Vol. 4, Issue 2, March 21, 2006
Is Iraq Doing OK? Depends On What Definition of "Is" Is
The White House has offered some clarification to its earlier statements that Iraq is doing well three years after the American invasion, grammatical clarifications which will doubtless offer solace to all those concerned about the differences between the Administration's descriptions and the reality perceived by the rest of the world.
The President said that he understood why many Americans had had their confidence in the war shaken after watching scenes of carnage on television despite assurances that "the situation is under control."
"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is," said President Bush in a press conference. "If 'is' means is and never has been, that is not - that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement."
The President's explanation that his status reports on Iraq are literally up to the minute has been met with relief by members of the media who found themselves straining to explain or defend the war in Iraq.
"See, that's a hallmark of a truly modern presidency," said Sean Hannity of the Fox News Network. "Pessimists and Democrats can always find some unpleasantness to focus on if they take the long view. Just because there was a suicide bombing yesterday does not mean there will be one today, or that it is part of a broader campaign of violence. That's a big leap in logic if you ask me. And you did."
Bush agrees with this sentiment, stressing that in order to remain effective, he must be entirely focused on the situation in Iraq at this very minute.
"Now, if someone had asked me on that day, is there a civil war going on in Iraq, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true," said the President. "Yesterday's a different story. And I can't say what's going to happen tomorrow. But then again no one can. All we can do is cope with today." When asked if this meant the White House had no long-term strategy for exiting Iraq, the President was quick to clarify this as well, saying "I did not say that we have no long-term strategy. Is there a strategy? Of course there is a strategy. Again, depending on what your definition of 'is' is."
Media observers were impressed with the President's sudden and profound attention to semantics and the specific usage of the English language. However, when one reporter sarcastically inquired whether the President cared to conjugate any further verbs, the President chided him for his attitude.
"Now, now, watch your language," he said. "I have always said that I believe conjugate relations should remain between a man and his wife."