Pirates and Emperors - Liberty, Freedom & Justice or Might Makes Right



Well our
Story begins, you know, with old St. Augustine.
Way back in days of old he reported on this theme:
A mighty emperor had caught himself a pirate who
Was a-terrorizin' people who were sailin' on the open seas.

ALEXANDER THE GREAT: What meanest thou by keeping hostile possession of the sea?

PIRATE: What meanest thou by seizing the whole earth; because I do it with a petty ship, I'm called a robber, whilst thou who dost the same with a great fleet art styled emperor.

NARRATOR: And old St. Augustine thought that was a pretty smart answer!

'Cause there are
pirates and emperors, but they're really the same thing
When they go and try to reach the same ends
By using the same means.
Well they do it big
or they do it small
From a little tiny boat,
or from hallowed halls.
Bully is as bully does, that's plain to see.

NARRATOR: Speaking of bullies, what would you say about a gang of vicious, low-down thugs who were trying to overthrow the government by attacking undefended civilian targets like schools, farms, hospitals, & outreach centers?

UNCLE SAM: Why, I'd say they were terrorists!

[BUZZER SOUND and SUPER: "Wrong!"]

NARRATOR: I'm sorry, the correct answer is "Freedom Fighters." At least that's what you called THESE thugs, a.k.a. the Contras, when you funded their campaign of terror and indiscriminate killing to overthrow the government of Nicaragua!

There was trouble in the land of Nicaragua in the '80's, it's true.
And Uncle Sam has always said this kind of thing just really won't do.
So he paid for a bag full of dirty tricks
And turned killers into heroes with a P.R. blitz
Well freedom's sure a funny word for what the Contras did do.

Y'know there are
pirates and emperors but they're really the same thing
Even the ones who say they just wanna let freedom ring.
Well they do it big
or they do it small
But only one goes down when they break the law
While the Big One claims "This really don't apply to me"

NARRATOR: The funny thing about "pirates" and "emperors" is that they often start out as pals who get into a tiff somehow and end up enemies.

KID: You mean like Lex Luthor and Superman!

NARRATOR: Yeah, except Lex Luthor was a nice guy before he lost all his hair, whereas Manuel Noriega, Sadam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden were all known thugs and mass-murderers when they were on Uncle Sam's payroll. That's why they got the job! Either that, or Uncle Sam is just a really bad judge of character.

UNCLE SAM: I don't understand why this keeps happening to me?!

Well not so long ago we thought Saddam here was a pretty swell guy
And we helped him get the goods to make the Ayatollah Khomeini cry
But Uncle Sam decided it was not Saddam's fate
To be the leader of his Middle Eastern client state
That was sitting on top of a big huge oil supply.

Big and little thugs got thuggery in common
Even if one's got stars and stripes on 'im.
Bully is as bully does, that's plain to see.

'Cause if it looks like a duck
And acts like a duck,
And quacks like a duck,
It probably is a duck.
You know a rose is a rose
no matter how much it stinks.

DUCK: I resent that comment.
I'm not a duck, I'm an anti-duck!
I'm a counter-duck!
Well I'm more of a mallard really...
Why, I'm fighting a War on Ducks!
Any ducks come around here, I'm gonna blast 'em!