Ben Hodges

(Author’s Note: The opinions expressed herein are solely the opinions of Dr. Evil. We do not assent, concur, approve, sanction, support, favor, esteem, commend, acquiesce, admire, endorse or agree with, the opinions, feelings, thoughts, views, beliefs, judgments, or outlooks expressed herein. We do not take a view either favorably or unfavorably on evil, in general or specifically. We do not deny its existence, nor do we promote its reality. We neither understand its importance, nor do we comprehend its meaning. If it is a concept we should recognize, then we don’t. If it is a concept we shouldn’t recognize, then we do. The morality of evil is purely a personal matter to be shared among non-consenting adults, and it is protected by the code of political correctness.)

Dr. Evil: I would like to welcome my guest, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges. Welcome, General.

General: Glad to be with you, Dr. Evil.

Dr. Evil: I understand you are in charge of U.S. Armed forces in Europe. And the nukes? How could I get my hands on some of those bombs?

General: Well, Dr. Evil, the nuclear component of our country is under the command and control of different entities within the U.S. military, but ultimately under the control of civilian authority, specifically the president of the United States.

Dr. Evil: So I couldn’t buy one?

General: No, sir.

Dr. Evil: Borrow one?

General: No, sir.

Dr. Evil: Steal one?

General: Well, certainly not from us.

Dr. Evil: Well shit, I can’t catch a frickin’ break when it comes to getting a weapon of mass destruction. Saddam didn’t have any, Kim Jong-Il died on me, and his son is a complete frickin’ loon. Those tight-assed Israelis have turned me down — something about an existential threat — and don’t get me started on those Pakistanis. What’s an evil genius got to do to get back on top?

General: Hmm, I am not sure, Dr. Evil.

Dr. Evil: Well, anyway, the real reason for this interview stems from some of the rather deliciously “PROVOCATIVE” [motions in the air with both hands making the quote symbol] statements you made about those Ruskies.

General: Yes, sir, and which comments are you interested in reviewing?

Dr. Evil: Well, the one where you said that a Russian preemptive attack was very likely if your forces didn’t make a robust show of their capabilities. Which I assume means to prance about with your tanks, warplanes and troops, making a bunch of noise, shooting off flares, scaring the chickens and flattening out some poor farmer’s crops. Sounds delightful!

General: Well, “prance” isn’t the word I would use, but a show of force is exactly the idea.

Dr. Evil: In my infinite evil wisdom, I have never had to prove to anyone my evil genius, unless I wasn’t the top dog. [Raising an eyebrow] General, I think these Ruskies have you by the short hairs on your scrotum, don’t they? Now we are getting somewhere. Let me see, the Russians have the bigger guns, don’t they? Admit it! It won’t hurt.

General: No, sir. We have the finest weapons that a military-industrial complex can produce. To give you an order of magnitude, we and just our top-five NATO allies spend 10 times more on defense than the Russians.

Dr. Evil: Well, they must have a larger economy?

General: Well, not exactly. Russia has a $2 trillion economy and 140 million people. We have 28 allies with a combined economy of $37 trillion dollars and just over 900 million people.

Dr. Evil: Did you say $37 MILLION, I mean, $37 BILLION dollars?

General: No, sir. I said $37 trillion dollars.

Dr. Evil: How much is a trillion? Let me see … [starts counting on his fingers]

General: That is 1,000 billions.

Dr. Evil: Well then, Russia must have powerful allies committed by treaty to help defend them?

General: Well, I am not clear on treaty obligations, but Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Bulgaria are considered to be their best friends in the area. Sorry, Bulgaria is in NATO, although friendly with the Russians.

Dr. Evil: [Sarcastically] Hmm, quite a lineup there, General.

General: [Chuckling] I see your point, Dr. Evil. We have been effective in surrounding — sorry, not a good choice of words — in developing allies in the region.

Dr. Evil: Well, I am about to give up, OK … They have positioned their army close to the important capitals of the NATO alliance?

General: Well let me see, [scrolling through his iPad] 4,900 miles to Washington, 800 miles to Berlin, 1,300 miles to London, 1,400 miles to Paris. Not really, but they did just invade several countries.

Dr. Evil: Aye, some of your allies no doubt. Perfect. Which country? Poland, Belgium, France?

General: Well technically not allies, but the sovereign country of Ukraine.

Dr. Evil: Those bastards, I am starting to like their style. Plenty of pillaging, I am sure!

General: Well not so much, as the region invaded — Crimea — had been part of the Soviet Union and before that Russia.

Dr. Evil: So they conquered land that had historically been theirs? What a bunch of dumb-shits, don’t you agree general?

General: Well that’s a political issue that I am not authorized to comment on.

Dr. Evil: But you no doubt sent in overwhelming forces and made them pay for their insolent invasion?

General: Not exactly, but we did initiate economic sanctions against Russia for the invasion and their hostilities in the months following. Their stock market and currency crashed.

Dr. Evil: Hmm, I think I am getting a perfectly genius, evil thought. You cornered the bear, and when he growled and bared his fangs, you made him the guilty party. Brilliant, General. You have outclassed the Russians by almost every measure one could imagine, and yet, they are the “BAD GUYS” in the press. Perfectly evil.

General: Well, Dr. Evil, I appreciate your approval, but I wouldn’t characterize it exactly the way you did.

Dr. Evil: Of course you wouldn’t, General, because you aren’t a true evil genius. You clearly missed some obvious opportunities to make your plan even more evil. What if you had undermined the democratically elected government of Ukraine by planting secret agents to sew chaos? This plan would have been expertly and fully coordinated with the U.S. ambassador. The ensuing pandemonium would have caused a nationwide civil war between the various ethnic groups. To top it off, you would have recruited a cadre of neo-Nazis to lead your rebel forces and then have them shoot down a civil airline — preferably Dutch, as you know I hate those freaky-deaky Dutch — while blaming it on the Russians. Sometimes I amaze myself … Stunned into silence at my evil brilliance, General? [Making his signature move, he raises his pinkie finger to the edge of his mouth.]

General: No comment.

Dr. Evil: Oh … that’s OK, General. Standing before an evil mastermind is daunting, I am sure. Don’t let it get you down, because there’s always next month’s war! [Laughs maniacally.]