How the Draft Affects Foreign Policy or Operation Gladiator

You are President Jones.  You are in the Oval Office.  You are there because the door is locked and the windows are pretty tough.  So you are doing what presidents do, talking on the phone.  If you don’t believe me, check out any photo op pictures of any president.  They are always on the phone.

“AWESOME!  You da man, Berli!…  Yeah, your debt is paid in full dude…  Yeah, see you tonight man!”

You press a button to get the line to the Shrew, and she answers, “Yes Sir?”

“Tell Captain Tailhook to get the Mile High Club ready, Operation Road Trip is a go.  Then get me the Drinking Buddies and tell them we are wheels up for Operation Gladiator in two hours.  Remind them not to forget the Friendly Scotsman, Andrew Jackson and the Redneck.”  You’re really getting the hang of the code word.

For you non-presidents, I’ll translate.  What you just said was tell the commander of Air Force One to get the plane ready to go to Rome.  And tell the Joint Chiefs that Operation Gladiator is about to commence so don’t forget the Scotch, Jack Daniels and the beer.  We’ll get to Operation Gladiator in a minute.

A few minutes later the phone rings, it’s the Shrew, “Sir I have Army Chief of Staff, General A. S. Kicker on the line for you.”

“Milli, you’re supposed to use his code name.”

There is a heavy sigh on the line, “Sir, Patton Two is on the line for you.”

“Thank you, Milli, put him through.”

There is a click, “Hello Sir.  I must say, I can’t believe you pulled this off.  I’m curious as to how you talked Made Man into this. Care to share your secret Sir?”

“Oh it was easy, he owed me big money.  I took him to the cleaners at the World Cup.”

“You had inside info on one of the teams?”

“Oh no, it’s soccer, I figured it was 50-50 so I put all my money on red, so to speak, and I got lucky.  It’s not like it’s really my money anyway.”

There’s a raspy chuckle, “Sir, I gotta respect your willingness to take risks.  The last few guys who sat where you are couldn’t change their shorts without a report telling them it was a good idea.  And Yahoo and the Mad Abbot?  How did you convince them to show up?”

“Geez General, you’ve been to the middle east, it’s not hard to talk anybody who lives there into going anywhere else.”

“Yeah, but to get them to meet in the same room…”

“Um… I might have left out that little detail.”

Another raspy chuckle, “I haven’t been this excited about going to a fight since we dropped in on Hussein.”

“Hey General, I got another call, I’ll see you on the plane.”

You press a button and the Shrew is on, “Sir, the Secretary of the Treasury, err, I mean Vampire Bill is asking to talk to you.  He seems pretty upset Sir, something about gambling public funds…”

“Oh crap, um, tell him the money is already back in the bank and I can’t come to the phone, I’m on the Thinker and doing some serious Thinking.  I did eat the chili tacos last night.”

A few hours later, you’re in the dark downstairs VIP room that sports a nice bar and a private boxing ring somewhere in Rome.  At the bar you’re sitting with Patton Two, Admiral Bligh (codename for the Chief of the Navy) and a half dozen of the Men in Black (Secret Service), all of you admiring the, er, culture of the bartender who’s turned around talking on the phone.  Sadly it’s a short phone call and she turns around.  Well, maybe not so sad if you’re a breast man…

She says, in the most wonderful Italian accent, “They said to tell you that Prime Minister Berlusconi would be a little late, there is some kind of problem with the Minister of Economy.  And he said that ‘Yahoo’ is suited up and would be here in a minute?  I think they might have meant Mr. Netanyahu.”

“Excellent,” you say as you hand her back your empty beer mug.

Patton Two chuckles, “Sounds like Made Man might be having a little trouble balancing the budget…”

“Well, as long as they don’t kill him before morning, he’ll make it all back tonight from his cut of the Eye in the Sky.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu steps in, dressed out like a high schooler at gym class complete with sparing head gear, padding and boxing gloves.  He looks at you and seems somewhat dismayed.  “Mr. President, I thought we would be sparing tonight?”

“Benji! No need to be so formal, we’re all friends here, just call me Cheesy.” You give him a big hug, “And I got someone much better for you to spar with than me.  I’d just go down like a wet noodle.  And that makes the Men in Black over there nervous and they’re scary enough without being nervous.”

