taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Well, the cable guy never came, they billed me anyway, and I wasted an entire, beautiful Sunday waiting. It could be worse--my sister tells me that the dust storms in Kuwait leave her breathless and asthmatic, and yet the fanatical W. seems no closer to going to war.

I went to the gym tonight because I was half out of my head with inactivity, and watched TV on the treadmill. On commercial breaks of "Walker, Texas Ranger" (one of the most underrated shows of all time--such drama!) I watched CNN, where they told me that surprisingly, unexpectedly, George had decided not to force anyone's hand. He was suddenly lulled into inaction. Was it these past few days on the phone, bargaining with pantywaist diplomats? Everyone wants American dollars. Countries like Cameroon are "weighing their options", excited that finally someone cares what they think, and is willing to pay for it. On the phone with these third-world leaders, George is like a bad one-night stand: "I really care about you, can't you see that? No really. Listen, don't be difficult about this, okay?" When finally they ask for money, he must be relieved: he knew, all along, what they really wanted.

But maybe the whole exercise wore him down. Maybe his ear got all hot and tired, maybe Rummy was irritating with his constant coaching, Condi sitting in an armchair. The generals are calling on the other line, demanding somethiing, anything: "We have 250,000 people over here, Shrub, and I have to tellya, they're ready to shoot. And when are we gonna get our email back?"

Someone said, "This is a game of chicken, but Bush doesn't know he's gonna blink first." I think he blinked. I think he turned the car away at the last minute. He's not ready, this president of ours, but the troops are. So they sit over there and wait in the dust and think good thoughts, guns ready.

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