This article was originally published on Humorality, on August 27, 2008.
Resistance is Borscht
The problem with military invasions and proctology exams is that once the border has been crossed, it’s pretty much too late to do anything about it. At least with a proctology exam—and I want to go on record as saying that I clearly do not speak from personal experience, especially since I don’t even know where my procto is or how you would examine it—you have the comfort of knowing that, thanks to privacy requirements, the only ones who need know about the exam are you and your doctor, the doctor’s secretary, his billing specialist, the staff of the medical records department at the clinic, several gossipy women at your insurance company’s claims department, the US Secretary of Health and Human Services, and—under the terms of the Patriot Act signed by President Bush—your librarian.
With a military invasion it’s pretty much everyone’s business, as it was with the recent invasion of Georgia by Russia. I doubt Russia planned it this way. They probably expected that, what with everyone getting ready for the Beijing Olympics, they could casually waltz across the Georgian border, rough up some local politicians, commit a few post-Communist atrocities, and be back home in time to watch the opening ceremonies at the Bird’s Nest, a grand celebration that doubled as a tenth birthday party for two members of the Chinese gymnastics team.
Russia’s action brings up a lot of unanswered questions about our former Soviet nemesis. Why did Russia choose to attack Georgia now? Are their former Czarist or Communist tendencies once again rising to a level that warrants international concern? Is vodka really made from potatoes? And possibly the most important question of all: If Russia attacked via overland invasion, how did they get through the border between Mississippi and Georgia without so much as a peep from our own National Guard?
I’ve just been handed this news bulletin. Oops, my mistake. It looks like I confused two geographic regions. It seems that Georgia borders Alabama, not Mississippi. I’m forever mixing those two states up. I do the same thing with other states that are similar in shape, states like New Hampshire and Vermont, or North Dakota and South Dakota.
While tensions had existed for some time between the former Soviet superpower and its once-tethered satellite nation, the invasion itself was unexpected. So sudden was the movement of Russian troops into Georgia that one of the major news networks quoted a senior White House advisor as stating—and it is this type of irresponsible journalistic activity by reporters in the field that has put so many of our soldiers in harm’s way during the recent Iraqi engagement—”You mean the Georgia next to Mississippi?”
The action also brought immediate responses from John McCain and Barack Obama, the two presumptive nominees for president. McCain condemned the Russian assault, first calling it “wrong” and later elaborating with “really wrong.” Obama held back from issuing a direct challenge to the Russian army, instead voicing encouragement to the beleaguered Georgian nation, calling on them to “hope for change.”
My point is that Russia was not able to keep this invasion a secret. And while I previously thought that Russia might want to conceal its actions from the eyes of the world, my desire for journalistic integrity and my need to reach 750 words in this article compel me to change my views. So forget what I said before about Russia wanting to keep the invasion hush-hush. It is now clear that their actions were a Communist plot to eclipse the United States in the one area where they knew they could excel despite their Cold War defeat: invading another country.
Not only did the United States invade Afghanistan—a nation that Russia had tried unsuccessfully to invade for years—it followed this up with its entry into Iraq. Russia, the nation that once battled America for dominance in everything from satellite launches to chess masters, felt it had no choice but to quickly invade another nation before the United States got too far ahead. And with the eyes of the world still fixed on Barack Obama and with France currently unoccupied, Russia may soon even the score.
Russia cannot be allowed to surpass America. The days of Cold War détente are over; America is now the lone superpower. To maintain its standing in the world, I ask the two major presidential candidates to call for an immediate invasion of a currently-unoccupied nation.
I’d suggest Mississippi.