, none of these comments are intended to be anti-American in any way, or anything like that. I just object to the circulation of this kind of ignorant, racist, right-wing nonsense and felt the need to respond.

Rant over… for now ;)