WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Robert Gates has previously admited in interviews that he inherited “a shapeless mess” from his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld: “First, I was assured by experts in the field that we had a Sunni triangle, then it became a Shiite square, and finally a Kurdish hexagon…but when I arrived at the Pentagon, everyone I asked circled around the questions. Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has suggested I call it ‘a surge,’ but I’m not even sure what the hell that looks like.”
The view from the bottom: Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, looks up from the bowels of the Pentagon.
Calling Karl Rove into his office, Gates asked him to provide a visual representation of the 21,500 troops who will be deployed to Iraq. Rove nodded, then nimbly descended, around and around, into the ninth circle of hell (spinning comes easily to him); there, he bribed a hypocritical cartographer, and returned with the following map:
“The Surge begins in Saudi Arabia, then storms Northward to Baghdad, sweeps into Iran for a quick exit strategy, and finally curves Northwest into Syria (our exit strategy from our exit strategy).”–Karl Rove
Gates, however, found this new shape “questionable.” In response, Rove spun the image around until even he forgot how questionable the surge looked. Out of the swirl, the new shape for Iraq emerged: a downward spiral, resembling Ground Zero and Target combined. Secretary Gates, like a majority of administration officials puzzled by the shape of things, finally resigned: “forget about ‘enemy lines.’ We’ll run them in circles around us.”