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Cheney Offends Everyone

FULTON -- Returning to the historic Missouri site of Winston Churchill's landmark speech, Vice President Richard Cheney's attempt to rally support for an increasingly unpopular war in Iraq created a firestorm of protest and recrimination from across the political spectrum.

"An 'Iron Burka' has descended across the Middle East," intoned Cheney to an audience at Westminster College. "And after the events of September 11, the civilized world can no longer dance around the issues of international terrorists and the dictatorial regimes which support them."

The Arab street immediately erupted in demonstrations against the United States and President George W. Bush. Palestinian gunmen shut down the local GAP store Thursday in Gaza City, writing on the door that the store would remain closed until "Arrogant American Aesthetic Agitators" apologize to Muslims for offending their religion, culture, values, appearances, dress, sexual mores and delicate sensibilities, Palestinian security sources told CNN.

The speech, which was originally titled "The Sinews of Terrorism" by the White House, was instantaneously dubbed the "Belly Dancing Bombshell" by cable pundits.

The Belly Dance or bellydance (possibly a mis-transliteration of the dance style Beledi or Baladi) is a Western name coined for a style of dance developed in the Middle East and other Arabic-influenced areas. Belly dancing legitimizes the natural "roundness" of the female body, in contrast to the modern Western cultural preference for flat stomachs. Most of the basic steps and techniques used in belly dance are circular motions isolated in one part of the body, i.e., a circle parallel to the floor isolated in the hips or shoulders. Accents using "pop and lock" where a dancer either shimmies or makes a striking motion in her shoulders or hips are common, as are feats of flexibility, rolling one's stomach muscles, balancing various props like baskets, swords or canes, and dancing with chiffon or silk veils.

Democrats were quick to pounce on what was portrayed as traditional Republican insensitivity to people's feelings.

"This incident just goes to demonstrate the 'I Dream of Jeannie' mentality of the Republican Party," complained House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. "There is a Culture of Concubines that has no place in our government and must be rooted out of this administration."

New polls taken after Cheney's speech show President Bush's job approval rating plummeting among all groups, except the highly coveted demographic of males aged 18-34.



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