In a dark and dank underground suburban bunker somewhere near the outskirts of any American city, a group of aged and tired war-video-veterans gathered together to hear a rallying cry from their Fuhrer. These men were whithered. They seemed a beaten lot. The news from the front had been consistently bad over the last few years. The number of able-bodied men in their unit had dwindled rapidly — there were no replacements coming — they knew that. But still they clung onto some hope, some miracle weapon, that would win the war. The sound of artillery and bombs dropping could be heard as plaster and wood crumbed to the floor.
Hans fiddled with the short-wave radio trying to get optimum reception for Bush’s speech. But nothing was being received except static noize.
“Dumbkoff!” yelled Commando Rich as he nervously paced back and forth amongst the basement ruins. His hands quivered as he held his cigarette between his forefinger and thumb. His once shiny jack-boots were now dusty and torn. A mere image of the glory they once were. Commando Rich’s vision was also now seriously blurred — almost blinded. Not only had his monocle been crushed in a hurried escape from watching an insurgent attack in a Baghdad neighborhood on TV, but his vision, quite frankly, was lost long ago. Oh, how he wistfully dreamed of the days when US tanks rolled into Baghdad with girls in fine flowing dresses kissing the GIs riding on tanks, and throwing flowers. Oh, how he longed for the days of wine and roses; the days when America vas winning der war.
Finally, the short-wave warmed up and crackled and whirred. General Bob, shouted, “Commando Rich, I think I’ve got it!” And sure enough, it was him. The Fuhrer himself. George W. Bush was coming over the radio making a speech to rally the troops. Even though the radio reception was bad, and the voice kept fading in and out, the men gathered in that dusty under-ground bunker listened intently. They drank in every word, wallowed in every sentence, absorbed every sound, breathed every breath. They even smirked every smirk — for even though they could not see the leader — they held his love in their hearts and knew the look of the smirk — and timing — of a true American leader. And that leader was theirs and he was speaking that night. Oh the splendor!
It was an awe-inspiring speech. Full of phrases and different things like that. It was patriotic-jingoism. It was classic Bait-and-switch. It was even more than that. Even though none of the members gathered in that dark den of secrecy knew the meaning of the word Jingoism — or any of those other big words, they knew that when the Fuhrer spoke, it would be in easy to understand words, usually not longer than two syllables, so that even they could understand. Yea, verily, they thought, George W. Bush is a man who can speak to the people.
When the speech ended, the entire room that was filled with joy, quickly sank back into a dark depression. Wilhelm, the wisest and most experienced of the members slowly stood up and looked at the other members gathered around the short-wave.
“The Fuhrer has spoken. I regret to say that he haft said nothing new. I no longer believe that the Fuhrer nor the General Chiefs of Staff haf a plan for winning dis war.”
“Swinehunt!” Yelled Commando Rich as he grabbed for his Lugar replica. “That’s treasonous!”
Wilhelm and Commando Rich began fighting and wrestling for control of the plastic pistol. Finally, Wilhelm grabbed the gun, held Commando Rich’s head down, and pointed it point-blank at Commando Rich’s forehead. “And, vat do you call destroying the Father-land, Commando Rich, eh? You do not call that treasonous?”
The rest of the members all watched on in horror. Would Wilhelm actually fire a very painful BB into the brain of Commando Rich? Just then, General Bob, quickly jumped up and disarmed Wilhelm.
“Gemmelmen. I think the Fuhrer’s speech pointed to the obvious reason that we are losing dis war.”
The men’s eye’s all grew wide, they crawled and huddled near General Bob. He pulled out a map and laid it on the table for all to see.
“You see, gemmelmen, our military cannot be defeated on the battlefield, agreed? Excellent. So why has the tide of war turned against us, hmm?” The men all scratched their heads and played with their shoe-laces. General Bob continued, “What Der Fuhrer was trying to say is that we must all persevere. We must not let the deaths, maiming, and crippling of tens of thousands of American youth — youth that would have become hoodlums or unemployed anyway without the glory of the Fuhrer and Fatherland — we must not let the deaths of people we don’t even know stop us from halting our true enemy, and therefore winning the war.”
The dimly-lit room grew quiet. Finally Commando Bob gathered the courage to speak, "But, mein General, who is this true enemy that you speak of?”
“To tell the truth, gemmelmen, that is exactly why I have asked you to gather here today. Not only to hear the words of our leader but to show you who is causing us to lose this war. Who our true enemy is. This enemy is evil and they must be stopped at all costs or this war vill certainly be lost…. This enemy, this evil, disgusting vermin that must be eradicated; this untermench that is destroying the war effort from within is: The Liberal Mass Media.” General Bob downed the last bit of his Scnapps.
“Gott in himmel!” Cried Wilhelm, “Not the Liberal Mass Media!?”
General Bob slammed his fist of the table. “Ja-wohl. The Liberal Mass Media. It is they who are making us lose this war. Our glorious troops haven’t lost a single battle in Iraq. These are all lies! Lies, I tell you! The most vicious of lies designed to destroy our Fuhrer und Fatherland.”
“But, mein General,” Commando Rich interrupted, “But how?”
General Bob took a deep breath. He looked at every member gathered that night from their once powerful force — he stared straight into their eyes — it was a rag-tag team now — nothing like the heady days. He knew that. But he also knew that he had a duty.
“I am volunteering you all for duty.” General Bob spoke. Three members jumped and tried to run for the stairs leading from the basement but were stopped in their tracks by a BB Lugar shot to the back of the heads. As they laid there on the floor in pain. General Bob’s eyes grew wide. He raised his fist and said, “For Fuhrer und Fatherland. For the glory of George W. Bush and for the defeat of Iraq… gemmelmen, I now pronounce you members of the US 101st Flying Keyboard Brigade. Now get out there and do some propaganda! Zeig heil! Zeig heil! Zeig heil!”
It was a great evening. The men were inspired once again. Inspired as never before! Commando Rich whirred on his Dell 486 computer for the first time in over year. He popped open a Diet Coke. It felt good to be winning the war again.
A big thanks to Steve Trautlein for the hot tip about the 101st Fighting Keyboard Brigade.
Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers [send him mail] was born and raised in the USA and moved to Japan in 1984. He has the distinction of being fired from every FM radio station in Tokyo — one of them three times. His first book, Schizophrenic in Japan, is now on sale.