"Take a look at that, wouldja Nuri? Coming at us like a real slow bullet from across the  lawn..."

"What the... it appears to be waddling straight towards us!"

"You're right, it's waddling... Well, if it walks like a duck, and talks like a..."


"I'll be danged. It is a duck."

"And not just any duck, Mister President. It is the Duck of Command Security."

"Really? Cause to me, I'm just sayin, except for that little neckerchief it looks pretty much like a regular duck."

"That is no mere neckerchief, Mister President, that is the headscarf of Rashid Ali."

"Mmm. How bout that?"

"It is said that when the headscarf of Rashid Ali once again appears, that the new rulers of Iraq will be able to take over all security operations within seven months."

"You people have a legend about damn near everything, doncha?"

"It is not a legend. It is a prophesy. And I must tell you that the citizens of Iraq find it quite insulting to be referred to as 'you people'."

"Well... Next June, huh? I've got to admit to being a... a little surprised, cause it seems to me that, you know, you've still got a lot of sectarian strife, and uh... chaos."

"It matters not, for the Duck of Command Security brings us supplemental insurance from a higher source."

"Huh... I guess I'm just sayin that it looks like a regular old duck to me."

"Rest assured that it is not."

"Okay... I... You know, this is gonna be a little hard to explain to the American people. There's a lot of folks that already believe I've got some sort of credibility problem..."

"Do not tell them about the duck if their ears are so resistant to the truth. Tell them it was a decision by your commanders on the ground."

"And by me. I'm the president."

"And by you."

"I like the way you think, Maliki. You're the right guy for Iraq."


2006, Mark Hoback