September 25, 2002

War! What's it Good For?

“Tell us commander, what do you think? / Cause we know you love all that power. / Is it on then, are we on the brink? / We wish you’d all throw in the towel.” –Men at Work, “It’s A Mistake”

Who knew that early 1990s nostalgia would surface so soon? It still seems like yesterday I was almost 11 years old, watching the Gulf War on television. Man, am I glad I kept my 8-but Nintendo, my “Too Legit to Quit” cassette, my “Cha-Ching!” Saints shirt and my slap bracelet all these years, because it’s 1991 all over again!

Now the same people who brought us the smash Gulf War miniseries are gearing up to bring us what promises to be a bigger, badder and even bloodier sequel. Gulf War 2: Back in the Habit—this time, it’s personal! Coming to a home theater of war near you.

The sequel brings back most of the major players from the first flick, including Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and lots of filthy chemicals. George W. Bush takes over the role made famous by his father, George H.W. Bush, bringing less depth to the part. Rumor has it that Saddam Hussein has a brief cameo role, but you really have to watch for it.

Seriously, WHAT ON MARS IS BUSH THINKING? We haven’t even finished digesting Osama bin Laden and already we’re shoving in Saddam Hussein? Biting off more than we can chew is a sure way to choke.

Bush is calling for war in Iraq, a major player in his “axis of idiocy,” yet virtually no one else is picking up the phone/ Too bad, because he could regale them with song: “War on Iraq is too legit, too legit to quit. Hey haaaa-eeey, hey haaaaaaay!! Too legit, too legit to quit!”

How serious of a threat is Iraq to the rest of the world? Bush chose to plead his case for war to the United Nations on Sept. 12, one day after the regurgitation of American war fever. Like any great comedian, Bush has a terrific sense of timing.

Still, the UN cannot see the virtue of ousting Saddam. But think of the benefits, guys: a pro-U.S. government in Iraq! No more weapons of mass destruction to U.S. weapons of mass destruction! Revenge! And, of course, the clincher: lots and lots of oil for the United States!

Guess the only way to strike back at a state for repeatedly violating the UN is to, uh, violate the UN.

Why don’t they just drop the whole Sept. 11 charade and admit they want revenge for 1991? Absolutely nothing ties Iraq to any terrorist front; in fact, the chances of secular Saddam hooking up with the zealots of al-Qaida are about the same as his joining forces with us. Oh, wait, he did!

Once upon a time, back in the glorious 1980s, the United States had two wonderful allies in those zany Saddam and Osama characters. Saddam fought evil religious bigots from Iran while Osama helped fight evil godless commies from the Soviet Union. Because they were aiding U.S. interests, we hooked them up with all of the arms and other goodies the Second Amendment would allow to help them in their quests.

Years later, to paraphrase the old Dentyne commercial, those two were so good they bit us back. Our leaders should consider this tidbit of trivia before deciding to topple the Iraqi government. After all, as the history teacher said to the class, “those who fail history are doomed to retake it.”

Today’s nation-building breeds tomorrow’s terrorist. If we are wise, maybe we can install a successor with an appropriately evil name so that in 2012 we can have our fancy Terrorist of the Decade and eat him too.



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