Fostering democracy in Iraq can be a magical experience—provided that you, the paternalistic government, are prepared for the responsibility of occupying and nurturing a nation-state in its infancy. If you aren’t, you may end up breeding unwanted insurgents and, consequently, overstretching both your military budget and the patience of voters. Below are five strategies from Planned Parenthood for Iraqi insurgent control, from least to most effective.
(The “Pull-Out” Technique)
Myth: A military can avoid insurgent procreation as long as it withdraws before things get “overzealous.” Fact: Even a trace amount of lingering Western presence in Iraq can stimulate the insurgent-production centers. Worse, you may pull out too late—March 2008, say—when the seeds of anti-Americanism have already been planted and your ill-timed exit strategy has inadvertently spawned a whole new generation of insurgents.
The Rhythm Method
This technique of intermittence was pioneered during the Crusades by the Catholics, who do not subscribe to most other forms of heathen control. Modern practitioners invade Iraq every 12 years to coincide with the precise moment before an election when public approval of the president is most barren. Bad idea: Iraq’s borders are far from impregnable, and the rhythm method does not guarantee a path to peace strewn with flowers—unless they’re bouquets congratulating your puppet president on his brood of newborn mujahideen. We hope you’ll learn your lesson when 2015 rolls around and the insurgent boom has split up Iraq into hundreds of dysfunctional tribal regimes. Remember, political coups affect young jihadists the most.
The Patchwork Alliance
“The patch,” as it is colloquially known, is affixed to the international agenda at the start of military operations and rapidly disintegrates. You will likely still reproduce cells of fundamentalist Muslims, but at least the burdens of occupation will be dispersed among a coalition of willing babysitters who fear crossing you and losing your business in the future. Though some of your so-called allies will leave when the going gets tough, and though the major costs and duties of taking care of the insurgents will be borne by your taxpayers and military personnel, you can still rely on the strongholds of Romania, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Fiji, among others, who will supply literally dozens of soldiers and/or medics to help you cope with those rascally extremist scamps you’ve conceived. And don’t forget Poland!
With proper use, body armor is an effective defense and, over time, may demoralize insurgents and thus reduce their number. So, if you believe you are militarily and emotionally ready to invade, put on some armor before doing so—but don’t skimp on quality, or you may as well be fighting without any protection whatsoever and are riskily putting your fate in the hands of IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). Some soldiers think that strapping on Kevlar in the heat of battle destroys spontaneity or that safe-skirmish techniques dull the excitement of guerrilla warfare, but armor-donning can be a fun, pleasurable stage of combat preparation with your fellow grunts. For governments who cannot afford armor or who find purchasing it from a defense supplier awkward, we provide free vests and helmets in the third-floor restrooms of the Pentagon. Warning: Many invaders shine their body armor to keep it looking spiffy, but most lubricants, especially oil, drastically degrade the material.
Abstaining from invasion is the only sure-fire way to thwart the creation of more insurgents. You’ll also safeguard yourself from STDs (Saudi Threatening Denouncements). And here’s the best part: Abstention won’t increase your federal deficit by a cent! It may seem like everyone else is invading the Middle East these days, but when talking to superpowers, smaller countries often feel pressure to lie about their exploits, and those who really have “done the colonial deed,” such as England, usually sorely regret their military actions and wish they’d saved themselves for a bilateral offensive. So, next time you feel the overwhelming urge to invade Iraq, submerge yourself in one of your cold bodies of water, talk things over diplomatically with your international partners, and, if you’re still feeling the urge, consider bolstering the Patriot Act to screw over your own country.