"...and that's about the size of it now, Mister President. Your senior military commanders in Iraq say that their biggest threat is not the al-Qaeda terrorists..."
"It's not? I guess... I guess we must've whumped 'em pretty good then, got the terrorists on the run back to Pakistan. Whatcha think, Dan?"
"Yes sir, you're right, a great many of them have joined up with their new colleagues back in the border regions."
"Well, see, it's a damn good thing we've got a friend over there taking care of our interests in those badlands. Think I'll give old Pervez another shout out today at the Exxon luncheon."
"I'm afraid that luncheon has been cancelled, sir. The Vice President said he wouldn't be able to attend. Now if I can just get back to the topic at hand, your senior commanders in the field say that their biggest threat is not the al-Qaeda terrorists..."
"Right, right, you don't have to repeat things for me, Bartlett."
"Sorry, sir. And the name is Fratto, sir. Tony Fratto. Dan Bartlett resigned a couple weeks ago."
"Then I want to be briefed by Tony. The real Tony. You smell like garlic, Fratto. What the hell have you been eating?"
"Garlic bagel, sir. Sorry. You see, I didn't realize that I'd be... Tony Snow has been gone for a couple of months now. I'm sorry to have to be the one to inform you. And Dana has become increasingly frightened of you. She thinks..."
"Just get on with it, Fatso. al-Qaeda's not a threat anymore. Let me hear what other bullshit the rocket boys wanna tell me."
"Well, sir, what you said, and they also believe the biggest threat isn't the Sunni insurgents..."
"I'll bet you what they say now is that the biggest threat is all of those Iranian-backed Shiite militias."
"No, sir. They say that the single greatest foe they face is none other than INTRANSIGENCE!"
"INTRANSIGENCE! The creature with the power to cloud men's minds? Heaven help us. How do my guys say we can fight this... this monster."
"I asked them that, Mister President, and they say, if I may quote, 'We don't have a fucking clue'. They suggest that you might want to discuss this with THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS."
"Ah, yes, THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS, they're the only group alive that could possibly take on INTRANSIGENCE!. Get them on the phone pronto, Fatso."
"I've tried, Sir, but they've left a recording on their voice mail saying 'Hell no, we won't go'. It looks like we may be sunk."
"Quit your sniveling, Fatso. As long as we keep this away from the American public, we're fine and dandy. Now run along and get me a Diet Coke."
©2007, Mark Hoback