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28 Months Later

War zombies still walk among us

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Twenty-eight months ago, the Bush administration sent US troops to invade Iraq, supposedly because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, harbored terrorists, was going to attack the world with chemical weapons, etc., etc., blah blah blah. In Bush's fratboy psyche, Saddam was a modern Hitler and we were going to kick his ass.

These days, we know Bush and Co. lied through their teeth in order to go to war. And the result? A brutal quagmire that didn't have to happen. More than 1,700 of our soldiers are dead, more than 13,000 wounded; we're spending $5 billion a month, US credibility is weakened around the world, we've inspired a whole new generation of terrorists, and there's no exit in sight. Now, after the London bombings, all that PR nonsense about fighting terrorists in Iraq so we don't have to fight them at home has blown up in the bullshitters' faces. Our great protectors have taken to following Pakistanis in Lodi, CA, looking for phantom al-Qaeda cells.Trouble is, the people who got us into our current nightmare still won't admit the whole thing was an epic-scale screw-up. In fact, Bush went on TV a couple of weeks ago to tell America that things in Iraq are actually, umm, going well; no really. . . and all we need to do is, umm, keep doing more of the same. 'Cause W says so.

You may think it's a coincidence that since we invaded Iraq, there's been a surplus of zombie flicks: 28 Days Later, the Dawn of the Dead remake, and now Land of the Dead. But you'd be wrong — dead wrong. It's no coincidence at all. Zombies are walking among us now — war zombies, that is. These new examples of the living dead are people like the Prez and numerous others who don't realize their rationales and excuses are history, kaput, finished, defunct, d-e-a-d. And yet they still roam the streets and airwaves, blathering on, talking about "freedom's on the march," as if everything has worked out just the way they planned.

Truth be told, these poor zombies can't help themselves — they're still infected with the war virus that got us into this mess in the first place. We say it's time they recover from this disease and return, safe and sane, to the real world. To that end, our special CL Zombie Intervention Squad got together and designed individualized plans for ten known war zombies, both major and minor, national and local, in order to bring them back to reality. Remember — Dawn of the Dead taught us we can never stop taking zombies seriously, no matter how slow and dense they may seem.

ZOMBIE #1: VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY

QUOTE: "The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency." — June 20, 2005

INTERVENTION: Donald Rumsfeld says the insurgency could last up to 12 years and the Prez admits it's going to be a "long, tough road." Clearly, Dick, you are out of sync with your team. As a former corporate honcho, you're no doubt familiar with team-building exercises, so get ready. Your intervention will consist of taking part in an intensive regimen of team-building, led by experts from Harvard Business School. Maybe you'll rejoin the reality-based community after participating in popular team-building games, such as "Falling Backward Into the Arms of Your Teammates," "Group Pull-ups," "Welded Ankles" (maybe inspired by Abu Ghraib), "Switch/Change/Rotate" (currently used in trying to save Karl Rove's hide) and "Vision Quest." We've saved the best for last: the infamous "High Ropes Course" — 30 feet up in the trees, wearing harnesses and helmets, and walking on cables or logs. It might be a little rough on the old ticker, but hey, at least you'll be rehabilitated.

ZOMBIE #2: PAUL WOLFOWITZ, FORMER DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY, CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD BANK

QUOTE: "For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on." — Vanity Fair, July 2003

INTERVENTION: Paul, for bureaucratic reasons, we've decided that as the leading neo-conservative theoretician, your intervention will involve delivering a series of lectures to top staff members at the White House, the Defense and State Departments, all Republican members of Congress, and the White House press corps. Your talks will explain why the reasons you and your cohorts gave for invading Iraq were completely off the mark, and how you managed to "fix the intelligence," to quote the Downing St. memo, in order to justify the attack. You will continue lecturing, you might almost call it filibustering, until everyone is convinced of the errors of their, and your, ways. Oh, and the whole thing will be broadcast on Al-Jazeera and PBS (which will get extra funding to accommodate you).

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