Courtesy of The Onion:
WASHINGTON, DC—Preparing for a showdown with Iraq, President Bush deployed more than 15,000 very special U.S. forces to the Persian Gulf Tuesday.
Above: Sgt. Tommy Dolber, who loves baseball and rollerskating, leads a group of very special forces in maneuvers near the Iraq-Kuwait border.
Bush said the objective of the mission, named Operation Great Job!, is twofold: to force Saddam Hussein to comply with U.N. weapons inspectors currently in the country, and to provide America's very special forces with a positive, rewarding, esteem-building experience.
"With Operation Great Job!, we send the message loud and clear to Saddam Hussein that his longtime defiance of the U.N. and international law will not be tolerated," Bush said. "We also send the equally important message to our own troops that what's important is not whether you defeat the enemy, but that you try your best and have fun."
Added Bush: "Hooray, U.S. troops!"
At a Pentagon press conference, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld expressed confidence that the mission will be successful.
"I have full faith that our troops will do a terrific job in Iraq," Rumsfeld said. "But even if they make a few mistakes, we'll still be very, very proud of them."
Rumsfeld stressed that the safety of America's special forces is his number-one priority. To reduce the risk of injuries, he has urged all U.S. troops to tie their shoelaces "nice and tight."
"Whenever you're in a combat situation, there's inevitably going to be some running involved," Rumsfeld said, "and the last thing we want is for any of our soldiers to trip and fall."
Morale is said to be high among the very special forces, who were flown Monday from Sheppard Air Force Base to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in a squadron of specially modified C-130 "short planes." Upon arriving, the troops were given a thorough mission debriefing by Gen. James Herzog and a butterscotch-pudding snack cup. Each soldier was then issued an AR-15 rifle, three clips of NATO 5.56mm rounds, a combat helmet with a velcro safety-strap, and a fanny pack with his name written on it in black magic marker.
Above: A C-130 "short plane" transports a battalion of very special forces to the Gulf.
"We are going to win the war," said Pvt. Richie Ammaker of Hagerstown, MD, eating his snack cup with a Capri-Sun juice-pak. "I love to clap and sing along to the music!"
"Col. Gene [Diering] says that if we take out the communications tower in Al Basrah, we can have a pizza party," Pvt. Josh Paretsky of Midland, TX, said. "Pizza party! Pizza party! Pizza party!"
"You're pretty," Paretsky added. "Will you marry me?"
Gen. Thomas Merritt, who is overseeing Operation Great Job!, said the troops are thoroughly prepared for what lies ahead.
"We have gone over maneuvers and protocol in exhaustive detail, and we have all marked down our special targets in our special notebooks," Merritt said. "The soldiers know they are not to wander off from the group. They know they are to use inside voices when in enemy territory. And they know they are to go to the bathroom prior to all ground assaults. This group is ready."
Merritt went on to note that, despite the very special nature of the mission, strict military discipline will be enforced, including mandatory quiet-room "time-outs" for any soldiers who begin "acting out" or displaying inappropriate behavior in combat situations.
According to Secretary of State Colin Powell, the length of the mission depends upon the performance of the troops.
"Hopefully, all will go well, and our very special forces will be back home within a week," Powell said. "But if there are setbacks, such as soldiers losing their keys, having trouble staying on task, or forgetting to take their pills, it could take longer."
Regardless of the outcome on the field of battle, Powell said America's fighting forces will emerge as "big winners."
"These soldiers will have the chance to strike a blow for global democracy and make lots of new friends in the process, so how could they possibly lose?" asked Powell, who noted that every soldier who participates in Operation Great Job! will receive a shiny medal. "This is truly going to be a very special invasion."