Dissociated Press, Wash. D.C.
Some say it's simply a case of putting old wine in a new bottle, but that hasn't stopped government officials from excited preparations for the re-release of a popular soda taken off the market last month for what inside sources are calling "a slight attitude adjustment."
Now called The Devil, the soda will feature a distinctive profile shot of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on one side of its label and glossy shots of U.S. war ships and planes on the other. As the basic flavors of the beverage will remain unaltered it is the new label which reflects the government's continuing commitment to "an image the public is really sold on."
Although U.S. economic sanctions against Iraq and the resulting lack of food and medicine are being blamed for the deaths of 6,000 or more Iraqi children per month, figures backed up by the World Health Organization, this info has so far been kept off the ingredients list on the can.
"These kinds of details tend to confuse people, making them question the integrity of the product," marketing coordinator Luke Otherway told us. "We find our simpler approach to be more beneficial in the long run; both to our sales margin and to our customers' desire for quality goods they don't have to feel bad about buying."
"We have realized that this is something people have been swallowing since it first hit the market in 1991. So why fix it if it ain't broke?" added Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in a brief news conference announcing the return of The Devil to American communities everywhere.
- Bill MacKay