The Truth, Mainly - 04/28/2003

Straight talk on invasion of Canada
by Leon Satterfield

The U.S. invasion of Canada, as we now know, was even more of a blitzkrieg than the invasion of Iraq. The NAEF (North American Expeditionary Force) hit the Lake Ontario beachhead on June 6. The amused Canadians surrendered the next day, with no casualties on either side.

The President's approval rating zoomed to 123 percent, according to his official vote counter and pollster, Katherine Harris. And now he and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld are having a press conference to tell us about the victory.

"I know a few Americans opposed the invasion," the President says, "but we had no choice. Canada was a part of the Axis of Disobedience."

When a reporter asks what that means, the President sighs.

"How many times do I have to say it?" he says. "We must all hear the universal call to like your neighbor just like you like to be liked yourself, but Canada wasn't with us in Iraq. Therefore they were against us. We had no choice but to invade. They simply misunderestimated our resolve."

"But," the Times reporter says, "why now? Why Canada? There were many other countries who weren't with us in Iraq."

The President turns to Secretary Rumsfeld who smiles a gritty little smile and begins making circles and squares in the air with his hands.

"Why now?" he says. "In May, it's still cold in Canada. By July, the mosquitoes are the size of B-52s. June was our only window of opportunity."

"But Canada?" the reporter says. "Why Canada?"

"Look at a map," Rumsfeld says, his hands drawing a map in the air. "Canada's close. The troop transport bills alone make a convincing case."

Reporters look at one another.

"And there are other reasons," Rumsfeld says, his eyes narrowing. "We believe Canada is hiding Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. We further believe that Osama bin Laden is in Medicine Hat and that Saddam himself may be hiding in a dugout in a suburb of Moose Jaw."

"What evidence do we have for all that?" a Newsweek reporter asks.

"What's the evidence against it?" the President says. "Tell me that."

Reporters roll their eyes.

"And," Rumsfeld says, "here's the kicker: our intelligence tells us that a disgustingly large number of Canadians speak French."

"French," the President says, choking up. "They…they speak French."

Reporters scribble in their notebooks.

"How long," the Fox News man asks, "has this been going on?"

"We don't know when it started," Rumsfeld says, "but we sure as hell know when it ended."

"And Canada is a lot better off now," the President says, "without Jean Cretin as President or Chairman or Team Captain or whatever they called him."

"Could you comment," an L.A. Times reporter says, "on reports that some Canadians are taking refuge in Alaska?"

"We're warning Alaska," the President says, squinching his eyes up, "that they can't mess with America. There will be consequences."

"Will the consequences be less severe," the reporter asks, "since Alaska is a part of the U.S.?"

"A part of the U.S.?" the President says, looking at Rumsfeld.

"That's classified information," Rumsfeld says as the President squinches his eyes even more. "But the consequences won't be pretty."

"Anything to do with drilling for oil?" the Houston Chronicle man asks.

Rumsfeld doesn't answer, but he gives the reporter a wink.

"Is there anything to the rumor," a New Yorker writer asks, "that Halliburton and Bechtel will get still more reconstruction contracts in Canada?"

"Take that man out and shoot him," Rumsfeld says, smiling.

"Can you say more about the Coalition of the Willing who were our allies in Canada?" the K. C. Star reporter asks.

"That's classified," Rumsfeld says. "Ask that again and you're gone."

"I know that two islands in the Pacific are part of the coalition," the President says. "Or maybe it's the Atlantic."

Rumsfeld gives the President a look. But he keeps talking.

"We're sending Canada a message," he says. "No nucular weapons, no nucular power, no nucular physics."

Reporters look at him.

"You know what's funny?" he asks. "We invaded Canada one other time. Back in about 1760—or maybe 1670. Long time ago. It was time to do it again."

Reporters look at each other.

"You know what's weird?" the President says. "There's a town in Texas named Canadian. I was governor there, and now I invade Canadians. Far out."

Reporters look at Rumsfeld.

He's making circles and squares and triangles and double helixes with his hands. He runs his forefinger across his throat.

The lights go out and this press conference is over.


Retired English Professor Leon Satterfield writes to salvage clarity from his confusion. His column appears on alternate Mondays. His e-mail address is:

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