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FOREIGN FUN

George Bush Finally Discovers Foreign Intrigue

Can you believe it? George Bush, the foursquare flatfoot of diplomatic dexterity, has finally discovered the nimble art of foreign intrigue.

While European nations were eager to establish a cease fire in Lebanon and seemed forthright about sending troops to enforce it, no sooner did the shooting dwindle to an occasional fatality than France, which was expected to send thousands of troops, offered a measly 200. To defend his regrets, Jacques Chirac voiced his conviction that the UN goal of 15,000 peacekeepers was "excessive."

Inundated with a barrage of ridicule, while hoping to maintain the illusion of French leadership of the force, Chirac grudgingly upped the number of French troops to 2,000, all the better to put on the face of friendship in the Middle East and develop trade relations in the region as robustly as possible.

And what did George do? Why, he leaped right in and commended Jacques’s troop contribution and encouraged his aspiration for France to lead the peacekeeping force.

Meanwhile, Romano Prodi, the new Prime Minister of Italy, had indicated an eagerness for Italy to lead the peacekeeping force, partly to prove that his flamboyant predecessor, Silvio Berlusconi, had erred in backing the war in Iraq and thereby diminishing trading opportunities for Italy in the Middle East. He volunteered 3,000 troops.

And, surprise of surprises, in popped George, also commending Prodi’s contribution and encouraging Italy’s leadership of the force.

Congratulations, George! Never thought we’d see it, but maybe you finally got it. Pat the other suckers on the back and let them leap in and do what everybody knows has to be done. Thanks to your tardy learning curve, we’ve already got our hands over-filled with Middle Eastern mischief.

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