The Biden Monologues
Joe Biden once had a plan for Iraq. Many kept a distance from it. It was embarrassing. He didn’t even want it brought up during the campaign, and many pro-Obama journalists obliged. Consequently, I find the recent headlines that say that Biden is “the man with the alternative plan” for Afghanistan strange and worrying. First of all, I’d like to know who is bringing him into those grown-up strategy meetings at the White House? What’s next? Getting him a chemistry set? I worry, I really do.
Here’s what I imagine Biden saying at the meetings:
“We don’t need more troops in Afghanistan. General McCrystal is a fool. There’s nothing in his report about building a Death Star. Gentlemen, Hillary, we need to built a Death Star. That is the only way we shall be able to zap Al-Qaeda with an intergalactic laser. We should also ask Congress to allocate funds in the next fiscal year for a Drone Army. I put myself forward as the prototype for the clones, what with my awesome pectorals and head full of hair, I am the Warrior Knight personified.
“Otherwise, we must ambush the Taliban. Turn the tables on them. We shall wait for them to wade through a stream, and then, when they least expect it, we’ll drop a toaster in the water, with a really long extension cord, from one of our satellites. Zap, zap, bzzzzzztttt. No more Taliban. I am not wedded to this plan; I may contemplate exchanging an AM/FM clock radio for the toaster. Or a hairdryer. I own a hair-dryer that you can have. I have many hairdryers because I have a lot of hair. On my head. Here, look. Don’t touch.
“The CIA must recruit handsome pigeons. Otherwise, we can recruit ordinary looking pigeons and give them expensive plastic surgery treatments, feather-implants and what not. These pigeons will be trained to intercept and seduce the female carrier pigeons that work for Al-Qaeda. Once in the love claws of our feathery boys, they’ll lead them on and then break their little pigeon hearts. Al-Qaeda’s pigeons will be forlorn and crestfallen. That’s when we get all Manchurian Candidate on their tails. We’ll program them to lay Hellfire eggs, right inside the cavernous lairs of the terrorists.
“Afghanistan must be partitioned along elevational lines. High altitude Afghans cannot get along with low altitude Afghans, not with the valley people hogging all the oxygen. I propose three regions for the country: below sea-level to 2000 feet, 2000 feet to 4000 feet, and 4000 feet and above. We’ll build giant fans in the valleys, pointed upwards, to ensure proper circulation of oxygen to the mountaintops. Equitable distribution of oxygen will give the various segments of the multi-elevated Afghan people room to breathe. “But what about transportation for the ‘4000 & Abovers’ demographic?” you say. I have one word for you: circus acrobats. Those high wire performers can carry several 4000 & Abovers on their shoulders as they move from one mountaintop to another. I can anticipate your next thought: yes, we need to fund and train a Circus Corps, alongside our other military formations. Which brings up another point, do our intelligence services have enough highly experienced mimes in their ranks?
“We must reassure the American public. How about a headline: “White House: U.S. Will Not Pull Out of Afghanistan.” Get the Associated Press on the line. We should also add that U.S. troops will remain in Wyoming. And that rabbits will continue to be fluffy. Wait. Is there such a thing as carrier rabbits? Could Al-Qaeda be using rabbits instead of pigeons? Just to be on the safe side, get the CIA to breed extra-fluffy rabbits.
“I know how to fix this Iran pickle. We will give them nuclear weapons. That way they won’t go sneaking behind our backs, enriching uranium, and breaking the law. Once they have them, then they’ll get bored, and quickly get back to lighting kittens on fire. Oooh, those incorrigible little rascals!
“I shall challenge Putin to a bout of wrestling. We’ll get all oiled up, in the Turkish fashion. I shall establish my alpha-maleness. I am sure I will win. I have more hair than Putin. On top. Don’t touch."
It is at this point at the meeting when President Obama looks up and asks, "Muffins. Everyone likes muffins. I certainly do. How about a strategy of 'muffin engagement'? Would Chavez say no to a muffin? With colorful sprinkles?"
After all they'd heard, everyone in the room agrees that the president's plan is brilliant. Following an initial wave of disbelief, Hillary will shake her head, shrug her shoulders, and say, "Fuck it. 'Muffin Engagement' you said? Sure Mr. President, I'll get my Assistant Secretary for Baked Goods on it right away," grumbling under her breath, "It's not my f-ing presidency." Secretary Gates leans in and whispers to her, "Don't forget the sprinkles."
Teleprompter is switched off. Meeting is adjourned.
[Some humor is necessary from time to time. I really hope the Obama administration decides quickly on fighting the good fight in Afghanistan. Defeating Al-Qaeda and the Taliban is not America's sole responsibility, yet it is everyone's gain. Here's to hoping that the European allies don't wuss out. I may not want Obama re-elected in 2012, but I don't want to see America fail or weaken during his presidency. It may be easy to turn Biden into a caricature, but he's a man of experience and (some) smarts. However, I think his 'alternative' plan to disengage militarily from Afghanistan, while keeping Al-Qaeda on guard through airstrikes, is impractical. Obama will eventually have to follow his general's recommendation: 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Doing otherwise, or half-assing it, is not sustainable on any political level. I'm so glad that no such hard decisions need to be taken on Iraq, which is doing fine comparatively.]