|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
Wednesday, December 13th, 2006
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? email@example.com|
|The mandarins of the Iraq Study Group give the president an ‘F’ on the Mesopotamian mess, along with dozens of unpalatable recommendations on what to do about it. Cheney’s office is advising strong support for the Shia majority, to help wipe out the Sunni minority and thereby restore peace through more efficient ethnic cleansing. Condi’s office advocates bolstering Sunni moderates, and ending the sectarian strife through compromise and negotiation. The Saudis warn against a U.S. pullout, threatening to finance an Al Qaeda-led Sunni uprising. General Peter Chiarelli, boss of U.S. army operations in Iraq, advises spending much more on rebuilding, and on job programs for angry young Iraqis. Meanwhile the beleaguered president is forced to listen to the steady stream of experts now being paraded through the White House by his advisors, in hopes that some useful bit of expertise might stick.
With all this conflicting advice, what’s a president to do? Ronald Reagan had Nancy’s astrologer to help with the really tough decisions. Nixon either loosed a flood of invective, or got down on his knees to pray. Bush the first would go play a few rounds of golf.
W. has tried prayer and golf, but neither was efficacious. Astrology isn’t really his bag. He’s not much of a thinker, or a listener, so where a Carter may have mused and a Kennedy might have consulted, Bush isn’t inclined to do either. He’s also not a reader. But he has, by his own admission, read at least “three Shakespeares,” among them the tragedy of Macbeth. His “take away” from that work, as he puts it himself, is that when you really, truly have to know something, go to unbiased sources with no partisan agenda, just like Macbeth did. And so, Bush made an appointment with the Three Weird Sisters.
“Evenin’ ladies” said the president as he entered the witches’ cave. The three, dressed in black rags, were hunched over a boiling cauldron, occasionally stirring the bubbling contents with crooked sticks.
“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes” muttered one of the witches, glancing at the advancing Commander-in-Chief.
“Mmm, mmm” said Bush, sniffing the air. “Somethin’ surely does smell good. Like Texas barbecue, kind of. What’s that y’all’s cookin’ up?”
“Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab” the witches chanted,
“among other things.”
“Is that right? ‘Amazin what you can find in the grocery store now I’ve loosened up them pesky Food and Drug Administration reg-u-lations. Sounds right tasty, but mebbe I’ll save mine for later. So, I gotta coupla questions to ask you, like –“
The witches waved their hands and muttered incantations. Three apparitions appeared in quick succession. An armed head told the president to “beware Macduff,” a bloody child adjured him to be “bloody, bold, and resolute,” and another child, sporting a crown and carrying a tree, advised him to be “lion-mettled, proud, and take no care” while muttering something about “Birnam wood” and “Dunsinane” that the president didn’t quite catch.
Bush scratched his head and stared. “Is this news I can use? Don’t know any Macduff, but I have been bloody, bold, resolute. Also lion-mettled, proud, and I never take much care of anything. And all that’s done is saddled me with a big ‘ol mess down Iraq way. Ain’t you got something more specific in the way of advice on what I should do?” he asked the witches.
Their boss, Hecate, appeared amongst them before the witches could reply. “You all know security/Is mortals’ chiefest enemy” she said firmly, upon which all four vanished and Bush found himself back in his White House bed.
“Hmm. Security is our enemy” he pondered. “Wonder what she meant by that – oh, I gets it! I made Iraq all insecure, a right chaos in fact. Looks bad. But if I make everywhere else just as insecure, equally chaotic, why, Iraq won’t look so bad after all. And that way my presidential legacy will be just dandy. I can start right here in D.C. It’s already halfway to chaos anyway. Smart gals, those. Gonna put ‘em on my Christmas card list.”
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2006
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