He looks unsure, “I’m an out of shape old man, I don’t really want to take on any kind of professional…”

“Oh no problem, you’re perfectly matched for this guy.”

Just then one of the Agents Smith standing near the other doorway says, “Sir, the Mad Abbot is ready.”  He opens the door and another man dressed out for gym class steps through, President Mahmoud Abbas.

For a minute they stare at each other like the final scenes of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.  Then Netanyahu says, “Mr. President, you did not tell me that he would be here!”

“I didn’t?  I’m sure I mentioned this was about world peace though didn’t I?  I mean, I can’t just fly around in the Mile High Club for fun you know?”  Everybody glances over at the bar cause of the odd sound of Scotch coming out of Admiral Bligh’s nose.  “Besides… You know you wanna hit him.”  You give him the boxing trainer shoulder rub like he’s Rocky.  “And he sure wants to hit you.”  Abbas starts nodding, while Agent Smith helps him into the ring.  “Come on Benji, get in there and strike a blow for world peace.”

“Ok, yeah, I guess… “ there’s an evil grin on Yahoo now, “I DO want to hit him.  Maybe just once or twice.”

“Great, cause we got fifteen rounds planned.  Admiral Bligh will be the referee and in the unlikely event that there’s no KO, Agent Smith and two of his twins here will be the judges.”

Just as the round one bell rings, Prime Minister Berlusconi arrives, looking a little haggard.  You don’t need to speak Italian to understand the name of the Minister of Economy and that all the other words he said were swearing.  “Did I miss anything?”

“No you’re just in time to make a little wager, I’ll put five hundred large on Yahoo.”

“No way, I’m not taking that bet with your guys as judges.  I got enough problems with the,” he says some more swearing in Italian, “Minister of Economy.”

“Hey they will be perfectly unbiased.  But, I know how you feel, I got my own vampires to deal with.”

Patton Two spins around on his bar stool, “Sir, I’ll call that bet for five large.”

“You’re crazy General, Yahoo has all the mad skills.”

“Yeah but the Abbot is meaner.”

“You’re on.”

An epic battle wages.  There is surprisingly no knock out.  Or pass out.  Or heart attacks.  The bell rings for the end of round fifteen and two old men collapse into their corners, bruised and bloodied.  And grinning.  You can feel the world peace in the air.

The three Men in Black turn around from their huddle to face the spectators.  You ask the one on the left, “So Agent Smith, what’s the decision?”

He points to the man next to him, “Sir, he’s Agent Smith.”

“I really gotta get you guys name tags.  Or numbers… anyway what’s the decision?”

“By a score of 122 to 108, the match goes to Mad Abbot, err, I mean Mahmoud Abbas.”

“WHAT?!?” you cry thinking to yourself, Vampire Bill is not gonna be happy.  Oh well, it’s only five K.

Meanwhile Patton Two jumps off his barstool and does a happy dance most unbecoming an officer, even a drunk general.  “Pay up!” he yells.

A while later, after some awful barfing sounds from the locker room, everybody is back at the bar.  Yahoo with his black eye and swollen cheek is sitting having a drink with his new buddy, the Mad Abbot.  Yahoo gives him a bar napkin to wipe the blood off his nose.

“Thanks.  I have to be honest, Mr. Prime Minister, that was fun.”

“Hey, just call me Benji, that’s the most fun I’ve had since the big party after basic training.  I still think I beat you.  Anyway, I’m just glad that we’re in private so no one saw that.”

You look over toward the new friends, “Um… I think I might have forgotten to mention the Eye in the Sky…”

Benji asks, “What is that?”

“Um… well… it’s our code word for Pay per View.”

“What??” Yahoo and the Mad Abbot say in unison.

“Hey now, we’ve all had to take one for the team tonight.  I just got a call from my buddies at Neilsen and they say I’m now the most popular president since fricken Washington cause of this.  So I’m sure to be drafted for another term.  We’ve all been hurt here is what I’m saying.

But, on the upside, your cut of the proceeds will keep you guys up to your necks in weaponry for the next decade.”

Turning to the bartender, “So how would you like to join the Mile High Club and do something presidential?”


World peace may be more like a journey than a destination.