The War Roundup

Bush Administration Demands that Iraq Prove Absence of Weapons

The Bush Administration continues to insist that even though UN weapons inspectors have not found a "smoking gun," war can only be prevented if Saddam Hussein provides proof beyond a reasonable doubt that he does not harbor weapons of mass destruction.

"This is not about weapons inspectors finding anything, but about Saddam Hussein giving up what he claims does not exist," explained Paul D. Wolfowitz, U.S. Deputy defense secretary. Mr. Wolfowitz said that proving a negative has always been part of the original UN war resolution. Mr. Wolfowitz also mentioned additional obligations that Saddam Hussein must discharge "in weeks, not months" to prevent a US invasion. Among other things, he must prove that he was not the second gunman in the JFK Assassination and that he is not responsible for crop circles. Secretary of State Colin Powell, once considered the only moderating voice in the Bush Administration, said that he is now convinced that an immediate U.S. attack is necessary, especially after the French, who oppose the war, had been so rude to him during last night's state dinner.

Osama bin Laden Surfaces--But No One Cares

Osama bin Laden appeared on Al Jazeera, the Arab TV network, to remind the world that he is still alive and kicking. Bin Laden is distraught that Saddam Hussein displaced him as the most evil person on earth. He pleaded, "Praise be to Allah, I survived the attack from the crusader armies of Bush and Blair. But now they have somehow forgotten that I, and not the infidel Hussein, am their greatest enemy."

Bin Laden challenged the U.S. military to hand-to-hand battle and provided the date, time and street intersection where he will be waiting. "Do not be fooled by the dialysis machine. I am as strong as a lion, and I will be wearing Converse high tops and an Oakland Raiders jersey so no one misses me."

Bin Laden apologized to U.S. Special Forces for having previously escaped their grasp by giving his cell phone to a subordinate, whom the Special Forces tracked while bin Laden made his escape through the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. "There will be no decoy this time. The West has been asking who the real Osama bin Laden is. Well, here I am."

U.S. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld dismissed bin Laden as irrelevant. "Germany and France are old Europe. Bin Laden is old terror. Neither will diminish our resolve." Tony Blair, prime minister of Great Britain, issued his latest blanket statement endorsing everything the USA does, has done, or ever will do.

Rumsfeld Clarifies Views on Draftees

Following his apology to veterans' groups for saying that military draftees provided "no value" to the country, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld clarified his views. "What I meant is that only the draftees who fought on the front lines during Vietnam had no value. That's why we put them there. They were of no value to the country, but as human fodder, they sure came in handy, and the country appreciates their sacrifice. Disposability is its own virtue. If a young man was of any value whatsoever to the country -- measured by universally accepted indices, such as net worth and membership in Yale's Skull and Bones Society -- he qualified for deferment, National Guard duty, or his own AM talk radio show."

Upon hearing this explanation, the Veterans of Foreign Wars invited the Defense Secretary to further make his case to them in person, unaccompanied, in the back alley of their organization's headquarters.

Bush Threaten Iraqis With War Crimes

President Bush today raised the threat of war crime prosecution against any Iraqi general who uses chemical or biological weapons against U.S. troops. Mr. Bush made it clear that, "You may shoot, knife, bomb, stone, rope, decapitate, strangle, or disembowel our young men and women, but we will not allow you to gas them. If you do, you'll be tried as a war criminal." The White House immediately retracted the statement, however, upon realizing that the U.S., at the behest of the President, had refused to join the International Criminal Court, the recognized forum for prosecuting war criminals.

PETA Calls For "Cruelty-Free" War

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) delivered a boatload of vegan cookies during Christmas to the Navy crew aboard the USS Truman. PETA was seeking to promote vegetarianism among the troops and considered the sweet treats to be the "best weapon in the war against cruelty to animals." The controversial animal rights group now is revving up its anti-meat campaign for Valentine's Day. PETA is mailing candy heart boxes to thousands of U.S. and British troops. The boxes contain vegan chocolates and a card with a "Valentines don't eat other Valentines" message.

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk explained, "Even as bombs are dropping around and bullets are flying, we're hoping that by turning to a vegetarian diet during combat, our brave men and woman in uniform will make this a cruelty-free war." Ms. Newkirk insisted that she was not under the influence of hallucinogens.

Oscar Gonzalez is a lawyer and writer of satire who lives in Dallas, Texas.

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