June 11, 1999 (Ira Pilgrim)

War is Heck!

Time:June 2, 1999

Place:The board room of the General Energetics Corporation.

The president of the company Edward(Daddy) Warbucks is addressing the assembled corporate executives.

Warbucks: I have just received a detailed analysis of of our forecast for the next five years. It concludes that our prospects are brighter than they have ever been, including those at the height of the cold war. Now I would like to hear the specifics from you. Let's start with new orders and inventory.

Woodrow Smith: That's great news, Daddy. At the present time our inventories of missiles are in good shape, but we are expecting orders shortly that are sure to deplete them to the point where we will have to start an intensive program to manufacture more.

Warbucks: Excellent! How about the need for some new models?

Smith: The Air Force would like increased accuracy. They want us to improve our missiles to the point where there will be zero misses and zero misfires.

Archimedes Jones(Science and engineering expert ): That is impossible. No matter how much we improve them, there will always be an occasional misfire and an occasional missile that will miss the target.

Warbucks: We all know that; but the Air Force brass doesn't. All that we have to do is make sure that there are fewer misfires and missed targets in the next model and we will be okay. This can go on forever. Do you agree, Archimedes?

Smith: I sure do, Daddy.

John Veblen(Economist): But sooner or later, the bombing of Serbia will have to stop. What then?

Warbucks: In all probability Milosovic will renege on whatever deal is made and then NATO will start the bombing all over again. But just in case that doesn't happen, a feud is being arranged with Communist China. The combination of Godless Communism and The Yellow Peril should be enough to start another arms race. As you all know, no matter who wins an arms race, we can't possibly lose.

Holly Wood(Public Relations Director): People are bound to protest.

Warbucks: Someone is always protesting. The bombing of Serbia was based on the Serbs engaging in ethnic cleansing, which is one step away from genocide. No one who was shocked at what the Nazis did can fail to support stopping the Serbs at any cost; except, of course, the death of American soldiers. Capturing American soldiers is fine because it provides a new crop of heroes. A couple of bruises rate a Purple Heart and a parade in the soldier's home town. It's great and it's bloodless. It's also civilized; not like the butchery of the two world wars, Korea and Viet Nam.

Seer Anderson(Planning Director): If the government spends more money on military personnel, that might mean less money for the equipment and ordinance that we supply.

Warbucks: No problem there. Congress will simply have to appropriate more money. We have the support of both parties in congress and the president. It looks like we have finally achieved our objective, to have a war that blows up buildings and just kills a few civilians, while our soldiers and airmen are as safe as they would be at home. It also proves that the Hippies were wrong. In this day and age, it's much safer to make war than it is to make love. And arms races, for all we know, can go on forever.

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