washingtonpost.com
War for Dummies

By Art Buchwald
Thursday, August 3, 2006

MARTHA'S VINEYARD, Mass. So you want to start a war? Anyone can start a war. This is all you need: an enemy -- foreign or domestic. You want to take his land or he wants to take yours.

Once you have an enemy, you have to buy all sorts of weapons: missiles, bazookas, machine guns, armored cars, tanks. You can get what you need from the United States, which is the biggest arms dealer in the world. If you can't find what you want there, you can get it from Russia, the second-biggest arms dealer in the world.

You can also find a lot of lethal arms from previous wars that have just been left lying around, like in Bosnia, Pakistan and even China.

Now, I know you're asking, where do we get the money to pay for the arms? That's a good question. The United States will pay for your war if it thinks it's in its interest.

If it doesn't think so, you can get the money from Russia or Saudi Arabia. You or one of your compatriots can go shopping to make sure you get top-of-the-line equipment (even airplanes).

If the United States wants to support you, send your people there to learn how to use the equipment. Russia and China also will give you instruction in the use of arms you get from them.

Now, this is very important. You can't have a good war unless you have intelligence. Your intelligence people can resort to torture if they have to.

Another thing you can do is take a leaf out of the CIA's book and take captured enemies and fly them to other countries that are good at torture. If they don't want to talk, you can throw them out of an airplane from 20,000 feet.

In any war, the goal is to kill as many of the enemy as possible. Don't worry if you also hurt innocent women and children.

What you do when you have a war is create refugees who are forced to leave their homes and go to other countries that don't want them.

That's not your problem.

The U.N. might protest your war. Ignore it. There are some wars that the Security Council votes for and some it doesn't.

As soon as the war starts, you begin firing missiles at the enemy. The best missiles are the ones that can go 20 or 30 miles. Your goal is to knock down their buildings and bomb their headquarters and send in your soldiers to wipe out the area.

Now, this is also important. You have to make sure the world media cover your side. You want to convince them your cause is just. You can take journalists out to see the fighting and you can have them embedded in your ranks.

If you're going to have a war, you must pay attention to television. You can make videos and distribute them to all the television news departments saying how you're going to hurt the other side.

Okay. So you've started a war and now you want to negotiate a cease-fire. Cease-fires are always great because you don't get criticized for the conflict.

But you don't have to disarm. Also, the surplus hardware left over from the war can be saved for later.

I'm not urging you to start a war, but a lot of money can be made on one. You can make millions by selling the stuff you didn't use to other countries that want to start a war.

2006Tribune Media Services

View all comments that have been posted about this article.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company