By Andrew Martin

I like to think of myself as an Average Joe. So naturally I’ve been preparing myself for the impending—potentially civilization ending—war with China. I think this is common practice for any Average Joe. Living on the west coast, this weighs on me. They’re in position to become the largest economy in the world before 2050. They have a population surplus of 4 to 1 Chinese people for every American. If history tells us anything, they’re going to want to throw their weight around. What’s the normal American response to people throwing their weight around? We make them buy a ticket for an extra plane seat. When that doesn’t work, we drop atomic bombs on them or enter into a costly arms race that bankrupts their government. So what’s the point? Well, I’d just like to pass on a message to both parties involved, for the benefit of everyone. Please, treat prisoners of war well. It makes the whole going-to-war situation a lot better.

What can you expect from a war with China? Well, since we both have Nuclear weapons, it’s unlikely we’ll nuke each other, because then nobody really wins. And, unlike what they teach you in American grade schools, winning is everything. Trust me, the Chinese know this; ever heard of Tiger Moms? Winning is bred into these people from birth. How else can you explain an entire country taking Ping-Pong so seriously? So, since nukes are out of the question, conventional warfare seems the most likely candidate. This is the path they’ll most likely take:

They’ll probably skip Seattle because, let’s be honest, Seattle was only cool in the 90’s (Microsoft/Nirvana/Starbucks). What about Los Angeles? Well, I imagine every stuck-up person in Los Angeles will glare at the Chinese until they get embarrassed (without knowing why) and go away. This doesn’t make living in Portland very comforting. What also doesn’t bode well for me is China’s history with POWs. During the Korean War, the Chinese didn’t execute prisoners like their Korean counterparts. Instead, they starved them to death. In fact, about 43% of all POWs in Chinese custody died during the Korean War.

Why should POWs be treated well? I mean yeah, they’re the enemy, and they are dogs, and they’re probably a different race than you (which makes them seem sub-human), and they probably eat weird food, and like weird music, but I promise there’s a benefit that outweighs all these important reasons for killing every person standing in the way of your invasion. If you treat prisoners of war well, word will get back and more people will surrender. This message is applicable to both sides. Americans: treat the Chinese prisoners well and maybe they’ll all give up their campaign for cultural superiority and hegemony. Chinese: If you treat prisoners well, maybe I won’t get killed in your labor camps.

At this point you might be wondering, “Just how does one treat a POW well?” I’ll tell you how. First off, everyone is going to need memory foam mattresses. Also, enough of that gruel stuff that’s been passed off as prisoner food for centuries. Cook some real food for these people. They were working hard before surrender and earned it. Also, iTunes gift cards would be a really nice touch. Throw 15 bucks on there and pass them out with a firm (but not too firm), “welcome to prison camp,” pat on the back. I don’t know if Chinese internet censors block iTunes, but I’m sure there’s some Chinese alternative. Like a party-funded allegiance radio or something… Now, if people are still unruly after you’ve done all this, you should probably behead them in front of the other captives. Ungrateful people make me mad, so it’s deserved. If you gave me an iTunes gift card and a nice bed, I don’t think I’d rock the boat. In fact, you could then release soldiers after a few months and they would return only to re-surrender with a dozen of their friends. Memory Foam > World War III.