Send the Boy Scouts to Iraq

Let these little snot-nosed 10-year-olds take on IEDs and fight for Bush in Iraq - at least, that's what Bush thinks should be happening:

Men in black "Army" T-shirts coached young boys to chant "OO-rah" like soldiers. A giant "ARMY" hot-air balloon bobbed overhead.

Bush said the Boy Scouts "understand that freedom must be defended," and touted what he called the "armies of liberation." The Army has fallen behind its recruiting goals amid the Iraq war.

"When you follow your conscience and the ideals you've sworn as a Scout, there is no limit to what you can achieve for our country," Bush told the crowd, which chanted "USA, USA."

Well, I'll be fair: maybe Bush doesn't want to send the 10-year-olds to Iraq. After all, their stubby little fingers might have trouble applying enough pressure to the triggers of their M-16s to actually fire a bullet, much less kill any "jihadists" or "dead-enders". But we all know that 10-year-old snot-nosed kids grow into strapping 18-year-old cannonfodder potential recruits.

But to show that life can sometimes imitate good art:

***Bush's visit***

Bush had originally planned to visit Fort A.P. Hill on Wednesday. Scouts waited for hours in the blazing sun for him to arrive, some collapsing from the high temperatures and humidity. More than 300 had to be treated for heat-related illnesses.

***Parades in Catch-22***

The men fell out for the parades early each Sunday afternoon and groped their way into ranks of twelve outside the barracks. Groaning with hangovers, they limped in step to their station on the main paradeground, where they stood motionless in the heat for an hour or two with the men from the sixty or seventy other cadet squadrons until enough of them had collapsed to call it a day. On the edge of the field stood a row of ambulances and teams of trained stretcher bearers with walkie-talkies. On the roofs of the ambulances were spotters with binoculars. A tally clerk kept score. Supervising this entire phase of the operation was a medical officer with a flair for accounting who okayed pulses and checked the figures of the tally clerk. As soon as enough unconscious men had been collected in the ambulances, the medical officer signaled the bandmaster to strike up the band and end the parade.

So maybe Catch-22 will be the great anti-war novel for another generation after all.

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