Thursday, November 30, 2006

Folk Wisdom

A stranger sees a farmer struggling with a mule that refuses to move, says, “Let me reason with him” and bashes a plank over the mule’s head.

“I thought you were going to reason with him,” the farmer says.

“I am, but first I have to get his attention.”

In the Middle East, a pious farmer is told he will be granted any wish, but his neighbor will get twice as much.

“Poke out one of my eyes,” he asks.

In the debate over Iraq, we are beyond rational thinking. “Iraq Panel to Recommend Pullback of Combat Troops” is a headline in today’s New York Times, which quotes President Bush in Latvia, “I’m not going to pull the troops off the battlefield until the mission is complete.”

For a President who has given new meaning to “often wrong but never in doubt,” the only plank in sight may be the power of the purse strings. How to get his attention without endangering our people in uniform is the problem a new Congress will have to solve.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, the eye-poking goes on.

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