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I say it’s never too early to start planning the predestined Iraq War veteran’s memorial. Why wait till the bombs start dropping on Iran or Venezuela or North Korea or Colombia? The whole mood will be blown by then.
But, let’s face it: time is of the essence. So, for now, maybe we can just extend the oily-black wall they constructed for the Vietnam vets. (Can you imagine if Vietnam ever erected something similar for its dead? Look out Great Wall of China.) An obvious choice for remembering those who have done all the liberating in the Persian Gulf since 1990 would be, of course, a mock oil rig (sponsored by Halliburton)but I think it might be more appropriate to hire the geniuses who created the mini-versions of New York and Paris in Las Vegas.
Yeah, I can see it now: A virtual Iraq theme park smack dab in the middle of Washington, D.C. where patriotic Americans can park their SUVs and honor OIL (Our Iraq Liberators). Genuine desert sand shipped in from the Gulf, an actor playing Dubya will fly in a fake fighter jet to deliver a fake Thanksgiving dinner, and don’t forget the giant plastic statue of Saddam Hussein-ready to be pulled down every hour on the hour for those who take the guided tour. Mission Accomplished everyonenow keep moving, we have five minutes till the WMD Search begins.
To give visitors that trendy “reality show” vibe, fake IEDs (improvised explosive devices) will “explode” when they least expect it as fake suicide bombers careen them past in fake trucks, detonating fake bombs. Imagine getting all that reality on your cell phone video recorder. Praise OIL indeed.
There’ll be a realistic Sunni-Shiite civil war re-creation once a day, a mock Abu Ghraib where twenty bucks will land you a picture of yourself hooked up to fake electrodes with an actress playing Lynndie England-cigarette dangling and leash in hand-enthusiastically pointing at your crotch, and please don’t miss the bloodcurdling depleted uranium dungeoncomplete with gas masks and untested vaccines. Particularly adventurous visitors can rent military uniforms and bravely rescue a scantily clad Jessica Lynch each day at noon and three o’clock. Lest the Afghan War veterans feel neglected, the Tora Bora display will feature an interactive “Where’s Osama?” game for kids while adults test their shooting skill in the Pat Tillman Friendly Fire video game. Wave your Taliban Towels, people, here comes the big football hero.
Speaking of neglected, we all know OIL comes in more than one variety. Veterans from 1991’s Operation Desert Storm will be honored with their very own Highway of Death Pavilion, customers can compete to see who pulls the most fake Kuwaiti babies from fake Kuwaiti incubators in one minute, and, of course, there’s the ever popular Madeleine Albright “It was worth it” Hall-made up of 500,000 bricksone for each Iraqi child killed by U.S.-enforced sanctions.
Best of all, the price of a tour includes an official OIL t-shirt that reads: I VISITED THE OIL MEMORIAL AND ALL I GOT WAS GULF WAR SYNDROME.
MICKEY Z. is the author of “The Seven Deadly Spins: Exposing the Lies Behind War Propaganda” (Common Courage Press). For more information, please visit http://www.mickeyz.net.