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The Pain of Retrospection


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“I expect you cowboys to come up with an effective strategy to weather this storm, and I am not referring to Katrina or Rita”

The Chief delivered the message to the staff in the White House from the teleconference studio of the ranch in Crawford. He was in a somber mood. He did not expect so many crises to burst upon his administration in just a few weeks. He had started out on the trip to Crawford hoping to distance himself from the collective stresses and hysteria of the White House; from those Natural Disasters, the Iraqi fiasco, the North Korean and Iranian nuclear ambitions, the bickering in the Democratic Congress, the arguments about his tax cuts, the Grand Jury investigations and the recent revival of the WMD argument. Fortunately he had Condi with him. He said:

“Do you feel like I do? You know, like the roof is about to collapse or the whistle is about to blow or as if Snoopy’s stormy night is about to unleash its fury?”

The Secretary of State, impeccable in a tight fitting velvet skirt, an embroidered blouse with discreet light grey designs and a soft cashmere jacket on her shoulders, smiled and replied but not before looking at herself in her hand mirror and gently placing that coquettish lock of hair in its place:

“Yes I do but I make an effort to identify those negative thoughts and then classify them as the small price we pay in our quest for freedom, liberty and ever lasting democracy!”

“Wish I could do the same but when I try to identify those negative shadows, I get lost. There are so many that not even Judge Roberts could name the first 100 of them!”

‘You must try, Mister President. My esthetician has told me that negative thoughts, fears and apprehension are a sure cause for wrinkles and a wrinkled President is as useful as the UN!”

“I understand but the fact remains that our image continues to erode in the eyes of the world and from an admired and respected nation we are turning into a tin horn dictatorship and an international bully. I should never have allowed Dick&Don to run anything in my government!”

“But Mister President we thought all along that you all were embarked in this adventure together. Cheney and Rummy are like the two prize cooks in the kitchen that put together the plates, bring them to you and you approve them. If the customers don’t like the dish and throws it back at you, you just have to take it. You approved the damn things, remember/”

“You sound like my mother Condi. Dick swears that if we didn’t invade Iraq, mushroom clouds would have sprouted all over the US in hours. He also assured me that the moment the Iraqis saw the first jeep of the invasion entering Baghdad, they would go crazy with joy and throw flowers at our troops and sing La Marselleise in our honor!”

“La Marselleise/”

“Isn’t that their national anthem?’

“No, it is France’s but it does not matter. Please continue. ”

“Rumsfeld on the other hand assured me that he did not need many troops. He said that a good bombing before taking the streetcar to Baghdad, was all that was needed. He had invented modern warfare, he told me. He was going to revolutionize the art of war. No need for troops, just a few Delta Force veterans and a good cook and we could be in business in Iraq in less than 24 hours!”

The President stopped and with a sad look on his face, grabbed a hot dog from the table, applied the right dose of mustard, dill pickle, catsup, Tabasco, chopped onion, a few drops of lemon, sprinkled carefully some chopped parsley and wrapped the combination in a napkin. He sat down, smiled at Condi and then went to work on the dog.

He looked at Condi and said:

"Why didn't they pick brother Jeb?'

Chemical engineer by training, international executive by merit and writer by addiction. Former syndicated columnist of Technology columns, has written for television and movies. His humorous articles contain fine satire and have been published in 4 languages. Quote: “Love and smiles teach tolerance; days without either are days wasted"


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