Written by Felix Minderbinder
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Topics: Military, Vietnam

Thursday, 1 December 2005

image for Bush Announces ‘Vietnamese' War Victory Strategy
Kissinger helps Bush with new war strategy

BALTIMORE (AP)-At the Naval Academy here on Wednesday, President George Bush unveiled a strategy paper that he says "sets out the path to eventual victory in the war in south Vietnam" in front of hundreds of puzzled military officers and reporters.

Bush then thanked Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State and national security advisor under Richard Nixon, for helping draft the new war policy.

With opinion polls showing more than 75% of Americans now disapprove of his war policy, Bush also stepped up his counter-offensive by declaring US troops could soon be in a position to start coming home.

Yet as with every pronouncement during the course of the war, the President is not giving any guarantees.

Bush's keynote speeches on the war are always delivered in front of a military audience, and today it was the turn of officers at the US Naval Academy in Baltimore to hear his trademark declarations on the war effort.

"We will never back down, we will never give in, and we will never accept anything less than complete victory over the north Vietnamese," (sic) asserted Bush.

Bush came armed with a new policy paper, bearing the erroneous and ambiguous title, "Our National Strategy for Victory in Vietnam" (sic).

The 35-page document insists south Vietnamese (sic) security forces are increasingly able to take the fight to the freedom fighters and leaves open the prospect of US troops starting to leave the country some time over the next 12 months.

The paper, prepared by Kissinger and the National Security Council, says more than 200,000 south Vietnamese (sic) forces are now trained and equipped, but US commanders on the ground point out that only 70 or so can actually operate without US assistance.

The President agreed that the process of bringing south Vietnamese (sic) troops up to speed won't happen quickly.

"Our goal is to train enough south Vietnamese (sic) forces so they can carry the fight, and this'll take time and patience," said Bush. "We are still extracting oil from that country, and guarding its pipelines, while my cronies are benefiting greatly from reconstruction payoffs."

The economic cost of the war is set to deepen, with the White House refusing to rule out reports that another $800 billion is to be spent on training and equipping south Vietnamese forces.

At the end of the speech, one of the naval officers spoke up and asked Bush if he really meant the Vietnamese war, which ended in the 1970s, when the current war was actually in Iraq.

Bush looked embarrassed, thanked the officer, and acknowledged that a typo had apparently slipped by somehow.

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