Bushwald Plan for Conquering Iraq Without Bloodshed
February 26, 2003
By Art Bushwald
Today's biggest news is the stand-off with Iraq, one of
the three members of the dubious "Axis of Evil". According
to the Dubya administration, the Iraqi leader, the bloodthirsty
tyrant Saddam Hussein, has (or will have, at some point in
the murky future) the ability to launch weapons of mass destruction
against the United States. If we don't take immediate action
against this threat, we are told, Saddam could wipe us off
the map. In the meantime, we were advised by our government
to buy duct tape and plastic sheeting to protect the interiors
of our homes from a chemical or biological attack that may
or may not be originating from Baghdad.
Actually, this type of sensationalism is nothing new. The
original "duct and cover" age was the 1950s and early 1960s,
and the boogeyman back in those days was not an Iraqi from
the Axis of Evil but a Russian from the Evil Empire. In those
days, schoolchildren watched videos of a cute little turtle
telling them to get under their desks ("duck") and hide ("cover")
should the Crazy Cossack ever decide to push the proverbial
Of course, that scenario never materialized. In fact, not
only did it not materialize, but the Evil Empire itself eventually
disintegrated into its constituent republics.
To hear conservatives tell it, US president Ronald Reagan
singlehandedly brought down this evil nemisis merely by outspending
it on defense. At first glance, this may seem like a simplistic
explanation of a complex situation, but after long consideration,
I thought, what if the conservatives are right? What if all
it takes to bring down evil enemies is to outspend them on
Thus, after more thought I have decided to propose the Bushwald
Plan for Conquering Iraq Without Bloodshed. It would work
something like this:
First, we would have to find an intermediary, someone who
has been trusted by both sides, to arrange for a friendly
game of High Stakes Defense Spending between Dubya and Saddam.
I think there are two obvious choices.
One is Vice President Dick Cheney. According to the Financial
Times of London, Mr. Cheney would be a natural because his
company, Halliburton, was instrumental in helping to refurbish
Saddam's oil fields in 1998 despite the general economic sanctions
against the Iraqi dictator, so Saddam owes the vice president
a return favor.
The problem with Cheney, though, is that he is a very busy
man. When you consider how much time he spends just to run
the shadow government, chair secret energy meetings, attend
discreet fundraising events, and keep one step ahead of the
federal marshals who want to serve him with a subpoena about
the aforementioned secret energy meetings, there just wouldn't
be enough time in the day for him to pencil in an appointment
with a former client.
The second choice would be Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
As you may recall, Mr. Rumsfeld was special envoy to Iraq
under Reagan, and met with the Iraqi strongman to extend the
hand of friendship between our two countries and show support
for Iraq's determination to stop the Iranian Revolution in
I can just imagine that a reunion between Rumsfeld and Saddam
would be quite a heartwarming event for both men.
Saddam (extending his hand): Rumsfeld, you desert
scorpion! Haven't seen you in a long time! Allah, it must
be, what, 20 years since you last came to offer me some weapons
of mass destruction?
Rumsfeld: Yeah, it's been a while.
Saddam (bringing out old photo showing the two shaking
hands in 1983): You old son of a jackal, you! Except for a
little less hair, you haven't changed a bit!
Rumsfeld: And neither have you, Saddam! (Gives Saddam
a big bear hug). Look, Saddam, I've got a favor to ask you.
Saddam: Sure, anything, you old hyena, you!
Rumsfeld: Dubya's looking for an opponent for a friendly
game of High Stakes Defense Poker. Are you up to it? It would
be played at the Lazy W Saloon in Crawford, Texas.
Saddam: Texas, huh? How do I know that you won't arrest
me if I set foot in your country?
Rumsfeld: I can guarantee that you will be extended
the same courtesies that the bin Laden family were given when
they were stuck in the US after September 11.
Saddam: You mean if my crazy son decides to launch
some sort of terrorist attack, you'll let me get my butt out
of your country pronto?
Rumsfeld: We give you our word.
Saddam: OK, I'm in!
Rumsfeld: One condition, though -- you have to let
Dubya wear the white hat! This is the photo-op of the century,
and Dubya wouldn't be caught dead wearing a black hat!
Saddam: Agreed! I've always been partial to black,
So Saddam goes to Texas to play Dubya's favorite game at
the Lazy W. The game goes something like this:
Saddam: I'll bid five old SCUD missiles, a half-dozen
cannisters of unusable mustard gas, a battalion of dilapidated
tanks, a gross of AK-47 rifles cannibalized for parts, and
ten bombed out radar installations.
Dubya: I'll see your bid, and raise you one space-based
missile shield, a hundred B-52s, ten destroyers, fifteen aricraft
carriers, and 800 cruise missiles.
Saddam: You've busted me! I can't come anywhere near
Dubya: I win! I win! Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah! I win!
Saddam (severely dejected): OK, effendi, you win.
I give up.
So that would be it. The Iraqi crisis would end peacefully,
and once again Francis Fukuyama could claim that history has
officially ended and humanity could now live in peace and
harmony forever and ever.