WASHINGTON: After three long years of close relations, George Bush has been confronted with the imminent possibility of “breaking up” with Iraq–a prospect that the President has not been dealing with very well lately.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a former guidance counselor at a New England boarding school, has assumed a much more warm and friendly approach to foreign affairs than his predecessor Donald Rumsfeld. During meetings, the President often calls him “Bob” and compliments him on his wool sweaters.
Yesterday, Gates testified before a Congressional oversight committee (the first in four years), and provided a transcript of a recent session with the President:
“It’s time to break all close ties with her and move on…Iraq is just too unstable and conflicted–too many issues for you, and you deserve so much better than that. What ever happened to Central America? Remember Nicaragua? Your father loved Nicaragua. Well…maybe not Nicaragua, things did get a little out of control with her, but what about El Salvador? Oh, well–she’s out, too–but there’s still Guatemala, right? Yes, George, she’s still in Central America. I’ll call her immediately. Of course, you won’t have to talk to her. What’s that? No, I won’t talk to her, either–diplomacy always fails in these kinds of relations.”