Wednesday, October 19, 2005

We're Winning, Except When We're Not

We're not sure why the Congress keeps calling Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice back from her shoe shopping trips to talk about Iraq. After all, it's not like we've turned the corner there, or the insurgency is in its last throes or anything. Let the poor lady shop you guys.

The U.S. Secretary of State faces tough questions by lawmakers over U.S. policy in Iraq. Despite violence that shows no sign of abating, State Department officials said Rice was expected to stress the Bush administration's view that progress is being made, citing last weekend's relatively peaceful referendum as an example.

"Well, sure the vote didn't really mean anything," said State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack, "but at this stage we'll take whatever we can get. Did you know there are less homeless pets in Iraq now?"

The Bush administration has come under strong criticism for not doing enough to stabilize Iraq and of botching up rebuilding programs aimed at winning over angry Iraqis. "What angry Iraqis?" Asked McCormack. "Oh, you mean the ones blowing up our troops. They're all outside agitators."

Rice is also likely to answer questions on Syria, which Washington accuses of fanning the insurgency in Iraq by having a common border and also being an Arab nation. "The hearing is focused on Iraq. If there are any questions related to Syria, she'll be ready to answer them," McCormack told reporters. "After all, most of her answers boil down to 9/11! 9/11!"

In a week long visit to Europe and Central Asia last week, Rice lobbied Paris, London and Moscow to take tough action against Syria over Iraq. "It's not like we can do anything about it, being all bogged down in Iraq and all," Rice told reporters, "but it just frosts us when people don't do what we want."

When asked if Bush expected any actual accomplishments from the Secretary as opposed to always testifying before Congress and complaining to the UN, McCormack replied that "You go with the Secretary you have, not the one you wish you had."

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