02 May 2007

Congress's Timetable for Withdrawal from Iraq 26 April 2007 - 1 May 2007

Four years to the day after he, somewhat prematurely, donned his best GI Joe fighter-pilot outfit to report the death of the War with Iraq (we must confess that at the time of his announcement the President was As A Dodo's Washington correspondent. Having thus contributed to our already dubious reputation for accuracy (for an example of which see eg here) and having developed a habit of leaving copies of the Gideon bible in our bedside tables and improving homilies about the dangers of alcohol all over As A Dodo Towers on every visit, we regret that we had no alternative but to fire him), President George W Bush has now confirmed the death of Congress's Timetable for Withdrawal from Iraq.

The Timetable was born in the final days of April 2007, when a Congress eager to be seen to be doing something about the war with Iraq (and even more eager to have a multi-billion dollar bargaining chip to back up its negotiations with the President) insisted on attaching a timetable for withdrawal to a bill providing funding for the continued US presence in that benighted part of the globe.

From its first moments it was plain that the Timetable could not hope to survive beyond a few days. The merest glance at its delicate frame revealed it to be not merely a transparent attempt to gain political capital but also a bid to humiliate the President, the Timetable containing as it did not merely detailed plans for withdrawal from Iraq but also a requirement that Mr Bush attend double English lessons in the morning and Geography lessons in the afternoon (the latter presumably aimed at persuading him that - contrary to the assertions of Vice-President Cheney - Iraq could not be confused either with Al Qaeda's former base of operations in Afghanistan or the home of the 9/11 suicide bombers in Saudi Arabia).

Indeed, so lacking in strength was the Timetable that it took it some five days to struggle the mile from Congress to the White House. By the time it arrived, the President made it plain that he had no alternative but to put it out of its misery, consigning it to oblivion with a stab of a pen which he let be known (in an in-no-way utterly distasteful manner) had been given to him by the father of a marine killed in Iraq two years ago.

Seeking - like Brutus on the steps of the forum - to justify his actions, the President announced that the bill had sought to "substitute the opinions of politicians for the judgements of military commanders" - an action which he wholly condemned (unless the politicians in question were Paul "I could be so good for you, baby" Wolfowitz or Donald "I see no torture" Rumsfeld) - as well as "setting a timetable for chaos and confusion" that would "demoralise the Iraqi people and encourage killers across the Middle East", which tasks the President's administration already had well in hand.

Thus it was that the Timetable passed away. It will be buried quietly this weekend at the Church of St Mike Dukakis the Politically Hopeless. The Reverend Hillary Clinton will read from the Book of "What Me? Vote for the War? 'Fraid You've Got the Wrong Person, Squire. I was Tying my Shoelaces at the Time" and the hymn will be Number 582 "There is a Baghdad Far Away Without a City Wall, Reliable Electricity or Working Plumbing".

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

It gets better and better