Last Thursday George Bush made a secret visit to Iraq to announce the launch of a new employment program to put the people of Iraq 'Back to Work.'
Under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, the 'Iraqi people did not have the opportunity to reach their potential', according to the U.S. president.? Here is a transcript of his speech to American troops:
'My fellow Americans, we realize that the major reason we are being attacked by the Iraqi people is not because we are an occupying force trying to steal their oil.? The real reason Iraqis are attacking us is that they have too much time on their hands.? That is to say, if they had to work 14 hours days they'd have no time or energy to be lobbing rockets at our troops.? That's why we are going to implement the 'Shock and Awe' Job Plan.
First, we will use a strategic Harvard model to determine job 'opportunities'.? This model worked well in South Central L.A., which looks a lot like the heavily bombed parts of Baghdad.
'Then we will provide training with highly skilled U.S. Marine Sergeants and Starbucks management.
'First up in the job field: more employment in pumping oil into U.S. tankers.? This highly paid job is the key to Iraqi reconstruction. They give us all of their oil and in return, we give them a blueprint of how to rebuild their country.? Then they borrow the money from us to rebuild.? It's been a highly successful model that has worked well for Argentina, Poland and Enron.
'There are so many other opportunities.? For example, you would think that the dozens of Saddam look-a-likes would be unemployable, but nothing could be further from the truth.? We have a plan.? Once they grow back their mustaches (and our intelligence says they all shaved) then they can get jobs in the new Saddam and Sons Horror Museum.? It's easy work.? All they have to do is stand around like statues and every now and then jump out at Iraqi visitors and scream, 'I'm back.'? Should be good for lots of laughs and, of course, there will be many jobs for ticket takers.
'Also, there is a great need for part-time people to clean the sand out of the fax machines in our tanks.?Since we'll be there for a long time, this is a job with a future.
'There will also be a lot more jobs in museums for people to glue artifacts back together.? This could provide years of employment for people with no education and no hope.? And the constant glue sniffing won't damage their job prospects.
'And there are many arts and culture jobs.? For example, in the past, sculptors could only work on Saddam statues. They now have many more creative opportunities.? And personally I'm hoping one of them will do a statue of Donald Rumsfeld, saviour of the Middle East.? Don deserves to be permanently set in concrete.
'Then there are huge opportunities for entrepreneurs, a word I will soon be eliminating from my vocabulary since I just heard it may be French.? Our consultants will show people how to make T-shirts with catchy phrases like 'I got bombed in Baghdad' and 'They got bombed in Baghdad.'? That'll be a big hit at U.S. fraternities, thus keeping Iraqis safe at home with their sewing machines and away from attacking US soldiers.
?'Of course, there are a lot of jobs for can-do businessmen to serve the demand for previously banned products.? Ordinary Iraqis have long been deprived of booze, porn, drugs and gambling opportunities.?The potential job boom, and the corresponding addiction counseling series, will give a real boost to their economy.
'Then there are barista jobs at the 357 Starbucks to open next year in Baghdad.? Big Al's Pork Palace, one of my Texas favorites, is also scheduled to invade Iraq.? More jobs.? And MTV plans an Osbournes-style series with the Iraqi Minister of Information's family, if we can get him to sign a contract.
'Did I mention cleaning up rubble??Many people, low skilled people, will be employed for the rest of their lives.
'So really, there's a lot of opportunities for people who want to work.? And if we can't find jobs for every Iraqi who wants to work, maybe we'll import some to the U.S.? They can replace immigrant workers from Mexico who, as you know, weren't on our side, I think.'
Harvey McKinnon is a Vancouver-based author and former television producer. He once worked as the story editor on the Gemini Award-winning comedy series, CODCO.