Redmond, WA - Microsoft announced today that it is offering to take Iraq off the President's hands for $10 billion.
"Acquiring a small to medium sized nation has been part of our strategic growth plan for some time," said Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen. "We've been going about it piecemeal to date investing in an educational system, a private space program with Space Ship One. But we've realized that we have an opportunity here to accomplish one of our long-term goals quickly for a reasonable price, while helping out our nation at the same time."
The Bush administration has promised to relinquish control of Iraq by June, but its plans for transition have been plagued by violence and uncertainty among its tentative provisional government.
"Well, I think we have to take this offer seriously," said National Security Advisor Condeleeza Rice. "The prolonged conflict in Iraq is a drain on the president's popularity, and handing over control to a company like Microsoft would absolve him of further responsibility. Plus, Microsoft has promised to make the payment with large bags of $100 bills live on MSNBC. You can't get better PR than that."
International law is vague on whether a private corporation may legally acquire a nation, but independent analysts are more concerned about whether Microsoft is the organization to do it.
"You need to look at this as Microsoft Nation 1.0," said United Nations undersecretary of corporate affairs Yolanda Fremont. "Bear in mind that security is a big problem in Iraq right now, and that security is not Microsoft's strong suit. I can just picture monthly "patches" being issued in the form of commando squads or armed raids, with new problems popping up immediately after each one. The country will be at the mercy of hackers within a year."
"Of course, that's not much different than how things are going now," admitted Fremont.
President Bush has not made a decision, though he is reportedly favorable to the idea. However, Vice President Dick Cheney is distinctly less enthusiastic.
"Being able to exit on schedule with a nice pile of cash would be good," said Cheney. "But I thought Halliburton had dibs."
Story used with permission from our fine friends at The Watley Review.
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