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Bush Sends Troops To West Nile

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What’s At Stake In New Hampshire

With the New Hampshire primary election Tuesday poised to impact the course of the 2016 presidential race, The Onion examines what’s at stake for the candidates

Monocle-Wearing Oil Baron’s Cigarette Holder Splinters In Clenched Teeth After Hearing Bernie Sanders’ Environmental Platform

GREENWICH, CT—Leaving him visibly seething as he sat in his tufted leather wingback chair in his study, monocle-wearing oil baron Frederick Porter Harriman’s ivory-inlaid cigarette holder reportedly splintered between his clenched teeth upon him hearing presidential candidate Bernie Sanders outline his environmental platform during Thursday night’s Democratic debate.

Biggest Campaign Gaffes So Far

The road to the 2016 election has seen its fair share of blunders, miscalculations, and poorly worded statements, all captured by an eager news media that’s always on the lookout for political missteps. Here are some of the biggest campaign gaffes of this election cycle so far:

How The Iowa Caucuses Work

The votes cast in the Iowa caucuses on Monday night mark the official beginning of the 2016 election season, but the specifics of the state’s selection process can be confusing to voters who don’t live there. Here, The Onion answers the most common questions about how the Iowa caucuses work:

Iowan Comforts Sobbing Jeb Bush At Town Hall

DES MOINES, IA—Slowly approaching the distraught, trembling presidential candidate before embracing him in a gentle hug, 42-year-old single mother Holly Sullivan comforted a sobbing Jeb Bush during a town hall forum, sources confirmed Friday.

Dazed Marco Rubio Wakes Up In Koch Compound To Find Cold Metal Device Installed Behind Ear

‘Hello Marco, We Will Now Begin The Program,’ Says Soothing Voice

UNKNOWN LOCATION—The brightly lit, stark-white room gradually coming into focus as he regained consciousness, GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio reportedly awoke in the Koch brothers’ secret compound Thursday and reached suddenly to his throbbing head to discover a cold metal device implanted behind his left ear.

Hillary Clinton Relaxing Before Debate With Few Hours Of Debate Practice

GOFFSTOWN, NH—Describing it as a much-needed escape from the hype and pressure surrounding the event, aides from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign confirmed that the candidate has been taking it easy and kicking back ahead of Saturday’s Democratic debate with a few hours of intensive debate practice.

Terrified Jeb Bush Beginning To Fade From Visible Spectrum

LAS VEGAS—His voice slowing during his response to a question about immigration as he struggled to comprehend what was happening to him, a visibly terrified Jeb Bush reportedly began to vanish from the visible spectrum while on stage at Tuesday night’s Republican debate.

Koch Brothers Get Each Other Same Election For Christmas

WICHITA, KS—Chuckling and shaking their heads as they described their annual family gift exchange to reporters, Koch Industries executives Charles and David Koch confirmed Wednesday they had unwittingly gotten each other the same election for Christmas this year.

The Pros And Cons Of Political Correctness

A key issue currently driving a wedge between political parties in the U.S. is the question of so-called political correctness, or the avoidance of language and actions that could be construed as exclusive, oppressive, or marginalizing of minority groups. Here are the pros and cons of political correctness in our national discourse:

Rand Paul Escorted Off Stage After Falling Below 2.5% In Middle Of Debate

MILWAUKEE—Interrupted midway through answering a question about how he would reform the nation’s tax code, Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul was reportedly escorted off stage roughly an hour into Tuesday’s GOP primary debate after falling below the minimum 2.5 percent polling threshold necessary for participating in the forum.

Fact-Checking Ben Carson’s Claims

GOP presidential frontrunner Ben Carson is currently under fire for claims he’s made about his past in books and interviews, many of which journalists have alleged are fabricated or skewed in the candidate’s favor. The Onion breaks down what’s truth and what’s fiction.

