Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama have agreed on a plan to end war, according to a recording of a conversation between the two Presidents recently made available to "Cross-check" by an anonymous source.
The conversation took place last week, when Obama called Putin to discuss sources of tension, such as Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the U.S. modernization of its nuclear arsenal. Putin said, "Barack, here is deal. I pull Russian troop from Crimea when you pull American troop from Afghanistan."
Putin: “And stop building new nuclear bomb.”
Putin: "And stop assassinating with drone."
Obama: "You got it, man."
Putin, chuckling: "You are funny man, Barack."
Obama: "I'm not joking, Vlad. I've been thinking a lot lately about this whole war thing. Michelle and my kids have been giving me hell about all the women and kids killed under my watch. Then Michelle gave me this little book, called The End of War, about how ending war between nations is possible. My first reaction was, 'Come on.' I mean, right? Then I thought, 'Heck, why not? Maybe it's time for world peace.' I mean, I am the Hope President."
Putin: "You waste my time with silliness."
Obama: "I'm dead serious, Vladimir! I'm sick of getting hammered by all the bleeding hearts. Including my own wife! And I know you hate peoples' perception of you as this Neanderthal bully. You want everybody to see you're really a sophisticated, modern man of diplomacy and peace. So this is your chance! Our chance! If we pull this off, we'd be the two greatest leaders in history! The guys who finally ended the terrible scourge of war!"
Putin: "Okay. You start by ending American military empire. Shut down bases in Japan, Germany, Turkey, Cuba…"
Obama: "You got it!"
Putin: "Kosovo, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Philippines…"
Obama: "I know where our bases are, Vladimir. Those bases are friggin' expensive. It'll be a relief to shut 'em down. I'll also stop all our foreign arms sales and military aid, if you do the same. We only give other countries non-military aid from now on, for improving health care and transportation and stuff like that. And instead of trying to kill terrorists, we'll just pay them to stop being a pain in the ass. It'll be a lot cheaper and easier. If we do this right, everyone will love us! No one will want to be a terrorist any more!"
Putin: "I am sure your Republicans will love idea."
Obama: "You'd be surprised. I don't think it'll be that hard to convince the fiscal and religious conservatives that this is the right thing to do. And my Presidency is almost over! I have nothing to lose!"
Putin: “I make deal with you, hooligan Trump undo.”
Obama: “Trump President? Good one, Vlad. The only way that buffoon is gettin' in the White House is in his dreams. Hillary is gonna be the next POTUS, and I know I can get her on board with this. Her credentials as a hawk will make it easier for her to become a peacenik. You know, like the commie-hater Nixon going to China.”
Putin: "Holy Mother. I start to think you are not making joke. What about Israel, Syria, China..."
Obama: "Yup, yup. I'll talk to Israel and the Palestinians and get them on board. They're sick and tired of fighting. You talk to Assad, the Iranians, North Koreans, you know, your people. My NATO allies will be easy to convince. We'll both talk to China. Listen, even the toughest leaders always say they want peace. So let's call them on it! Let's give them a peace plan they can't refuse! To show everyone we mean business, you and I promise to get rid of all our nukes by the end of this year."
Putin: "How do I know…"
Obama: "Ahead of you. We both agree to total transparency, for verification. Inspections anywhere, any time, on demand. And we agree to submit all our disputes with other nations to the World Court. You lead the way, by pulling your troops out of Crimea and letting the World Court decide the whole Ukraine thing. And Chechnya, too."
Putin, "[Unintelligible]… Chechnya!"
Obama: "Think of the money we'll save with conflict resolution! The stress we'll avoid! So what do you say, Vlad? How'd you like to end war with me?"
Putin, long pause. "You say this is my idea, and you have deal. You already have Nobel Prize. I want one, all by myself."
Obama: "What!! You KGB bast-…! Okay, fine, Vlad. I'll say it was your idea."
Postscript: Happy April Fools’ Day! [This is an updated version of a post published two years ago.]