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U.S. ASKS BIN LADEN TO BE
SITE OF MASSIVE MONUMENT

"America's New War" to Become "America's New Building Project"

Washington, D.C. (SatireWire) — In a dramatic shift in strategy and sentiment, the U.S. government today called off its manhunt for terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, and instead asked him to participate in the construction of a massive monument to the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. Specifically, said Secretary of State Colin Powell, bin Laden has been invited to be the location of the 250,000-ton memorial.

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The monument, said Powell, will be an important part of the healing process for Americans, and after careful consideration, the Bush administration concluded it could not be placed just anywhere. "Obviously, something this heavy... with meaning... requires a very, very special location, and we can think of no more fitting spot than Mr. bin Laden," he said.

Reporters, however, immediately questioned whether the proposed "location" would be able to support what was described as a half-billion-pound slab of granite. In response, Powell blamed the Taliban government of Afghanistan, which he said has already refused a new request to relinquish the site so it could be tested for its load-bearing capacity.

However, Powell said the U.S. will forge ahead by sending teams of "engineers" to the location to conduct a series of stress tests. Among the tests: specially fitted F-16s will fire cylindrical metal objects, some weighing several hundred pounds, on the location to see how well it holds up.

When a reporter insisted this sounded suspiciously like a war, Powell grew agitated.

"This is not a war, it's a building project," he said. "History has taught us that it is better to build than to destroy, and so we say to Mr. bin Laden, 'Let there be no more destruction. Instead of dropping bombs on top of you, let us join together in this great endeavor and build a friendship on top of you.'"

The proposal quickly won support from Islamic nations struggling over how much, or if, they should support U.S. action against bin Laden and the Taliban.

"I must say I am pleased and surprised," Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said in an open telephone call to President George W. Bush. "From all indications, I feared you would attempt to eradicate Mr. bin Laden through violent means, but instead I see you are willing to bury your differences with him."

"That's a good way to put it," Bush replied.

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