Posted by Tony from ? (18.104.22.168) on Monday, October 21, 2002 at 12:52PM :
Published on Sunday, October 20, 2002 by the New York Times
The Soufflé Doctrine
by Maureen Dowd
WASHINGTON — The Boy Emperor picked up the morning paper and,
stunned, dropped his Juicy Juice box with the little straw attached.
"Oh, man," he wailed. "North Korea's got nukes. Sheriff Musharraf was
helping them. Al Qaeda's blowing stuff up again. The Pentagon's
speculating that the sniper might really be Qaeda decoy teams trying to
distract the law while they plan a bio-blitzkrieg or a dirty bomb attack on the
capital. Tenet's broken out in hives about the next 9/11. Powell spends all
his time kissing up to the Frenchies. Saddam's ranting about a river of
American blood. Jebbie's in a world of hurt. The economy's cratering. At
least Karl says our war strategy will open up a can of Election Day whoop
on Congressional Democrats.
"This is not the way my new doctrine was supposed to work. We are
supposed to decide who we pre-empt and when we pre-empt them. The
speechwriters called it an Axis of Evil, but it was really just a Spoke of Evil.
Condi and Rummy said once we finished off Saddam, nobody would mess
with America again. But everything's gotten fuzzier than fuzzy math. Some
people are actually talking about my doctrine leading to World War III!!!
Karl says that would be bad."
The Boy Emperor was starting to feel bamboozled by his war tutors. He
needed a fresh perspective. There was a guy on TV with a round face and
deep voice running around Provence, London and Berlin, where he
suggested Schröder resign. He was pre-eminent on pre-emption. The Boy
summoned him to explain the Bush doctrine.
"Do I know you?" he asked his visitor.
"I am the chairman of your Defense Policy Board," an amused Richard
Perle replied. "I am an adviser to Rumsfeld, a friend of Wolfowitz's and a
thorn in Powell's medals. Je suis un gourmand, Monsieur le President. I
have always dreamed of opening a chain of fast-food soufflé shops based
on a machine that would automatically separate eggs, beat the yolks and
combine them with hot milk and sugar, add the desired flavorings, whip the
whites until stiff, fold them into the mixture and bake in individual pots
without human intervention. Then conveyor belts would bring the
glass-enclosed ovens to the table and patrons would get to see their meals
rise. I've never found investors smart enough to realize the dazzling
ingenuity of the Perle Soufflé Doctrine. Meanwhile, I'm killing time trying to
get your foreign policy to rise. I'm known as the Prince of Darkness."
"I persuaded Reagan to ignore the weak-kneed, striped-pants set at the
State Department and buy every weapon in sight until the Evil Empire was
scared stiffer than a perfectly executed meringue."
"But why are we going after a lunatic in Iraq for planning to make a bomb
and not a lunatic in North Korea who already has bombs?" the Boy asked.
"At the end of the day," Perle replied, his voice dripping with patience for
his student, "Iraq is an easy kill."
"But if North Korea can deter us by brandishing a nuclear weapon," the Boy
pressed, "why can't we deter Saddam by brandishing a nuclear weapon?"
"You must puncture the soufflé before it rises," Perle instructed.
"Why are we mad at North Korea for flouting its international agreements
when we flout our international agreements?" the Boy wondered.
"You cannot make sublime crêpes suzette without a fire," Perle lectured.
"Didn't you insist that Saddam and Al Qaeda were linked?" the Boy
"We made that up," Perle shrugged. "You have to be imaginative, as
Audrey Hepburn was in `Sabrina' when she offered to make Bogie a
soufflé out of saltines and eggs. As the Baron told Sabrina: `A woman
happily in love, she burns the soufflé. A woman unhappily in love, she
forgets to turn on the oven!' "
"Huh?" the Boy said. "Tony and Colin told me to stop talking about `regime
change' and instead say, `War is a last resort,' and stop talking about a
`pre-emptive strike' and instead say, `War is not imminent.' "
"They're sissies," Perle said, his lip curling with an epicene disdain. "You
cannot deliver the sashimi unless you use the blade."
The Boy Emperor was more befuddled than ever.
"Get me Condi!" he yelled. "And a peanut butter and jelly sandwich."
Copyright The New York Times Company
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