- Retired Gen. Jay Garner and several of his staff are
relieved of their posts in Iraq but, of course, have done a splendid job.
There is still chaos, looting and a lack of clean water and power, but
reconstruction is proceeding with great progress. America is doing a worse
job than Saddam Hussein in feeding the Iraqi people, but everyone is so
happy to see the tyrant gone - though where he has gone, we don't know.
Perhaps he's with Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar. Not to worry, paradise
is on the way.
- As for al-Qaida, it has been decimated, crippled, rendered
ineffective - except, of course, for those members who simultaneously blew
up three foreign compounds and a business in Saudi Arabia.
- Everything in Afghanistan is peachy-creamy - except,
of course, that it looks remarkably as unstable and undeveloped as it did
a year ago. The president has also committed himself to his "road
map to peace," but never mind that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
refuses to accept it and again embarrasses Secretary of State Colin Powell
by clamping down on Palestinians before the secretary has even shaken off
the dust of Palestine from his shoes.
- And, of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with
the American economy, except the absence of another round of tax cuts.
The ability of this administration to live in a dream world, divorced from
reality, is quite remarkable. Why, the falling value of the dollar is good
for American exports. And the answer to the biggest string of record trade
deficits in history is to have more free-trade agreements, never mind that
they are the cause of the trade deficits in the first place.
- Sometimes I think our whole country is on dope. How nice
that Poland will administer a third of Iraq provided, naturally, that we
foot the bill for the entire operation. But one has to appreciate faithful
allies even if they are dead-broke and we have to pay through the nose
for their support. I'm sure the Poles, with their vast experience in the
Middle East, will be crackerjack administrators.
- A purely advisory role for the United Nations devoid
of one ounce of authority is naturally "a vital role." And while
we were impatient with U.N. weapons inspectors, now that we are hunting
these so-far-mythical tons of weapons of mass destruction, people must
be patient and understand it might even take years. But even if we don't
find them, never mind that everything we said to sell the war was a lie.
After all, we got rid of a tyrant, even though we have temporarily misplaced
- We shall, of course, leave no child behind - never mind
the federal cuts in education because of a ballooning federal deficit and
the further cuts in state education because of the state deficits. We have
only to say something and it is so. We say we are going to improve public
education, and bingo, it is improved. After all, a nation of functional
illiterates won't know the difference.
- And just look how we have expanded the great North Atlantic
Treaty Organization, right up to the borders of Russia. Of course, the
new members are too broke to buy arms, so we will have to foot the bill,
and then there is the problem of no enemy to fight. Never mind. We will
find something for NATO to do. NATO, like every other government bureaucracy,
shall have eternal life, even though its reason for existence vanished
a long time ago.
- Sometimes, following the news, I think I'm having hallucinations,
but I know I'm not, for I am as sober as a Southern Baptist preacher on
Sunday morning. Perhaps there is, "Matrix"- style, a dual universe.
The Bush administration lives in one, and I in another. I wouldn't mind,
except that the Bush Universe is likely to have dire consequences for the
universe I live in, as millions of unemployed Americans are discovering.
Ah, if only words were magic. Then we could solve all our problems by just
saying they are solved.
- © 2003 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.