Saturday, January 15, 2005

Servant of the Wankh 

The first King of Zembla Jack Vance award (to be presented, henceforth, on an irregular basis, when circumstances absolutely demand it) goes to White House press secretary Scott McClellan, whose job security plainly derives from his deeply intuitive, unfailingly accurate sense of how the President likes his cock stroked in public:
Q: There's a report out that Iraq could become an important breeding ground for terrorism. Is the President concerned about that?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think the report talks a lot more -- about a lot more than that. We welcome the report. I think the report confirms that our strategy of staying on the offensive and spreading freedom to win the war on terrorism is the right approach. We are in a struggle of epic proportions and the stakes are high, and the President believes it's important to continue to advance freedom in a dangerous region of the world because it will make the world a more peaceful place, and make America more secure. And so I think that's the -- this report is a speculative report about things that could happen in the world, but we welcome the report and . . . .

Q: But has the war -- did the war create a vacuum that has made it more conducive for terrorists to use Iraq as a base?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President talked about that during the campaign. I mean, that's just a misunderstanding of the war on terrorism . . . .

Q: I mean, the reason that we keep asking the question again is that it's just confusing to me how you can say it confirms your strategy is the right approach when there is terrorism in Iraq now, a terrorist breeding ground in Iraq now and growing there, and wasn't there before. So how does that confirm your approach?

MR. McCLELLAN: That's assuming that terrorists would just be sitting around doing nothing if we weren't staying on the offensive in the war on terrorism. I mean, by going on the offensive we've been able to liberate two countries, the people of two countries -- in Afghanistan and Iraq. And now we must continue to do everything we can to support efforts to build democratic futures for the people of the region. And that's exactly what we'll continue to do.

But I disagree with the characterization of the report, because I think the report confirms that we have the right strategy to win the war on terrorism, because of what I said a minute ago. So I would disagree with that. And this is -- the report looks at much more than just that. It's a speculative report that looks at a number of areas in the world, and we welcome the report. It's important to look at what the report has to say. And I don't think we've had time to look at the whole report, and I would encourage each of you to look at the whole report, as well, and maybe -- because I think some of the characterization is off the mark.
Coming up: Mr. McClellan explicates Colin Powell's two-word assessment of the situation in Iraq. Well, Mr. President, it's good that "we're losing." 'Cause that's exactly what we wanted to do. And it's a good thing that Mr. Colin Powell told you we're losing. Wasn't that a good thing? And when you sent him to the cornfield for tellin' you that, well, that was real good, Mr. President. That was the best thing of all! (Thanks to our esteemed colleague Susan Madrak of Suburban Guerrilla for the link.)

FYI: The Jack Vance Award is named after the distinguished American science fiction and mystery writer whose most unfortunately-titled novel is Servants of the Wankh (1969; see picture at right). Prior to the release of the U.K. paperback edition, neither Vance nor his American editors realized that the merest mention of the title would elicit gales of laughter from English schoolboys.

The eponymous alien race has been renamed "the
Wannek" for future editions, presumably as a courtesy to prospective bookbuyers who might otherwise expect at least a chapter or two on Scotty McClellan.

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