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About Souffles

If you have never made a Middle Eastern war souffle before, you can look forward to a delicious, if fragile, treat.  These political tours de force, often based in an oily sauce with yellow cake and whipped voters, are easy to make if the underlying ingredients are rather carefully prepared.

War souffles have a duration as evanescent as the “breath” for which they are named; some last a bit longer than others, but all have a built-in limit of their invader’s willpower.

If the conflict is well crafted, you can count on many thousand casualties, but beware of drafts and accords that can reshape the conflict.  Since the initial justification often depends on shaky intelligence and steaming tempers, not a second should be wasted from the frothing of fearful public until the invading soldiers are quickly popped into the preheated oven of desert combat.

With very few exceptions, every action of preparation, including each taste given to the media, should contribute to keeping the souffle as viable as possible.  There are many possible types of war souffles. Let us start with a very popular entree these days, the Iraqi War.

Recipe: Iraqi War Souffle

To prepare a Iraq War Souffle for baking, start as soon after the election as possible. Sift through the freshest documents for any mention of Iraq.  Trim off any qualifications or contradictions.

Preheat the rhetoric to about 350 degrees.

In all public speeches, mix:

  • 19 Al-Qaeda members

  • 4 large airplanes

  • Intelligence reports of several uncoordinated federal agencies

  • Fears of nuclear and biological weapons

  • Several billion dollars

  • 1 belligerent local tyrant

    It will take an act of Congress to properly mix the agencies; meanwhile, stir sentiments up along the Axis of Evil.

    Take the mixture of ingredients and put them in a straight-sided building such as the U.N. headquarters.  Grease several smaller countries to provide the support and votes necessary to support several resolutions.

    Using a trusted aide, ladle generous helpings of this somewhat opaque mixture all over the podium.  Slides and audio clips may help the mixture to adhere. If some of the mix seems a little flimsy or just won’t stick, keep scooping.  Once the chamber is full of it, you’re ready to proceed.

    Now quickly, before giving the evidence time to break down, it’s time for the baking.  Drop the paratroops into the frying pan.  Once you’ve begun pour soldiers into the region, you need to keep up a steady beat; stopping would cause the war souffle to boil over and then fall completely flat. Tempers will naturally start to rise and some collateral damage to the vessel of state is to be expected—this is why it’s best to use someone else’s country for the invasion.

    At this point, you should start to siphon off any oil that might be forming.

    After the troops have covered the country to a depth of several inches, the tips of the resistance will start to stiffen.  Watch very carefully for signs of burning or looting; you don’t want to have to start over.

    If not properly seasoned and kept fresh, the troops may start to go sour.  It might seem expedient to take some locals and beat them with a fork or tease them until stiff, or to remove their coverings and grill them in an effort to find out where the hot spots are; this often backfires and a good chef knows this should be avoided.

    The occupation should last for no more than 10 months (any longer and it will become too tough to continue).  The best means of getting the war souffle onto the table safely is to hands it over slightly early—this will catch your “guests” by surprise and they won’t have time to make any noise that might cause your hard work to collapse.

    A proper souffle tastes a little dry and crumbles in your mouth; it’s often hard to eat just one.

    Serves 3-4 special interest groups. 

    (With apologies to “The Joy of Cooking”, copyright 1975.)

  • Overheard

    “The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

    ...who said it?

    “Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

    ...who said it?

    “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

    ...who said it?

    “I play with variables constantly.”

    ...who said it?

    “Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

    ...who said it?

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