Republicans’ Demands For Upcoming Debates

Following last week’s contentious debate in Colorado, Republican presidential candidates are formulating demands for future debates in the effort to reduce perceived media bias and foster a more productive, policy-focused discussion. Here are the GOP’s demands for upcoming debates

Top Issues For Voters In The 2016 Election

With the presidential race well underway and the pool of candidates narrowing, Americans will soon have to choose their next leader based on how well they speak to the issues. Here are the top issues that matter for voters in the 2016 election

Winners And Losers Of Last Night’s Debate

The top 10 leading GOP presidential candidates met in Boulder, CO for their third debate last night, hosted by CNBC and featuring a number of contentious moments concerning alleged liberal media bias, frontrunners’ contradictory statements, and more. The Onion breaks down who won and who lost the debate

Ben Carson Tormented By Periodic Rational Thoughts

SAN ANTONIO—Calling the disturbing incidents a persistent source of anguish, GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson told reporters at a Monday campaign stop that he has been tormented by periodic rational thoughts for the past several years.

How Democrats Are Preparing For Their First Debate

The first Democratic presidential debate will be held Tuesday, and the candidates are expected to battle it out over issues as wide-ranging as gun control, climate change, and wealth inequality in America. Here’s how the candidates are preparing for the debate

Group Of Christie Campaign Deserters Found In Forest

SHAMONG, NJ—Huddling together around fires of burning yard signs while sipping small rations of soup from mugs adorned with the phrase “Telling It Like It Is,” a ragged encampment of advisers, pollsters, and volunteers who deserted Chris Christie’s presidential campaign was reportedly found living deep in a New Jersey forest Friday, authorities confirmed.

Sight Of 400 War Elephants On Horizon Marks Hillary Clinton’s Arrival In Swing State

WHEELING, OH—Feeling the earth shake beneath them as they watched the procession climb over the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains toward their village, sources along the Ohio border confirmed Thursday that the sight of 400 war elephants marching on the horizon marked Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s arrival to the critical swing state.

Unemployed Single Mother In Rubio Speech Told Candidate About Her Problems In Confidence

CEDAR FALLS, IA—Describing her shock and embarrassment upon learning that her personal struggles were shared with an entire campaign rally audience, 37-year-old Allison Kilpatrick, an unemployed single mother that Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio mentioned in a recent stump speech, informed reporters Thursday that she told the candidate about her problems in confidence.

Obama Scrambling Around White House Kitchen Before State Dinner

WASHINGTON—Darting back and forth from refrigerator to sink to prep table while hurriedly preparing 350 hand-carved radish rosettes, a visibly agitated President Obama reported Friday that everything must be absolutely perfect for tonight’s state dinner in honor of Chinese president Xi Jinping.

Voters Look On In Horror As 3 New Republican Candidates Appear In Place Of Scott Walker

MADISON, WI—Overcome by a profound feeling of dread and helplessness as the GOP field multiplied before their eyes, voters at Scott Walker’s press conference yesterday, in which the Wisconsin governor announced he was exiting the presidential race, reportedly looked on in horror as three new Republican contenders appeared on stage in place of the former candidate.

Top Snake Handler Leaves Sinking Huckabee Campaign

LITTLE ROCK, AR—Dealing yet another blow to the former Arkansas governor’s presidential hopes, Dalton Hobbs, one of Mike Huckabee’s top snake handlers, has decided to leave the sinking campaign, sources reported Thursday.

Aides Rush On Stage To Rotate Scott Walker Back To Direction Of Audience

SIMI VALLEY, CA—Upon noticing that the Wisconsin governor had become disoriented during one of the moderator’s questions and begun delivering his response while facing the set’s backdrop, several of his aides rushed on stage during Wednesday’s GOP primary debate to rotate Scott Walker back in the direction of the audience.

GOP Debate Stage Manager Pulls Ladies’ Podium Out Of Storage For Carly Fiorina

SIMI VALLEY, CA—Having rummaged through a cluttered backstage closet for nearly half an hour in an effort to locate its elegantly curved lavender form, stage manager Paul Guzman is said to have finally pulled the GOP’s official ladies’ podium out of storage for Carly Fiorina ahead of Wednesday night’s Republican primary debate.

