National: Bush Receives Report Card From Iraq War Commission
At an early morning meeting on the White House, the bi-partisan panel on the Iraq war presented the President with its official report on the progress of the Iraq war. The AP story on this event noted the following:
"Bush was flanked at the White House meeting by the panel's co-chairmen, former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, and former Rep. Lee Hamilton in a remarkable scene — a president praising the work of a group that had just concluded his policy had led to chaos and risked worse."
We take you now to the White House, where the panel members are reading their findings to President.
Baker: (reading) “We have concluded that the President’s policy in Iraq is not working.”
Bush: Okay. I praise you, the members of the panel for the serious consideration you have obviously given to this issue, and for all the hard work that you have done in forming this conclusion.
Baker: (continues reading) “…After nearly four years of war and the deaths of more than 2,900 U.S. troops, the situation is grave and deteriorating. The ability of the United States to influence events within Iraq is not increasing; it is in fact is diminishing."
Bush: Yes, thank you. This is certainly an interesting view of the situation…
Baker: “The scope and power of terrorists has been increased, not decreased, by this misguided adventure in Iraq. Their recruitment is going up, not down, as a result of the idiotic decision to strike Iraq, a nation that had little or nothing to do with the terrorist attacks on the United States. This is a shit situation the President has put our country in…”
Bush: Fine. I praise you, I praise you again for pointing that out, I’ll certainly take that under advisement—
Baker: “…The President was warned about a million times before invading Iraq that it was a stupid, ill-conceived idea because it would plunge the country into chaos, cause it to fragment into a bloody civil war, and throw control of the region to our most powerful enemy in the region, Iran—“
Bush: Thank you, thank you, you fine members of the panel, for including that important historical perspective, and now I believe that there is a praiseworthy bus waiting for you outside—
Baker: “Your own father explained to you the reasons why Saddam’s regime was left in charge of Iraq after the first Gulf War and why you should not consider a pre-emptive strike and invasion of Iraq without first securing the backing of the United Nations and world opinion—“
Bush: Thanks once again. I am pleased with the hard work and objective analysis that you, the panel, have brought to the table—
Baker: “Nonetheless, you chose to disregard the experience and wisdom of your intellectual and political betters, and pursue a mindless and unjustified military non-solution, a non-strategy that was virtually guaranteed to cause the deaths of thousands of US troops in a hopeless attempt to suppress an inevitable native insurgency, and cause the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent civilians in a murderous civil war spurred by centuries-old religious and ethnic hatreds and desire for control over billions of dollars of Iraqi oil reserves—“
Bush: Yes, yes, yes—as an expression of my gratitude, please accept these commemorative coins struck for this occasion by the Franklin Mint, now if you will excuse me, I believe the phone is ringing—
Baker: “—you have also weakened the position of your nation so seriously that we will now be forced to negotiate with two nations who are undoubted sponsors of terrorism, Iran and Syria—a thing we swore we would never do--in order to try and extricate ourselves from the bloody horrible mess that you, the American head of state—“
Bush: Thank you gentlemen, and now I really must be going—
Baker: “—or, ‘pinhead of state,’ as you might more accurately be described—“
Bush: (snatching at report) It doesn’t say that!
(Baker points to the line in the report, shows him that it does say that Bush releases the report, swallows and adjusts his tie.)
Bush: Well, I praise your complete candour, anyway, and I—
Baker: “--deliberately surrounded yourself with manipulative sycophants who only told you what you wanted to hear--"
Bush: Praise indeed--
Baker: "Members of this commission who served in your father’s administration watched you grow up and knew from the start that you were a spoiled, arrogant, dishonest little knucklehead who would screw this country right into the ground if you were ever given any job more important than answering the phone for Lee Atwater—“
Bush: While I may not agree with all of the findings in the commission’s report, I will certainly praise them for—
Baker: “’My God,’ we said, when the Supreme Court overrode the voters and appointed you, ‘That numbnuts is President of the United States!’”
Bush: Muchas gracias, fellas, hey, have you tried the buffet? I believe there’s--
Baker: “—and now you’ve really done it, you chronic f-up, you consigned the US Armed Forces to a military black hole and you even managed to wipe out the Republican majority in Congress in the process, too. This commission has concluded that this country would have been better off if you’d kept your original job selling sporting goods at Sears—“
Bush: Try the Eggs Benedict, it’s delicious, it’s the least we can do to thank you for--
Baker: “Everything you touch has turned to shit, your whole life, George W. Bush--.”
Bush: Well, that about wraps things up, I think. Merci beaucoup, praise a vous.
Baker: “The media conservatives who backed you for the past six years are morons; they should be fired immediately and sent to fight in Iraq. The people who voted for you should have their heads examined—“
Bush: Thank you once again, and now if you don’t leave, I’m calling the Secret Service. But thank you, thank you very much, for that fine report. Go praise yourselves.