Announcer: [cue peppy marching music] Here it is, the exciting TV game all America is playing . . . whether they like it or not . . . Worldwide Preemptive War, where members of our studio audience compete for fantastic prizes, like getting out of here alive without a serious injury. Our first contestant is Joe Grunt, from the Topeka, Kansas National Guard . . . COME ON DOWN!
Contestant 1: Hey, wait a minute, I just signed up for a weekend a month.
Announcer: [laughing] Read your contract, son, including the part about stop loss extensions. And our second contestant is George W. Bush from the Texas Air National Guard . . . COME ON DOWN!
Announcer: George W. Bush, COME ON DOWN! . . . [pause] Now they're telling me he never reported for duty after he was transferred out to Alabama. OK then, Dick Cheney, COME ON DOWN!!
Announcer: [pause] What do you mean he said he had other priorities? Hell, just grab three more people without an "R" after their name . . . And now . . . here's the star of our show . . . Booooooooob BURKA!
Bob Burka: Welcome to Worldwide Preemptive War, and the first item we have up for bid is an invasion and occupation of Iraq, estimated to take 6 days, or 6 weeks, I doubt 6 months. Who will guess the closest to the real cost plus, without going over?
Contestant 1: I don't even want to go. I bid 100 billion, Bob, it could never possibly be that much.
Contestant 2: 5 billion.
Contestant 3: 20 billion.
Contestant 4: One dollar, leave me out of it too.
Bob Burka: And the actual final cost of the Iraq war and occupation to the American taxpayer is . . . at least 2 TRILLION DOLLARS. Contestant 1, you WIN! You get to play our first game, "Kill An Insurgent." And if you do, what do we have to give you today?
Announcer: It's a NEW CAR!! . . . The latest model armored Humvee with stylish V-shaped underbody to try to deflect some of the many roadside IED explosions you're sure to encounter in your daily patrols. The fact is, you'll be getting one of the very few of these actually out there. A prize worth 150,000 dollars, for which the Pentagon paid five times that much.
Bob Burka: You know how the game is played, you have 15 seconds to open fire on anything that moves, and if you kill an insurgent, you WIN! Go.
Contestant 1: STOP! [rat-tatta-tat] HALT!! DON'T MOVE!! [ker-pow, boom]
Bob Burka: Well, let's see how you did . . . Oh, I'm so sorry, you killed 19 civilians, including a family of four who could not understand the commands you were shouting at them in English, but you didn't get any insurgents. But wait . . . our judges have ruled that because some of their RELATIVES will now join the insurgency . . . you WIN! Let's have another contestant.
Announcer: Rush Limbaugh, COME ON DOWN!
Announcer: [pause] What are you talking about he had an ingrown hair follicle on his butt, and can't have a job where he has to sit for extended periods of time? Look, just draft . . . uh, I mean take, some high school student with no other chance of sustaining employment in this globally outsourced economy.
Bob Burka: Let's tell our contestants the next item up for bid.
Announcer: Now that we're in Iraq, next we want you to guess how many more years we're going to have to stay there.
Contestant 1: One year, Bob.
Contestant 2: Three years.
Contestant 3: Two years.
Contestant 4: Bring the troops home now! [gets tackled by a dozen security guards and dragged off the stage]
Bob Burka: And the actual length of the occupation is . . . at least 10 years, since none of the leading presidential candidates will even promise we'll be out of there by 2013. You're a winner, Contestant 2! And what do we have for you in our next game.
Announcer: It's a fabulous vacation in sunny Ramadi! . . . Yes, you will be sent on an ENDLESS deployment to the city where the action never stops, conveniently located in the famous Sunni Triangle, with all your expenses paid EXCEPT for long term medical care and rehabilitation, courtesy of the Walter Reed Army Hospital bureaucracy. Estimated cost to the American taxpayer 36 thousand a year, unless you're a contract mercenary, in which case as much as ten times that.
Bob Burka: Now, to win this prize all you have to do is guess which of these quotes is a lie.
[Recording 1] We don't torture.
[Recording 2] We don't eavesdrop without a court order.
[Recording 3] We have not yet decided to bomb Iran.
Contestant 2: But, Bob, they're ALL lies.
Bob Burka: See how easy it is. You're going to Ramadi! And now we come to our final Showcase. Behind one of the doors is an exit strategy, but behind the other is yet more senseless and counterproductive death and destruction. Contestant 1, you have
selected door on the left. Let's see what you've won.
Announcer: It's a hopeless quagmire!! . . . The proportion of the Iraqi people who approve of attacks on Americans will increase ultimately from the current 60 percent to a full 100, while the homegrown insurgency continues to defeat billion dollar technology with weapons improvised from the massive explosives stockpile they looted just after the initial invasion.
Bob Burka: And behind the door on the right, what do we have for Contestant 2?
Announcer: It's a full on regional conflagration precipitated by an attack on Iran without evidence or justification, including the possible fall of Pakistan to jihadist militants, putting operational nuclear weapons in their hands immediately, plus collapse of the global economy from skyrocketing oil prices, and asymmetric terrorist attacks against American interests all around the world.
Bob Burka: Hey, let's give everybody BOTH showcases!
Contestant 2: But you promised there was an exit strategy.
Bob Burka: So I lied. We're not planning on leaving ever.
Bob Burka: [cue music out] Be sure to tune in tomorrow for another Worldwide Preemptive War show. Until then, rest in peace! I mean, bye bye!