You have been invited to invade Iraq!

How the Web can make planning your next war hassle-free and fun for all.

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Published September 17, 2002 7:30PM (EDT)

When President Bush addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York last Thursday to whip up support for the invasion of Iraq, the rest of the world didn't exactly jump to join the party.

But while watching CNN's coverage of the U.N. speech, Matthew Baldwin, 31, an engineer in Seattle, was using Evite to spread the word about an upcoming event of his own. He quickly realized what the president's drum beating was missing -- the proper invitation.

So Baldwin did the president's party planning for him, composing an Evite announcing the "War on Iraq!!"

Baldwin spent all of 20 minutes composing his invitation in the quintessentially chirpy Evite idiom: "Hello World Leaders! Come join us, The United States, as we wage war on Iraq, November 14th in Bagdad! It should be a good time: CNN is coming, and we have some really cool new missiles and stuff "

Guests need only click Yes, No, or Maybe to get in on the fun or send their regrets. The organizer -- the United States -- even provides directions: "If you don't know how to get to Iraq, you can see a map here."

So far, only Britain can make it: "Sounds awesome, we can't wait!!" And Switzerland is a Maybe, but most of the other guests are being party poopers. The United Arab Emirates responded to the Evite with a rude: "You will be opening the gates of hell. Also, we have tickets to Ozzfest that day, sorry."

Baldwin says: "My opinion on the actual overthrow of Saddam Hussein is kind of secondary to my sense of disbelief that we're throwing this party, and even though no one is going to show up, by God we're going to put on our favorite CDs and have a good time."

Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Iraq Middle East National Security