Yogi: This has gotta be déjà vu all over again. The news is you’re pullin’ out troops from Iraq by sending in more of them.
W: Well, sometimes, more is less.
Yogi: Casey Stengel said somethin’ like that about the Mets. "We came up slow, but fast." So what you’re tellin’ us is you’re pullin’ out fast but slow.
W: What I’ve been saying, Yog, is that we need to significantly lower our expectations about what we can achieve in Iraq. Let’s admit it. We were somewhat unrealistic. We can no longer expect to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry, or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges.
Yogi: There’s a mental health group that says, "Lower you expectations and your performance will rise." Are you saying that you’re joinin’ up?
W: Well, it’s a fact that we can no longer defeat the insurgence with American forces. All we can do is train and equip enough Iraqi security forces to take over the fight.
Yogi: So, it’s mission accomplished, right?
W: We’re working on an exit strategy that meets our objectives.
Yogi: McCain says that the day he can land at the airport in Baghdad and ride in an unarmed car down the highway to the Green Zone is the day that he’ll start considering withdrawals from Iraq. Is he right? And how can you win with troops there if everyone says the troops are the problem? How can you get those Sunni guys to go along if you plan to keep 50,000 troops there on a permanent basis?
W: I think you mean on permanent bases. McCain is running for president, so he has got to talk tough to win. I’m finished running so I can do what I have to do.
Yogi: So, you’ll meet with that lady whose standing outside your ranch?
W: Look, I’ve got to get on with my life.
Yogi: This sounds a little like cutting and running, if you don’t mind my saying so.
W: We’ve got 2006 mid-term elections coming up. Do you want to see a Democratic congress? How would you like to be bossed around by Nancy Pilosi?
Yogi: I’ve been a player and I’ve been a manager. I know what it’s like to be bossed and to boss. What matters is a winning team. I can’t really see that you’ve got one. What ever happened to all those guys you signed up to win the war with? You know, guys like Feith, Wolfowitz and Perle? I don’t hear anything from them now.
W: Well, they’ve all got other jobs.
Yogi: When guys messed up in my time, they got sent down or were traded. And the manager got fired. I know all about that.
W: It’s too late to fire me.
Yogi: Not so fast. You could get impeached.
W: No problem. My guys control the House and the Senate.
Yogi: What happens if the other guys take over in 2006? Couldn’t they impeach you, as sort of payback for what you guys did to Clinton because he hooked up with some broad? Messin’ up a war you sort of fibbed to get us into is a helluva lot worse. At least, that’s my way of lookin’ at it.
W: I’m not sure I appreciate this. I mean, I used to go to a lot of Yankee games and actually rooted for them until I bought the Texas Rangers.
Yogi: I’m told you did that with other people’s money and that you used imminent domain to clinch the deal to build a new stadium.
W: You mean eminent domain.
Yogi: Well, the whole thing was kinda imminent, wasn’t it?
W: That was then, this is now.
Yogi: So you sold out and made a cool thirteen million and never put up a penny of your own money. Pretty shrewd. Now, a bunch of your friends are raking in big bucks because of Iraq, like Riley Bechtel. Your uncle, too. Even Vice President Cheney. Frankly, I think the whole business stinks.
W: All this stuff makes people forget about the great economic news.
Yogi: If you look at that news, it’s kinda of contrived. The money isn’t worth anything. So, its phony good news. The good news is bad news. And as for Iraq, what you’re saying is that the bad news is good news. You won’t catch me saying stuff like that.
W: I’ve got to get back to the ranch. Laura is waiting for me.
Yogi: I’ve got news for you. We’re all waiting for you. You know, fish or cut bait. In or out. As for me, I’m for out. There’s no point putting bad money after good. And dollars are still money, but not for long.
W: Well, it’s still better than being French.
Yogi: I don’t get your meaning.
W: The French are chicken.
Yogi: I like French chicken. They call it poulet roti.
W: I’ve got to hand it to you, Yogi, you’re a great comedian.
Yogi: Hey, nothin’ like you.
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. He is writing a new book, The Road To Baghdad — The Money Trail Behind The War In Iraq. He is a contribution editor for The American Conservative.