Oedipus Tex — a Tragedy

Greek Chorus (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Powell, Rice, and Perle): "Oh lead us from war to war, from Iraq to Syria, to Iran and North Korea."

W: "The way is long on my journey that I take alone. I seek the truth from the Delphic Oracle, lest I wander without wisdom."

Chorus: "Then go to the mountain for the truth, where the great Oracle dwells named Rove, whose vision never falters. Only fools ignore his prophecy."

W: "Here then I begin my ascent. I see the temple guarded by the Vestal Virgins, Veneman, Norton, Chao, and Andrea Ball."

The Vestal Virgins: "Which Bush is this, the father or the son? If he be the son, beware the father, if this be the father, beware the son."

W: "I come as son seeking the sun, the Oracle Rove."

The Vestal Virgins: "Once told the future, you have no choice but to follow it, though it may lead to great sorrow."

W: "Get out’a here. What sorrow? My future is bright. I ascend to meet the light."

W enters the temple, where the Oracle, in white robes, sits on a throne. It is Karl Rove.

"Oh great Oracle, what is my future? What is my path?"

Rove: "You will kill your father and marry your mother. But before you do, you will wage war."

W: "This sounds nuts. Murder Poppy and marry mom? You gotta be kidding. How will the war go?"

Rove: "It will do the trick. Your polls will soar and no one will remember how the economy stinks. And then you will take the oil and keep pumping it until the price goes down. The people will cheer you for that and you will be ahead of the pack."

W: "And then?"

Rove: "Poppy will be very sad. You will meet him on the road and not recognize him. He will denounce you for knocking off Saddam Hussein. You must know you did it because he didn’t, so you could be number one son, ahead of Jeb, so your mom would be super proud."

W: "But why will I not recognize Poppy?"

Rove: "Because it is scripted that way. You will be told by the wise men to discard him and ignore him. Even as he stands before your eyes, you will no longer see him."

W: "But will I actually kill him?"

Rove: "Hey, this isn’t Greece. Of course not. But you will kill him symbolically. Everyone will say he should have done the job when he had the chance, and it will make them bloodthirsty for more wars."

W: "And what else?"

Rove: "That is all I can tell you now. Go."

W leaves the temple and walks past the Vestal Virgins who chant: "A Bush in the band is worth a Byrd in the senate! A Bush in the band is worth a Byrd in the senate!"

W leads his troops to victory in Iraq. On the road to Kuwait, he meets an old man, whose face is covered by his cloak.

Old Man: "You fool! You fool! You have messed up everything. The Middle East will go up in flames."

W: "Stupid old man, get lost. I have no need of you."

The old man wanders off. W continues. He meets a stately woman who has been waiting for her husband.

Stately woman: "Oh my husband has been gone so long. He is lost in the desert on his mission for Carlyle."

W: "He must be dead. I can replace him and we can rule together."

The Chorus: "Beware the other woman! Beware the other woman!"

Laura enters, in a rage:

Laura: "W, get your butt over here. That’s Barbara, can’t you see that? And this ain’t no Moslem country. You get one wife and that’s it."

W: "Oh, hell, Laura, can’t a guy have any fun?"

Barbara: "Let’s find Poppy and have a barbeque. W, get a hold of the Carlyle Group and get Poppy back here."

W whips out his cell phone: "Hey, Poppy, you gotta get on back here for the barbeque."

Poppy: "You mean you’re not gonna kill me and marry Barbara?"

W: "Hell, I just let Karl pretend he knows the future. I know better than that. There is no future."

Poppy turns up. He, Barbara, W, and Laura grill a steak.

W: "It’s real great to be back in Texas. You guys ready for the next war?"

Poppy, Barbara, Laura, and W sing: "War! War! We’re gonna go to war!"

The Chorus: "Beware of hubris, little one. Before you start another war, be sure you’ve got the first nailed down."

W: "You mean Iraq? Hey, that’s a piece of cake."

The Chorus: "Afghanistan! Afghanistan! It opens up like a burning pit!"

W: "Oh, hell, I forgot all about that place."

A chorus of Taliban enters with machine guns. They mow the Bushes down.

Taliban Chorus: "This tragedy has no end. We’re back to stay."

The Bushes all get up and dust themselves off.

The Bushes, throwing up their hands: "There ain’t no tragedy in Texas. That’s for Greeks and stuff. "

Taliban Chorus sings "The Yellow Rose of Texas."

The Bushes: "Now you guys have got it. Get with the team and the money follows."

Chorus: "So ends this tragedy of Oedipus Tex. Let’s all go and chow on some Mex."

Rove: "Wordsworth’s words of wisdom tell you this. u2018For why? Because the good old rule sufficeth them; the simple plan,/That those should take who have the power,/and those should keep who can.’"

Richard Cummings [send him mail] taught international law at the Haile Selassie I University and before that, was Attorney-Advisor with the Office of General Counsel of the Near East South Asia region of U.S.A.I.D, where he was responsible for the legal work pertaining to the aid program in Israel, Jordan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is the author of a new novel, The Immortalists, as well as The Pied Piper — Allard K. Lowenstein and the Liberal Dream, and the comedy, Soccer Moms From Hell. He holds a Ph.D. in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University and is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.

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