I challenge you to a duel!

By Bjorn-Erik Townsend
03 October 2002

Feel free to link or circulate this; just keep Bjorn's name attatched.

An Iraqi vice-president has suggested that instead of going to war,
Presidents Bush and Hussein should hold a duel instead to decide the
outcome of the conflict, saving the American and Iraqi peoples the expense
and suffering of a real war. I think this is a brilliant idea; I've always
been sad that dueling went out of fashion. I got to thinking, though,
about what would have happened if all previous conflicts in American
history had been decided by duels, rather than battles. Here's a small

THE MATCH: The Founding Fathers vs. King George III, Rex Britannia

THE PLAY: King George is ambushed on his way to the dueling grounds by
revolutionary soldiers who, for some inexplicable reason, refuse to wear
brightly-colored uniforms and march in a straight line. No replacement can
be found. The French judge declares a win for the Americans (after a hefty

THE OUTCOME: The British go home, have a cup of tea and sulk about their
newly-discovered inferiority complex. The Americans decide that they are

THE MATCH: Prime Minister Winston Churchill vs. Der Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler

THE PLAY: Winston and Adolf play football (that's soccer, to you
Americans). Hitler commits suicide after overextending his reach without
adequate defense, and his body is immediately eaten by a pack of rabid
Manchester United fans.

THE OUTCOME: Winston has a cigar.

THE MATCH: President Harry Truman vs. Emperor Hirohito of Nippon

THE PLAY: Truman, in our reality, ordered two Japanese cities to be
vaporized. Hirohito was mostly interested in fish, between bouts of world
domination. Since Truman was the challenged party, he got to choose how
the duel would be fought. "Projectile weapons", he says. Hirohito agrees
and goes to get his pistol. Meanwhile, former field artillery captain
Truman directs the offshore bombardment of the dueling ground from the
safety of the bridge of a battleship.

THE OUTCOME: The Americans win because they have bigger guns. Everyone
agrees except for the Japanese, who tell their children that the match was
a draw because the Americans didn't play fair.

THE MATCH: President John F. Kennedy vs. Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev

THE PLAY: Premier Khruschev beats Kennedy to death with his shoes.

THE OUTCOME: The Soviets win the Cold War, but their economy collapses
before they can take over the NATO bloc.

THE MATCH: President Richard Nixon vs. Hoh Chi Minh

THE PLAY: Nixon and Hoh Chi Minh have a sparring match. Hoh Chi Minh beats
the crap out of Nixon, since he's a hardcore revolutionary martial artist,
but Nixon keeps getting up and going back for more, until finally he loses
consciousness and has to be dragged out of the ring by the Democratic

THE OUTCOME: The Vietnamese get to just do their thing, and the Americans
go home in shame.

THE MATCH: President Bush the First versus President Saddam Hussein

THE PLAY: Saddam challenges Bush the First to a game of hide-and-seek in
the desert. Despite air-dropped supplies and a GPS navigation system, Bush
never does find Saddam.

THE OUTCOME: Driven mad by his master's defeat, General Norman
Schwartzkopf bombs the hell out of Iraq anyway, while the rest of the
world screams in protest. Saddam lives to fight Gulf War II against Bush
the Second.

THE MATCH: President Bill Clinton vs. President Slobodan Milosevic of

THE PLAY: Solobodan fights Bill in a Serbian mass graveyard at midnight.
As they shake hands before the fight, Bill keels over because of the
contact poison Slobodan put on his glove. Slobodan buries Bill in the
grave, and later claims that Bill never showed.

THE OUTCOME: An investigation run by the Duel Crimes Tribunal at The Hague
uncovers Slobodan's treachery. He goes to jail, and the Americans bomb the
hell out of Serbia.

THE MATCH: President Bush the Second vs. Osama bin Laden

THE PLAY: Bush and bin Laden try to hunt each other down in a mountain
pass in Afghanistan. Bush gets lost and ends up in Iraq.

THE OUTCOME: Bush mistakes Iraq for Afghanistan, and orders the American
Air Force to bomb it anyway. Bush kills Saddam, but the judges rule the
move illegal, and the Americans are forced to make reparations. Bush says
that the judges must be in league with the Taliban.