The White House. The 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush, meets Steve Hadley, National Security Adviser.
SH: Mr President, I have some good news and some bad news.
GWB: Okay, give me the good news first.
SH: Sir, our analysts have looked at the situation in Iraq and concluded that if things continue as they are, the people will end up eating shit.
GWB: I asked for the good news first, Steve. Gee!
SH: That is the good news, sir; the bad news is that some experts have already pointed out that there won’t be enough shit to go around.
GWB: No problem. We’ll send them some of our own shit, American shit, the best shit in the world. Hell, we could even have a Shit for Oil Programme, kill two terrorists with one shot, as it were… Anything else?
SH: Well, I have also been consulting members of the senate and the news is that the Republicans are revolting.
GWB: You’re telling me… I myself only joined because of daddy.
SH: I mean on Iraq. They want troops withdrawn as soon as possible.
GWB: I don’t get these people. Since this conflict began probably as many innocent people have died as would have under Sadam anyway, give or take a few hundred thousand.
SH: Give or take… No, sir, the main concern they cite is the possible loss of votes for the party.
GWB (exasperated): If only we could find a strong leader for Iraq, Steve, someone able to keep Sunnis and Shias alike in check.
SH: Someone like Sadam, perhaps?
GWB: Yeah! Where’s Sadam when you need him?
SH: We executed him, sir.
GWB: Couldn’t one of our scientists bring him back to life? What sort of decomposition state would he be in now?
SH: Uh, I don’t think our science is that advanced yet, sir.
GWB: What about re-animation through some kind of electric shock therapy? Worked with Yeltsin.
SH: I think one of the requirements is that the ‘patient’ is at least breathing for it to work, sir. And anyhow, the public wouldn’t buy it. Witnesses filmed his execution with their cellular phones, remember?
GWB: Maybe we could say we executed one of his stooges by mistake. Things get confused in war, Steve.
SH (incredulous): Yes, Mr President.
GWB (wistful): I miss the good ol’ days when Daddy was president… Back then we could do anything we liked and no one cared. Hell, we even carpet-bombed Panama without too much hassle from the media. Now you can’t break wind without the New York Times sniffing the air.
SH: Technology has shrunk the planet, sir. Everyone agrees it’s a good thing.
GWB (not listening): Tell you the truth, Steve, I never was very fond of those Iraqis.
Steve gets up to leave.
GWB: You’re a smart man, Steve. You have all these degrees and you even know when to insert an apostrophe in ‘its’. Can you answer me this one question?
GWB: Just how did our oil end up under Iraqi soil?