A Defense Department advisory panel, headed by Richard Perle, has declared the world to be "an immediate threat to American security" and has called for the United States to undertake an immediate preemptive strike against it.
"It's not just Iraq," Perle is quoted as saying. "It's everybody. Certainly it's Saudi Arabia, because they fly on magic carpets and don't buy U.S. aircraft. We must have a regime change there, pronto. And then there's France, where they disdain McDonald's. No way we should tolerate that. An immediate invasion is called for. We must install a McDonald's on the Eiffel Tower instead of that pack of Frogs who run a garlic-infested establishment there now. Of course, there is Japan. Well, they WERE our enemy, so why should we trust them now. Besides, they pose an immediate danger to America because of their unconscionable consumption of vast quantities of raw fish. We need that fish."
Perle recited a long list of "vicious enemies of America," which included Paraguay, for once defeating America in the Davis Cup ("We can't just accept that.") and Barbados, for giving Americans who stay out in the sun too long on the beach, skin cancer. ("Insidious!") "Bash ’em," he yelled. "And don't forget Brazil. They started the samba craze that made Americans forget about fighting necessary wars. It was an obvious ploy to undermine our national defense."
"What about Israel?" an incredulous reporter asked. To which Perle replied, "This really hurts. I thought that was the one country we could exclude, but that kosher business is killing our pork exports. That's no accident."
"Won't this be incredibly expensive?' another reporter asked.
"Not if you do a cost-benefit analysis," Perle explained. "It is cheaper to strike now than to wait. If we wait, it will only get worse. Take China. They are hoarding soy sauce. If we allow this to continue, the cost of a meal at a Chinese restaurant in Georgetown will become prohibitive. And then there is Britain, our oldest enemy. Don't forget that. Their consumption of American navy beans is only ninety percent of our output, down five percent from three years ago. We've got to nip that in the bud."
At this point in Perle's press conference, two men in white coats tip toed in and quickly stuffed him into a straight jacket. They began to haul him away, with Perle screaming and yelling. Donald Rumsfeld, who had been listening attentively, blocked the two men and forced them to release Perle.
"What do you think you're doing?" Rummy demanded. "Apart from myself, this is the only sane man in Washington."
August 7, 2002
Richard Cummings [send him mail] worked for U.S.A.I.D, where he witnessed insanity on a daily basis. He is the author of the comedy, “Soccer Moms From Hell” and the forthcoming novel, The Immortalists.