Communists are long out of vogue, welfare moms are so 1995, and Osama has taken the reclusive shtick a little too far for our short attention spans. My fellow Americans, we obviously-desperately-need a new super-villain to fear, a new reason to circle the wagons, surrender our rights, and embrace a lifetime of Code Orange. Well, hold on to your yellow ribbons, put down your cell phones, and take a good look what the Federal Bureau of Investigation has just dropped on our collective doorstep: a 95-pound, 51-year-old homeless Iranian widow with severe digestive problems (from Queens, no less). Armed only with a tattered coffee cup, a shopping cart overflowing with newspapers, and a name that will make Hollywood drool, say hello to our latest national nightmare: Zeinab Taleb-Jedi.
Don’t let those dirt-infested shopping bags fool you. Pay no mind to her swollen feet or malodorous haze. Two informers have sworn that our homeless Jedi was indeed a member of the leadership council of the Iranian resistance group People’s Mujahedeen, described by the Associated Press as a "heavily armed, Iraq-based terrorist organization." Our queasy Jedi, the informers say, was "responsible for making leadership decisions for the organizations, including approving specific acts of terrorism." No word yet on how an infirm homeless woman no bigger than a sixth grader managed to handle such demonic duties but we should never underestimate the craftiness of a terrorist named Jedi.
Besides, I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking "summer blockbuster" here. Someone get Bruce Willis’ agent on the phone because this might be his most formidable opponent yet: a pint sized femme fatale with acid stomach…and, of course, The Force on her side.
The New York Times reported that Ms. Taleb-Jedi is an American citizen who "came to the United States in 1978 to work on her master’s degree in political science in Atlanta." (Note to screenwriters: possible CNN/Ted Turner angle here). Taleb-Jedi eventually lived for a short time in Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Park Avenue Women’s Shelter in Manhattan, a facility designed to house older women with mental health disorders. However, beneath that ingenious façade of fragility, all the while she was seeking "the violent overthrow of the Iranian government."
Meanwhile, Taleb-Jedi’s unpatriotic lawyer, Justine Harris, says her client is merely "a middle-age woman with absolutely no record." Nice try, Justine. Tell it to Al-Jazeera. The next you know, she’ll be saying Saddam didn’t have weapons of mass destruction. Some folks just can’t stop blaming America first and it’s people like her that force our poor democracy-loving leaders to use torture.
If Jedi’s lawyer wants to know why a frail middle-age homeless widow would resort to a life of terror, she need only recall the words of President George W. Bush who, in 2002, spoke eloquently about "a group of killers, people who hate." The Commander-in-Chief went to explain that this group of killers really hates "the idea that somebody can go buy a home."
As they say in South Florida: Bingo.
The next time you step over a homeless person or switch subway cars to avoid having to smell one, stay vigilant. You don’t want to fall victim to the Revenge of the Jedi Bag Lady.
By Mickey Z.
October 3, 2006