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Dennis Hans: Wednesday Night Warfare

Wednesday Night Warfare

By Dennis Hans

(Cue theme song by Hank Williams, Jr.)

Are you ready for some warfare???!!!!
It’s the ’Raqis and the Cowboys
Here on Wednesday Night
All my rowdy friends are comin’ over tonight

Al Michaels: Hello from Baghdad and welcome to a very special edition of Wednesday Night Warfare. We wish we had a good one for you, but tonight’s war between the Baghdad ’Raqis and the Washington Cowboys looks like a mismatch. John Madden, the hometeam ’Raqis have a proud, pesky defense that bends but doesn’t break, but they’ve never faced an offense with the firepower of the 2003 Cowboys.

Madden: You’re right, Al. The Cowboys’ souped-up air attack isn’t called “shock and awe” for nothing.

Michaels: These armies met in 1991, and the war quickly deteriorated into a one-sided turkey shoot. What’s changed in 12 years that might lead us to think we could have a barnburner this time around?

Madden: Not a thing. The Cowboys have gotten stronger while the ’Raqis are on life support.

Michaels: If this is tantamount to Godzilla versus the Little Sisters of the Poor, why is this war even on our schedule?

Madden: Good question. The ’Raqis don’t want it. Their neighbors don’t want it. Heck, the World Warfare League refuses to authorize it. The only one who seems to want it is the Cowboys’ over-eager coach, young Georgie Bush. But I don’t know what pride he can take in notching a W this cheap.

Michaels: Ladies and gentlemen, John and I had hoped to broadcast this war by ourselves, but the Cowboys threatened to pull ABC’s plug if we didn’t make room in the booth for their biggest booster. Dennis Miller, welcome back to Wednesday Night Warfare.

Miller: Thanks, Al. I never knew how much I loved the smell of charred flesh until the ABC poohbahs denied me the scent.

Madden: That “charred flesh” you’re talking about will come from warriors and their families. They don’t need some skinny-legged chickenhawk making light of the price their gonna pay.

Miller: “Skinny legs” is something you’ll never have to worry about, tubby. Al, can you believe ABC replaced Mr. Eloquence with the Elephant Man?

Michaels: It was on my recommendation.

Madden: And I appreciate it. You know, Al, I’ve been a war commentator for 25 years. I love war. I love the camaraderie and commitment of the soldiers — on both sides. I love analyzing the tactics, the maneuvering and the head games of competing generals. But it’s still war. It’s death and destruction. And that’s why it should always be the last resort. You don’t wage war because the weather is right. You don’t wage war when progress is being made on a peaceful solution.

Michaels: I hear you, big guy. Tonight’s aerial shots are courtesy of the Bud One Airship. Budweiser: the official beer of the World Warfare League.

Miller: Call me sentimental, but the sight of Big Bud hovering high in the sky still brings a tear to my eye.

Michaels: Ladies and gentleman, I’ve just been handed a note: “On the advice of Cowboys general manager John Ashcroft, ABC has reassigned John Madden to Guantanamo for the remainder of the war.”

Miller: Best call the Ashman’s ever made.

Michaels: Dennis, I take it you believe this is the right war at the right time.

Miller: It’s a no-brainer, Al. Saddam is all jiggy with Osama. If we unleash the Mother of All Massacres not only do we take out Saddam, we send a message to North Korea’s tiny tinhorn of terror, Li’l Kim.

Michaels: The new Dennis Miller, ladies and gentlemen. If anyone can make advocacy of wanton slaughter “hip,” it’s Dennis.

Miller: I’m just following the example of the legend, Howard Cosell: “telling it like it is.”

Michaels: Just one difference: Howard was in touch with his humanity. Even Coach Bush, whatever his intentions, talks a good game of sparing innocent Iraqis.

Miller: Sounds like another announcer is getting cold feet.

Michaels: I should have spoken out years ago, but there’s something sick about treating war as a spectator sport.

Miller: According to this note I’ve just been handed, that inner turmoil is the least of your problems: “ABC and Mr. Ashcroft have reassigned Al Michaels to Guantanamo, effective immediately.” Later, babe. Looks like yours truly is flying solo. I’ll be back with the opening bombs after a word from our sponsor:

Forged documents that show Saddam in hot pursuit of Niger’s uranium: $10,000.
Disinformation campaign to tie Iraq to al Qaeda and 9-11: $100,000.
Buying the souls of George Tenet and Colin Powell: $300,000.
News media that, with few exceptions, function not as watchdogs but lapdogs: priceless.

*** # # # ***

©2003 by Dennis Hans

Bio: Dennis Hans is a freelance writer whose essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, the Miami Herald and at online outlets too numerous to mention. He has taught courses in mass communications and American foreign policy at the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg and can be reached at

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