- The Washington Times - Friday, January 11, 2002

The whole world is waiting for the announcement of the name of the next country where we will attack the terrorist groups they harbor. Will it be Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, the Philippines or Indonesia? Maybe Jersey City because it seems to have been a haven for terrorists?
Haircuts, dentists and dates with hookers (if they are high class) you make by appointment, but not wars. We got away with it twice, and we should not try to push our luck.
We told Saddam Hussein that we were going to attack Iraq, moved next door to his country, and then each evening, for months, the TV news showed more and more tanks, soldiers and planes arriving to prepare for the attack.
Former military officers became well-paid television stars. Becoming television news consultants or military analysts turned into a cottage industry for retired generals and admirals. People were joining the Army just so they could retire and go into television. To induce people to join up, the armed forces was the only business in the world that could boast that you could make more money and become famous after you retired.
The retired generals explained exactly where and when we would strike, what our strategy would be, and how long the war would last. Saddam Hussein didn’t have to go to school to be a general, he just had to watch TV. The first half of the nightly news programs were devoted to stories showing all the men, women and equipment arriving and getting ready for the war, the second half was devoted to pictures of Saddam waving, smiling and chucking children under their chins or posing with his soldiers.
Equipment for the assault on Iraq arrived by plane, boat, camel, parcel post, Western Union, waiters, taxicabs, carrier pigeons and dog sleds. Saddam apparently believed that the TV show would be renewed and go on for at least another two seasons before the stations started the re-runs. However, finally, when there was no room left in the dessert for more deliveries, and the only thing our soldiers lacked was a Burger King, we attacked and Saddam’s army stopped watching television and ran like thieves.
In Afghanistan, when President Bush announced we were going to attack the Taliban (which, we previously thought was the name of a Calypso song), Osama bin Laden apparently didn’t pay his cave’s electric bill and therefore could not hear the president’s speech. So when the attack started the Taliban didn’t know they were supposed to run away and initially put up some resistance. Once they realized they were in a war with people who didn’t have to ride horses to get from one place to another, and who shot back, they also ran like thieves.
We may not get away with our early warning system to dictators a third time. Gen. Eisenhower did not call up Gen. Rommel and tell him not to make any appointments for June 6 because he intended to drop by. Hitler did not look up the area code for Poland and call Gen. Moscicki, and tell him, “Ignacy, keep Sept. 1 free because I intended to visit you that day to start World War II.”
We believe that war should be waged the old-fashioned way. The only people who should know in advance when the attack will come should be the president and the generals who plan the party, and the only factors to be considered should be when we are most ready for, and the enemy is least expecting an attack. Now, of course, if Bill Clinton were still president, bombings would have to be based on distraction the American public’s distraction that is, not our enemies and planned to coincide with the times that the public heat about his adventures in the sex business got too heavy. When Mr. Clinton was president, if our enemies had any common sense they would know the cruise missiles would start flying whenever his sex scandal du jour was getting out of hand. Their military intelligence didn’t have to spend millions of dollars on spies and satellites. They could tell when they were in for it just by buying a copy of the National Enquirer.

Jackie Mason is a comedian and Raoul Felder is a lawyer.

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