As a retired five-star general in the US Air Force who served in both Gulf wars, and is occasionally accused of being mildly delusional, I consider myself an expert in military strategy, international diplomacy and the board game RISK.
In my youth, I sought power, prestige, and a dress uniform filled with shiny medals. With the wisdom of age, I now realize that what really matters in life are three things: Kindness, Compassion, Integrity and Meat Lovers’ Pizza. Okay, technically, that’s four things. Thankfully, throughout my prestigious Pentagon career, I was always surrounded by colonels who were better at math than I was.
Where am I going with this? Hell if I know. My ADHD medication hasn’t kicked in yet. But I think my point was that the world is falling apart. Tensions are ramping up along the Israel-Gaza border, in the streets of Venezuela, and among long-suffering Baltimore Orioles fans who bought season tickets this year. They chose poorly.
People are fearful that our country will get dragged into yet another armed conflict in the Middle East or North Korea. Fortunately, I have just the plan to de-escalate these hostilities. Two words: CUP CAKES! Okay, I’ve just been informed by one of my colonels that ‘cupcakes’ is, strictly speaking, one word. But who’s counting?
My point is: Nobody can resist cupcakes. Period. The End. When was the last time you saw people fight when cupcakes were being served (unless it was arguing over dibs on the last one)? If one of your co-workers brings cupcakes to the office to share, it is undeniably far and away the single best thing that will happen to you that entire day – unless you win the Pennsylvania $100 million lottery that day. Then, yeah, arguably that would be slightly better. I know your in-laws never approved of you marrying their daughter. But I guarantee if you bring cupcakes to the next family outing, they may even start calling you by your actual name.
Imagine if during the Civil War, the Union Generals thought to assault the Confederates with cupcakes instead of guns. The boys in grey, overjoyed at receiving cupcakes, would have put down their bayonets, embraced their brothers in blue, and the slaves would have been freed by dinner time. There is the remote possibility that the unarmed Union troops would have been annihilated, but they’d have died with a smile – and cupcake crumbs – on their faces.
Had Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat Cupcakes” instead of “Let them eat cake,” the peasants may well have stormed the bakeries instead of the Bastille, Marie would have saved her neck, and France would still be a monarchy today. Okay, that last consequence might not please everyone’s palette. And Marie would have no doubt been voted the most popular queen in French history in a Twitter insta-poll, had Twitter existed back in 1793. #MarieAntoinette #letthemeatcupcakes.
Think about how WW II could have ended years sooner if instead of dropping bombs on Germany, we dropped thousands of German Chocolate cupcakes instead – maybe with those cute little mini-parachutes. Admittedly that would have been quite the added expense. (Note: If you run out of cupcakes, free kittens is a great back-up plan. They can be airdropped as well, but with slightly bigger parachutes.) In my assessment, countless lives would have been spared – albeit shortened due to the serious spike in cholesterol from all that cupcake binging. But then, that’s how the cookie – or cupcake – crumbles when you start a war with the makers of Betty Crocker chocolate fudge cupcakes.
I have no doubt that the Iraq War could have been averted if we had used a carrot and stick approach – make that a carrot (cup)cake and stick approach:
“Saddam, you have a choice: Free your people now and step down from power, and we’ll give you a lifetime’s supply of carrot cupcakes, or we will erase that smarmy mustache off every single statue of you.”
I am convinced he would have jumped at the carrot cupcakes option – unless he was more of a Snickerdoodle cupcake fan. But what are the odds of that? As for Desert Storm, had I been in charge of military strategy, I would have gone with Dessert Storm instead.
By the way, a lot of people worry that Donald Trump won’t leave the Oval Office even if he loses the 2020 election. But have you ever checked out his diet? Simply present him with a case of 24 Vanilla Salted Caramel cupcakes and a bucket of KFC (flanked by a contingent of 200 Marine Green Berets with assault rifles), and he’d be out the door before he could say, “I’m a very stable genius.”
In conclusion, as a highly respected military strategist and someone who has not lost at the board game Stratego in 20 years, I’m telling you, the key to achieving lasting global peace is through cupcake diplomacy.
There is one small risk, hardly worth mentioning. And that’s if Russian President Putin gets wind of this strategy. That devious dictator might manipulate Trump into ceding Alabama to Russia by giving him a gift basket of assorted cupcakes. That would be a serious tactical error on Trump’s part. If I were the President’s military advisor, I would counsel him to give up West Virginia instead.
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
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Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time
© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2019