By: Melinda Taub
A Time Traveler Tries to Prevent the Iraq War
INT. OVAL OFFICE – MARCH 20, 2003
President George W. Bush is meeting with Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, and Colin Powell.
President Bush: So we’re all agreed. Today, we invade Iraq.
Everyone murmurs agreement.
POOF! A giant awesome TIME MACHINE appears RIGHT THE FUCK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OVAL OFFICE. A time traveler gets out. She is wearing an awesome time travel helmet. Steam swirls around her time travel skirt.
Time Traveler: Mr. President! Stop! Don’t invade Iraq!
Dick Cheney: Who are you?
Time Traveler: I’m a time traveler from October 2014. I invented this time machine so I could come back to 2003 to prevent the Iraq War.
President Bush: Cool, a time traveler!
Time Traveler: Yeah, I love it. But please focus. Invading Iraq is a huge mistake for our nation and the world.
President Bush: Why? It’ll be a two-week walk in the park. The U.S. forces won’t even miss the series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Time Traveler: You like Buffy, Mr. President?
President Bush: Yes. Even I like Buffy.
Everyone high fives over how awesome Buffy is.
Time Traveler: But invading Iraq is a huge mistake. Mr. President, the war will last a lot longer than two weeks. If you invade now, the U.S. will still be stuck in the Middle Eastern conflict for at least 11 years. It will spill over into Syria. Thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis will die, and horrible new extremist groups will arise that we’ll have to fight in turn. Even in 2014, there will be no end in sight.
President Bush: Nah.
Time Traveler: Nah?
President Bush: That’s just defeatist conjecture. It’ll be three weeks, tops.
Time Traveler: It’s not conjecture. I’m from the future. I’m literally telling you what’s going to happen. In 2014 we’re on the verge of war with Syria because of the chaos you’re about to inflict on the region. This war will be a multi-decade horror-bomb that we might never escape.
President Bush: Yeah, decades-long horror bomb, blah blah blah. All you elites talk that way. Even Colin talks that way sometimes. You all just hate freedom.
Time Traveler: You already know all this?
President Bush: Sure. lots of commentators say the same thing. Even Dick Cheney said in the ’90s that Iraq would become a quagmire if we invaded.
Time Traveler: Exactly!
President Bush: Yeah! What?
Time Traveler: Oh my God. I forgot you were like this. In 2014 you’re mainly known as a dog painter.
President Bush: A dog painter?! That sounds way better than being President. Dick, can I ‘
Dick Cheney: No.
President Bush: Ugh, fine. Listen, time traveler, we’ve gotta invade Iraq. Saddam’s got WMDs.
Time Traveler: Oh! No he doesn’t! He definitely doesn’t! We’ll never find any!
President Bush: Yeah, that’s what the CIA says. I don’t buy it. Also Saddam was behind 9/11.
Time Traveler: No he wasn’t.
President Bush: Yeah, even I don’t believe that one.
Time Traveler: But wait! of course! 9/11! I’ll go back and prevent 9/11! The U.S. public will never go for the Iraq War without 9/11. And I should do that anyway.
She gets back in her time machine. POOF. It disappears.
President Bush: You know how Thomas the Tank Engine is a train but he has a live face? Can we do that with Air Force One?
POOF. The time machine reappears.
Time Traveler: WHY DIDN’T YOU LISTEN TO ME ABOUT 9/11?
President Bush: Oh right. I knew you looked familiar.
Dick Cheney: You’ve met the time traveler before?
President Bush: Yeah. She stopped by the Oval Office maybe a year-and-a-half ago. Don’t remember exactly when.
Time Traveler: IT WAS SEPTEMBER 10, 2001.
President Bush: Sure. Anyway, she was babbling something about terrorism and Al Qaeda. But I was pretty busy taking care of my Tamagotchi, so I didn’t pay much attention.
Time Traveler: OH MY GOD.
President Bush: There was also this CIA report I was meant to be reading, but again, Tamagotchi.
Time Traveler: Look. You can’t do this. I brought you some pictures of what’s happening in Iraq and Syria in my time.
The time traveler passes around some of these incredibly disturbing pictures. Everyone gets quiet.
President Bush: My God. That’s horrible.
Time Traveler: I know.
President Bush: We need to invade Iraq now so we can stop this before it ever begins.
He picks up his phone and orders the invasion of Iraq. The time traveler gets in her time machine and flies it directly into the sun.