Thursday, July 08, 2004


[Some months ago, in a bird-shooting enterprise somewhere near Washington DC]

Vice- president: The polls look bad. We need something. Give us something, Dr. Strangelove.
President: Yeah. Bring it on!
Vice-president: Calm down, Mr. President, and stay away from those pretzels.
President: Have you seen our ratings? And what that maniac Michael Moore is doing to dirty even my blacked-out files? Making fun of my golf drive? Calling me a desertee? Ok if I have some popcorn then?
Dr. Strangelove: Please, Mr. President. This is serious.
President: Ok. Watch this drive.
Dr. Strangelove: Mr. Vice-president, I have a plan that is ideal for your...agenda. To create sufficient misdirection in the months before the election I propose a potential war with China. That might create sufficient diversion to get the president re-elected in the face of even the nearly universal revulsion he is now evoking.
Vice-president: Tell me more.
Dr. Strangelove: I propose that President...form a navy nuclear task force of historically unprecedented proportions and send it to do "exercises" within easy striking distance of China. Ostensibly it will be "about" Taiwan; but as we all know, who gives a strudel about Taiwan except Taiwan.
President: I sure as hell don't. What's a strudel?
Vice-president: I'm listening. Mind if I shoot caged ducks while you talk?
President: Can I shoot too?
Vice-president: Be better if you just shoot some golf balls, Mr. President.
President: Ok, but somebody else better retrieve 'em; no way I'm goin' in there.
Dr. Strangelove: As I was saying, Mr. Vice-president, a nice major task force stationed off the coast of China: accidents can happen, and soon we may very well be embroiled in a war of such proportions that---Heil!! I'm sorry mein--Mr. Vice-president-- the past comes back sometimes...
President: Tell me about it.
Dr. Strangelove: Anyway, Mr. Vice-president, I propose that we give this giant nuclear task force a sweetly innocuous name, like...Operation Summer Pulse. How does that sound?
Vice-president: I like it. Sounds like a surf movie.
President: But what about the Iraqians? And the Afghanistian thing we had going over there? I've got Saddam's pistol, you know. Wanna see it?
Dr. Strangelove: Perhaps later, Mr. President. Mr. Vice-president, the presence of this highly automated nuclear task force within minutes of China will not only offer us the possible diversion of war, it will position us in a major way in Asia and, should we survive as a nation (I have an earlier plan for that), the task force will afford us a measure of control over oil and gas deposits recently discovered in the East China Sea.
Vice-president: Oil and gas? Sounds downright Halliburtonish! Set things in motion, Strangelove.
Dr. Strangelove: Right away, mein Vice-president!!
President: Hey, when does that surf movie start?


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