How to win the war:!

He's a venture capitalist of terror -- let's seduce him with a PowerPoint pitch, then squander all his moolah on Super Bowl ads!

Published November 12, 2001 8:30PM (EST)

Conventional military methods, and even sneaky assassination attempts have proven ineffective in removing the problem of Osama bin Laden. But our nation has the means to destroy him right now, and it should be employed.

Bin Laden operates as a sort of venture capitalist for terrorists. Terrorists approach him with their proposals, and he decides whether or not they should be funded, much like a Silicon Valley V.C. man might decide to fund a new computer chip. Of course, it's a bit eerie to imagine how these sales pitches might go. "Our scheme will kill twice as many of the infidels and at a lower cost! The cost per infidel is shown on the bar chart in section B of the prospectus."

We know how to deal with the likes of bin Laden-style venture capitalists, but lack of imagination has prevented us from acting on our experience. Here's a hint -- bombs are not the answer.

But we do have a veritable army of soldiers to deal with his ilk, and by odd fortune, many of them are currently unemployed due to the dot-com collapse. We need to send these unemployed dot-commers to Afghanistan, armed with laptops and PowerPoint presentations. Bin Laden will be seduced by the ease with which technology can convey terror around the world. A computer virus that will destroy the U.S. power grid! A cloud of nerve gas released from the top of the Sears Tower by a wind-sensing robot! A new paradigm of Web-based terrorist recruiting!

Then they will take the money and spend it on Super Bowl ads and fancy new offices. When bin Laden calls them up, he will angrily demand to see some progress. They will answer, "I share your concerns, Osama! But things are going just great! We've finally turned the corner! Looking at the progress reports, we should be close to blowing something up by the end of the year! Oh, hey Osama, I hate to cut you short, but we're having the grand opening of our Web site! I hear they're serving lobster down there!"

He'll be broke in months.

By John Newton

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