Tuesday, December 05, 2006

BREAKING: New SecDef Can Read

Politicians amaze us. They can say the most outrageous things and make it sound like they're just telling you the time of day, or the most obvious things and make it sound like they're letting you in on some deep dark secret. We think they are able to do this because they have vents behind their ears that relieve pressure and keep their heads from exploding. At least that was true of Scott McClellan.

US defense secretary nominee Robert Gates admitted the United States is not winning the war in Iraq. "Oh, duh. Ya Think?" responded Senator Carl Levin (D-Comb Over) "What was your first clue?"

Gates also said any military operation against the Iran, with which Washington is locked in a nuclear showdown, would have a "dramatic" impact on US security. "And by 'dramatic' I mean the President would have to appoint Jack Bauer to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and nobody would notice."

"We have seen in Iraq that once war is unleashed it becomes unpredictable," Gates said. "Of course, playing poker is 'unpredictable' too, so what the heck do I know. I'm just here to fill out Rummy's time until we can get a president who can tell his elbow from a hole in the ground."

Asked by Senator Byrd (D-Old Crickity) whether he would endorse an attack against another US foe, Syria, he said, "Come on. Not even the president is that stupid." After a pause he added, "Let me clarify. At this point in time, the president has not said anything that would lead me to believe he is that stupid. If, however, at some point in the future, he were to say something that stupid, I would be willing to change my position vis-a-vis the president's stupidity."

The committee chairman, Republican Senator John Warner, opened the hearing by reprising remarks he made several months ago that the situation in Iraq was drifting "sideways. And by that I mean backwards, but turned 90 degrees counterclockwise because of the equator."

"My greatest worry," Gates told the committee, "is that if we mishandle the next year or two, and if we leave Iraq in chaos, ... a variety of regional powers will become involved in Iraq and we will have a regional conflict on our hands. And given how we've handled things up to this point...well, I"m buying land in Belize, if you get my drift."

"All options are on the table," Gates said, when asked what strategies were possible in Iraq, following Bush's vow American troops will stay until the mission is complete. "And my first task, if confirmed, will be to find a mission we can complete in the shortest possible time, so we can get the heck out of Dodge. Right now I'm thinking something along the lines of painting al-Maliki's house and maybe doing some yard work for him."

"We need to work together to develop a strategy that does not leave Iraq in chaos and that protects our long-term interests in and hopes for the region," Gates said. "But barring that, I say screw it, let's just go home."

After meeting Gates at the White House, Bush said his nominee, a former CIA director, "respects those who volunteer to serve our country. I have no idea why I said that. At this point the voices in my head are totally incomprehensible, even to me."

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