Viewers of rightwing network Newsmax were told Saturday by "Paul Wolfowitz" that the war in Afghanistan was "a failure from day one" and that the over $2 trillion the U.S. poured into the war would have been better spent on "something useful like healthcare or education."
During the approximately 11-minute phone interview, host Tom Basile appears to be unaware that it's not the actual Wolfowitz—an Iraq War cheerleader who served as deputy defense secretary in the George W. Bush administration—but Andy Bichlbaum, one of the Yes Men pranksters. That's despite Basile referring to the two men as having met.
"A sitting president... unnecessarily ended a war—for no reason at all," lamented the fake Wolfowitz. "Because let's be honest, there just aren't a lot of things that ordinary Americans can be proud of these days."
"Americans know," he continued, "that other prosperous countries have it better in healthcare, infrastructure, education, elder care, food options, income."
"Americans can't be proud of that stuff," but "they can be proud of a war—even if it's unwinnable, even if it lasts 20 years, even if it's a failure from day one in my administration," he said.
"Of course two trillion dollars could have been spent building stuff people want," said the fake Wolfowitz, "instead of going to big defense contractors and their shareholders."
In a post on their website explaining the Saturday action, the creative action group described the prank as "a drop in the bucket, and at dinky-ass Newsmax—but hey, it's not about individual actions anyhow. War can be over, if we all want it."