THE VAULT

Farewell Tour: Live From Iraq
December 11, 2006 by Julius Serpentine

Oh my God, Sign my sign! I'm such a big fan!

With the end of the Donald Rumsfeld Experience in sight, Rumsfeld has fired up the bus for his farewell tour. The first stop was the Pentagon, where he headlined a sold-out show and delivered an emotional final address in which he called for patience in Iraq. Though, he failed to mention that patience probably would have been even more useful before the invasion.

Unfortunately, patience as a commodity has been in short supply for quite some time. Many economists believe the peak of the current patience drought that coincided with the invasion of Iraq was not just a simple coincidence. Constructing a plethora of complicated graphs, economists have shown that the plight of patience, which prevented careful planning of the Iraq invasion, led directly to a premature launch and the ensuing sticky mess.

During the question and answer session Rumsfeld said that his worst day as Secretary of Defense was the day he learned of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse. Images of an Abu Ghraib naked men pyramid can apparently make anyone forget about 9/11, even if it is used to justify most of their major decisions. It likely ranks somewhere in the top five though, right up there with the day Cheney “accidentally” spilt coffee in his lap.

The Abu Ghraib scandal led Rumsfeld to twice offer his resignation, which President Bush rejected. Where the calls for resignation from several retired generals failed, Naked Men Pyramid Power prevailed. This is a clear indication that the arrangement of unclothed men into a pyramid-like configuration is an extremely powerful weapon. It also means the search for WMDs in Iraq can be called off. They have been found and they are not just happy to see us.

Rumsfeld choked up briefly while speaking, not by the hands of a disgruntled Iraq military veteran around his neck but by the bracelet a woman in Alaska gave him. The bracelet was a reminder of unrequited love and the Army’s 172nd Stryker Brigade, whose tour of duty was extended to help deal with sectarian violence in Baghdad. Rumsfeld told the woman he would wear it until those soldiers came home. To prove it had been around his wrist the entire time Rumsfeld had a nearby military official sniff it.

Let's go gentlemen. We have a job to do...poorly.

After brushing off some Republican Party groupies, Rumsfeld left for the second stop on his farewell tour; a surprise trip to Iraq. He played a few small clubs and visited several military bases around Baghdad to thank the troops. Rumsfeld has historically found that the best way to thank troops is to send and keep them in a hostile country with flimsy justification, but sometimes just thanking them verbally works too.

He told troops in the Anbar province of Iraq, “We feel great urgency to protect the American people from another 9/11 or 9/11 times two or three. The consequences of failure are unacceptable. The enemy must be defeated.” He is still having some trouble getting away from the flimsy justifications but at some point he did say “thank you”.

So far during the farewell tour Rumsfeld has avoided commenting on the Iraq Study Group’s report that states, “The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating.” In a war where nearly three thousand American troops and countless thousands of Iraqi civilians are dead, “grave” is the last word he wants to use on a “farewell” tour.

Sleep with one eye open because I'm coming...to a retirement home near you.

Earlier at the Pentagon, when Rumsfeld was asked about the worst day he had as the Secretary of Defense, he was also asked about the best. He said, “I guess my best day, I don’t know, may be a week from Monday.” He was referring to the day that Robert Gates takes over his position. Frankly, Slantmouth could not agree with his assessment more. You can stop now because, like a barber that accidentally just clipped off part of our collective ear, you have done more than enough.

And no need for an encore. Our ear still hurts.

~Julius Serpentine