Edge of the West
Stay down, Wile E., just this once. Stay down.
BAGHDAD—Remember as a kid watching Roadrunner leave a Merry Melodies mess of a stubborn coyote out there in the middle of some desert somewhere time after punishing time? Did you find yourself silently pleading to the television screen, “stay down, dog, while you’re still in one piece- you can’t catch that crazy bird.”?
On this op-ed page I wrote of the uncontested mad rush of the US Army into Baghdad in 2003: “It turns out to be kind of like that cartoon where Roadrunner darts full-speed to the brink of a cliff only to stop on a dime while the unsuspecting Wile E. Coyote in full chase flies right on over the edge.” Some four years later, the analogy, like the insurgency, doesn’t go away.
But you have to hand it to him, Wile E. always got back up. Bruised, bloodied, maimed, flattened by all manner of train, truck, boulder, the mangy hound always got back up. Stars flashing around throbbing head, hair singed, eyeballs bulging out- come hell or high water- mostly hell- he always got back up.
Against all logic and consensus, he’s up again, still hell-bent on getting that bird- holding the mightiest arsenal imaginable to beast or human- including the amazing Acme portable hole. That’s him hiding in a Humvee behind a sand dune thinking he can’t be seen while Roadrunner strolls right on up, with some concoction or another of a homemade improvised explosive device in hand, and blows the whole animated scene to smithereens.
Portable holes appear not to be working in Baghdad. Even the finest brand names- Acme, Halliburton, Tomahawk, Hummer- carry no weight in this conflict, yet a desperate president reaches for nothing so much as cartoon magic to pull himself out of the very real hole he’s dug himself into. (Word to the commander in chief: Sir. If you must keep the 150,000 there and in fact add to them, can we do something about the uniforms? They walk down hostile foreign streets with bulls-eyes painted on their starched camouflage backs, while the enemy- not obligated to uniform- is any person anywhere. Isn’t the whole point of camouflage to make it harder for the enemy to see you? Just a thought.)
Taking off the self-defeating camouflage wasn’t one of the Iraq Study Group’s official recommendations to help turn around the Decider, but then again they did have, oh, a couple things they thought maybe he could do differently. Like, maybe, 79.
Listen, you’d be hard-pressed to come up with 79 official recommendations to turn around even big-time losers like Kim Jong-il- or the Oakland Raiders for that matter. Yet here was his own commission loaded with all his own daddy’s cronies, sternly coming forth with a resounding 79 clear-cut ways for him to change course for the better, all of which added up to nothing so much as a: “Stay down this time, coyote.”
“Stay down, American dog”. That’s what the U.S. enabled, democratically elected, radical fundamentalist leaders of New Iraq are saying too. Their duly-elected vice president said last week to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, “Iraq was put under occupation, which was an idiot decision.”
Not too far off from what the American people are saying through their newly elected representatives who will soon present George W. Bush a resolution condemning his latest strategic blunder- “the surge.” The surge? Surge this: Surge wisdom. Surge home.
New Iraq is certifiably weapons-of-mass-destruction free. Though it took over 3000 American and 600,000 Iraqi lives and counting to find out there were no such things in the first place, it is now 100% certified to be a non-WMD zone. Fact.
New Iraq is certifiably Saddam Hussein-free. Though it took all those lives and counting to get the evil tyrant hung by the neck in a primordial execution, the place is now 100% certified to be a non-Saddam Hussein zone. Fact.
And New Iraq is certifiably a democracy now where freedom is on the march. In fact freedom is stomping- stomping law, order, civility, all those lives and counting, into the liberated ground beneath its boots. Free, free at last.
Mission accomplished, remember? Who said that?
Stay down, Wile E., just this once. That “beep beep” you keep hearing in your head- don’t let it drive you over the edge. And that “new and improved” Acme Surge you’re buying to silence it? Looney Tunes.
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