From a secret war room, national security advisor John Bolton places his pointer tipped black with an arrow on the wall map, and says, “The Strait of Hormuz is by far the most dangerous place on earth. The Iranians aren’t content to spread terror throughout the Middle East and dream about building nuclear weapons. Now they’re attacking oil tankers nearby in international waters and, most horrifically, they’ve just shot down one of our very expensive unmanned drones. This calls from an immediate and devastating attack.”
“No way I’m going nuclear on this one, John.”
“I’m not talking about nuclear strikes, Mr. President, but I’m urging you to cleanse the Middle East of the bearded mullahs who’ll never let their neighbors live in peace.”
“I’m no historian, John, but I’m pretty sure Iraq attacked Iran almost forty years ago and we backed Saddam Hussein.”
Nodding, Bolton says, “That’s why in 2003 I advocated destroying Saddam and his doomsday weapons and bringing democracy to that backward land.”
“That’s the kind of quagmire I’ve promised to avoid.”
“Oh, you’re quite right about that, Mr. President. By devastating I simply meant you should launch airstrikes against radar and missile batteries and, while we’re at it, hit a few nuclear targets.”
Trump turns to several generals, resplendent in bemedaled uniforms, and says, “What do you think, gentlemen?”
“Limited strikes against radar and antiaircraft sites would be the most we could do without risking a major war,” says one general.
“In fact, Mr. President,” says another general, “we’d be risking a major war with any strike.”
Frowning, Trump says, “I can’t just let the Iranians hit us without paying a price.”
“The sanctions are already ruining their economy,” says the first general.
“Stick to military assessments,” says Bolton, aiming his pointer at the man.
“Don’t point that thing at me, and stay the hell out of military matters,” says the general. “Limit yourself to advocating wars you won’t be fighting in.”
Trump holds up a hand and says, “Easy, guys. Just get me a plan to take out three sites, radar, missiles, that stuff.”
“Yes sir,” the generals say.
The following day, just before meeting the generals, Trump tells Bolton, “John, wait in your office during my military conference.”
“But Mr. President…”
“Don’t worry, I’ll let you know what happens.”
Donald Trump marches to the secret war room and is received by stern generals.
“The initial plan will destroy the targets,” says one general, “but after that anyone who tells you he knows what’ll happen afterward is lying.”
“It’s a painful decision,” says Trump, “but order the operation to begin.”
A general picks up the phone. Trump paces the room. He looks nervous. The generals are impassive. Minutes drag by.
“Gentlemen, how many people would die in this operation?” asks President Trump.
“A hundred and fifty, sir,” says a general.
“Okay, call it off. It’s not too late, is it?”
“We still have time.”
“Great, call it off. The drone was unmanned or I’d have to kick some asses.”