Send in the Existentialists

A secret weapon in the war against terrorism

| November / December 2002

[WASHINGTON, D.C.]—The war on terrorism took a new turn yesterday when the Allies revealed plans to airdrop a platoon of crack French intellectuals into the Middle East. Their mission is to destroy the morale of Islamic terrorists by proving the nonexistence of God. Elements from the feared Jean-Paul Sartre Brigade, or Black Berets, will be parachuted into combat zones to spread doubt, despondency, and existential anomie among the enemy.

Hardened by numerous intellectual battles during their long occupation of Paris’ Left Bank, the Black Berets will first establish sidewalk cafés at strategic points in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and other fundamentalist strongholds. There they will drink coffee and talk animatedly about the absurd nature of life and the human race’s isolation in the universe.

The existentialist force, which is all male in an effort to maximize its effect on orthodox Muslim terrorists, will be accompanied by a number of heartbreakingly beautiful women who will further spread disillusionment by sticking their tongues in the philosophers’ ears and looking remote and unattainable to everyone else. Humanitarian agencies have been quick to call the operation inhumane, pointing out that the effects of secondhand smoke from the endless Gitanes could wreak a terrible toll on civilians.

From a story making the rounds on the Internet.