Who Is Kim Davis?

Rowan County, KY clerk Kim Davis returned to work Monday after being jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples on religious grounds. Here’s what you need to know about the defiant public servant:
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Ugh, This A Place Where Bartenders Wear Bow Tie

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Bush Sends Troops To West Nile

WASHINGTON, DC—Vowing to "exact justice for the taking of innocent American lives," a determined and defiant President Bush deployed more than 14,000 ground troops to the West Nile Monday.

Bush outlines the details of Operation Deep Desert Off! to reporters.

"My fellow Americans, an enemy from overseas has attacked us in our own land, waging biological warfare against us on our home soil," Bush said in a nationally televised speech from the Oval Office. "We must send a strong message to our enemies in the West Nile region that this virulent aggression against America will not go unpunished; it will not stand."

Bush's decision to deploy troops came on the heels of three more West Nile virus deaths over the weekend—one in Louisiana and two in Illinois—bringing the national death toll to 51.

"These cowards want to bring down our very way of life," Bush said. "They have sought to rob us of our ability to leave the house without repellent. But what they did not count on is the tremendous spirit and resolve of the American people. No one, be they man or mosquito, will dictate what we put or don't put on our skin for protection."

Armed with anti-mosquito munitions, American Special Forces made landfall at Damietta near the mouth of the Nile early Tuesday, and by dawn had erected U.S. Army netting over the city. Bush promised that the netting, expected to extend all the way to Khartoum by the end of the week, will eventually stretch nearly 1,000 miles to the Nile's source and "as far to the west as necessary."

West Nile Map

"The United States will not stand idly by while people or insects who despise everything we stand for develop weapons of mass infection," Bush said. "The only way to fight a pestilence such as this is to attack it right where it breeds—in this case, the lands to the west of the Nile River."

Though not made public until Monday, Operation Deep Desert Off! began at approximately 3 p.m. EST Sunday when Air Force F-15 aircraft armed with mosquito-seeking Sidewinder missiles flew in support of F-18s deploying military-grade citronella napalm. By nightfall, special DEET-dispensing flamethrower tanks of the First Armored Infantry were scouting out possible base camps 100 miles west of the Nile.

Though details of the plan remain classified, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the ultimate goal of Operation Deep Desert Off! is to "eradicate the deadly, virulent strain of anti-Americanism that has spread from the West Nile to our own shores."

"We have 14,000 fully armed and equipped American troops in the region right now who are prepared to take the fight to this foreign threat," Rumsfeld said. "I must stress that it will not be easy, as the war we wage is not against a traditional enemy. This enemy operates in secrecy, striking when and where we least expect. It is an enemy without borders. But I am nevertheless confident that the evildoers responsible for killing those 51 Americans and infecting hundreds more can be defeated by Christmas."

U.S. soldiers board a troop-transport boat near the West Nile city of Alexandria.

Response to Bush's troop deployment has been mixed.

"This ridiculous show of force is patently not the way to fight the West Nile virus," said Dr. Arnold Bloch of the Centers For Disease Control. "Foreign military action will do nothing to halt the spread of this disease and does not help those currently infected with West Nile. Besides, Bush should have deployed those anti-mosquito jet fighters along the eastern seaboard and garrisoned the Mississippi River area last year, when there was still a chance to contain the disease's domestic spread."

"Only two years ago, Bush said he would try to control his retaliatory impulses," Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) said. "But in the past six months, he's invaded the West Nile, petitioned Congress for economic sanctions against Japan for the crop devastation wrought by the Japanese beetle, and threatened China with nuclear attack if its snakehead invasion was not halted. If he continues this hardline military stance on all overseas natural threats, he will badly damage his chances of ever solving future crises peacefully."

Undeterred, Bush maintains that the time to strike is now.

"We will hunt down and capture those who bring sickness and death to our shores," said Bush during a visit to the St. Louis home of Robyn Crist, 35, whose husband Dan was one of the first West Nile casualties. "Nothing can deter us from bringing down these bloodsucking anti-American parasites."

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