West Anxious to Portray War As Fight Against Terrorism, Not Harry
Washington, D.C. (SatireWire.com) – Fearing a religious backlash that could undermine international support and intensify anti-American sentiment, the United States today announced it will halt attacks on Afghanistan during the Holy Month of the Harry Potter Movie Release, which begins Friday, Nov. 16, at a theater near you.
Pentagon officials conceded the pause may give the Taliban and Al-Qaeda time to regroup, but said the U.S. should not risk insulting such a large percentage of the world’s population by waging war during the holiest month of the year.
“This should not be a time for violence,” said Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. “This should be a time for making pilgrimage to your local cinema, a time for reflecting on what this Holy period means to us, whether through the purchase of Harry Potter trading cards, action figures, or new Game Boy cartridges (Electronic Arts, $39.99 pre-order now).”
However, the Afghan Northern Alliance, which is seeking to overthrow the Taliban, urged the U.S. to keep fighting. “We do not understand this decision,” an Alliance statement said. “We assumed that, if anything, the West would bow to pressure to cease bombing during Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, which begins Nov. 17.” Entertainment Tonight anchor Mary Hart, however, insisted the Pentagon made the right choice.
“I don’t think Ramadan is going to have that big a following,” she said. “First, it’s going up against Potter. And second, Nov. 17 is a Saturday. You never release a big movie on a Saturday.”
Informed that Ramadan is a month of fasting, prayer, and giving aid to the poor, Hart frowned. “Sounds boring,” she said. “Who made it? No, let me guess. Merchant-Ivory.”
According to the C.I.A., devoted Potter fans now outnumber the population of Earth. While some scholars insist the Holy Month of the Movie Release is meant to be a time of intense devotion for the faithful, others say they have read the sacred script, and nowhere does it explicitly prohibit fighting. This has led skeptics to insist the U.S. has an ulterior motive.
“This stoppage isn’t about faith, it’s about maintaining public interest in the war,” said columnist William F. Buckley. “The bottom line is, the U.S. military machine does not want to go up against the Warner Bros. public relations machine. Frankly, I wouldn’t either.”
However, CNN military analyst Wesley Clark said the West would have risked insulting nations whose support is already tenuous. Pakistan, in particular, has been struggling to contain a tide of sympathy for the Taliban, who rule over a country with no intact theaters.
“We have to assume that, considering its widespread popularity, many Afghan civilians and even Taliban soldiers are followers of the Potter saga,” said Clark, a retired general. “I think those allies under pressure will be hard pressed to back us if news gets out that their faithful brothers were killed before they had a chance to see the film (Middle East premieres begin Dec. 19).”
“This is why the government has so far been careful to characterize the campaign as a war against terrorism, not against Harry Potter,” he added.
In a separate statement, the Pentagon announced that as part of its humanitarian effort, U.S. forces have begun dropping 600,000 Harry Potter lunch boxes into Afghanistan. Two hospitals and a Red Cross center have been destroyed.
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