Friday, December 19, 2003


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By William Fisher

Dear Santa:

Even though we’ve captured The Big Enchilada, my wish list this year is longer than usual. I hope you can find some time to help me out.

I wish I could understand why so many folks have it in for me over Iraq. All I ever wanted to do was to get rid of Saddam and free his people to enjoy their lives the way we do. Now folks are saying we just want to take the oil money and rule the Middle East. That just ain’t so. Heck, we can’t even rule Cincinnati! But I just knew that guy was a real urgent threat to us, and that I couldn’t afford to diddle around with those UN pin-stripers any more. Sure, I had to sell the idea, and I did. Now folks are saying I oversold it. So it would be a big help if we could find some weapons of mass destruction, or a couple of nucular (sic) bombs, or some kind of smoking-gun link to that other guy. I know your reindeer fly just about everywhere, and I’d be grateful for a heads-up if you see anything.

I wish we could find that other guy who’s also giving me heartburn. My people keep telling me different stories about where he is, but just between you and me, I don’t think they really know. You know how important it is that we catch him because of what he did to us, and we can use all the help we can get. Would you see what you can do? I’d sure appreciate it.

I wish we could hightail it out of Afghanistan too. The idea that we somehow swapped Taliban for warlords is really freaking me out. I think folks there don’t really appreciate all we’ve done – just look at kids going to school, women going to work, hospitals open, a new major road just finished, and a whole lot more. That’s not nothing. But folks there still keep shooting at us. Maybe they’d like to see our GIs helping with the poppy harvest!

I wish the Israelis and the Palestinians would start acting like grown-ups. My people and I spent an awful lot of time designing a really good roadmap and we expected both sides to get to work on it right away. It was all there on paper, I sent one of our State Department guys over to see that it got done, and I still can’t understand why the whole thing just blew up. Sharon’s fence building and still more settlements weren’t in my roadmap. Arafat was out of it too. The guy they picked for PM should have just got his men and gone and arrested the bombers and brought them in like trophies. Then maybe we’d have seen some real action from the Israelis. Well, the new guy the PA chose better do a better job.

I wish that folks would spend a little more time listening to what I’ve been saying about democracy. I’ve got the best speechwriters money can buy and I know they got it right. And besides, you and I know that democracy is swell, that we’ve had it for a couple of hundred years now, and that once other folks have it, they can do just about anything they set their minds to, and that anyone who really wants it can have it. It’s a super idea, but it has to be sold. Hell, even our founding fathers had to sell it. These days, a lot of folks are saying I’m over-selling it, trying to force democracy down people’s throats. That’s just plain bull. What I’m doing is just trying to give them a taste of how sweet it is, and I need a lot of help getting folks to listen and believe and understand.

I wish things were more peaceful here at home too. After all, it’s holiday time. But no sooner do we get this new medicare thing signed than I hear folks starting to say I’m giving away their health care money to drug companies and HMOs. The seniors complain about their health costs, younger folks run to the mall with their unemployment checks and then complain we’re not doing enough to get them back to work, and the kids and their parents bellyache about getting a lousy education and not being able to afford college. Well, I’ve said it over and over, and some folks just never get it: government can’t do it all, and sooner or later folks will just have to start doing some things for themselves. And that includes gay marriages. Then, there’s this contract thing. Because of trigger-finger Wolfowitz, I’ve had to sit on the phone for a couple of days now, trying to explain to my soul-mate in the Kremlin and the new guy in Canada and our fair-weather friends in ‘old’ Europe that they shouldn’t lose any sleep over getting work in Iraq or that other place, and that they can still help by forgiving the debt. I hope they got the message. I’m still having trouble getting folks to understand why we have to tap more phones and, as if I didn’t have enough on my plate, the guy from China was just here, and the whole town was having an anxiety attack. I guess they think I’m about to send a couple of carriers to show our support for Taiwan. Well, let me tell you a couple things, Santa. First thing is we don’t have any carriers to spare. Second thing is if we don’t stay in bed with China, we’ll have to deal with North Korea. And there won’t be any toys for the kids next Christmas. Believe me, Santa, there are days when I’d be more than happy to give this job to any of the nine folks out there who’re trying to get it.

Santa, I know you’re pretty busy this time of year, but if I’ve got any markers out there with you, this is the time I need to call them in. I sure would be grateful for your help.