Dear President Bush,
It appears your wordsmiths are working extra hard today to get the right heading for your Iraq political progress perspective. The title has changed 3 times in a few short hours. I imagine the scene to look something like this:
(Startrek theme plays in background, fading out as camera pans in)
Sulu: Captain, we are picking up a negative ion field over Baghdad, Iraq. It is simultaneously spreading rapidly over the continental United States.
Captain Kirk: Thank you Mr. Sulu, any sign of the field anywhere else?
Sulu: No, Captain just in those two spots.
Captain Kirk: Spock, analysis?
Spock: The cloud seems to be emanating from people watching a talk by the President of the United States. I am currently analyzing the transmission.
Captain Kirk: Make it fast Spock, the cloud is growing outward towards space and the ship is in danger.
Spock: I am doing the best I can, Captain. Ah, it appears the President used the word “incremental” to describe progress in Iraq. The Iraqi people are upset with each other and with the Americans, many of which they consider to be occupiers. The Iraq cloud is significant but stable. The American cloud is slightly different in nature. The people there seem to be upset they spent nearly $1 trillion dollars for “incremental” improvements. Well, they seem to have a rational point. This cloud is growing rapidly. Captain, the negative ion field is fast approaching the ship.
Captain Kirk: Mr. Sulu, shields up. Divert all main power to the shields. Mr. Spock hail the American President.
The first negative ion wave washes over the ship and its force field causing the crew in the bridge to clutch to their seats.
Scotty: Captain, we took quite a blow. Shields are down to 50%.
Captain Kirk: We have to stop the negative ion field at its source. Spock have you got the U.S. President yet?
Spock: Yes, Captain. (President Bush appears on the screen)
Captain Kirk: Mr. President, I will be brief. You have a rapidly growing negative ion field emanating from people watching your speech. Apparently the word incremental is not going over well. Might I suggest some alternative wording for you to try?
President Bush: Huh, hey Harriet! It’s Captain Kirk, come in here and look at this! He thinks my use of the word "incremental" regarding Iraq is stirring up some type of cosmic storm. Now that’s a laugher. Harriet, the Captain suggests I use another word. Doesn’t he know we pay the brightest minds to craft our messages? Karl came up with that one himself and we all know what a genius the Roveman is.
Captain Kirk: Mr. President, apparently your wordsmiths bombed this time. I am hailing you from the WordSmith Enterprise. We are from the future and have more sophisticated technology as to what works message wise. You bombed with incremental.
President Bush: No, Captain you have it wrong. The bombing is another story. We publicly warned Iran’s neighbors to take appropriate defensive measures should the U.S. open up a can of whup ass on Iran.
Another wave of negative ions slams into the Enterprise
Captain Kirk: Listen, Mr. President, my ship and crew are getting slammed, much like your current approval ratings. I need you to try some different words. I know you can’t go back and change the speech but you can instruct the media to use different headings. Those might stem the growth of the negative ion cloud. First use, the word “gradual” instead of incremental.
President Bush: O.K. I’ll see what I can do. Harriet, can you call Tony Snow and get the media to shift to “gradual”?
As the changes are made, Spock monitors the situation. Shields are down to 30%
Mr. Sulu: Captain, the cloud seems to be expanding again. It looks like we are going to take another hit.
The bridge rocks violently ejecting most crew members from their seats.
Captain Kirk: Scotty, damage report.
Scotty: Captain we’ve lost the main power and have switched to impulse power. I am not sure we can survive another blow. So much for our plans to sit back in rocking chairs someday and reflect on our time working together!
Captain Kirk: Hold on Scotty! Give me all she has! We will sit in that rocker. Ahura, hail the U.S. President.
President Bush: Hi Captain, did the "gradual progress" go over any better?
Captain Kirk: Sorry, Mr. President it too bombed. I have saved our most powerful words for such an occasion. Try “Slowly reaching turning point” and implement on my mark. Five, four, three, two, one, release to all media sources!
Spock: Captain it appears to be working. The cloud over America is dissipating. It is an optimistic country and just needed some optimistic language.
Captain Kirk: Scotty, it appears we will get to rock on after all!
Mr. President: Captain, thank you for helping stem this problem. Might I be able to call on the WordSmith Enterprise again in the future? With the litany of difficult issues, many of which I created, I could sure use the help.
Captain Kirk: Sorry, Mr. President, our role is normally just to observe. I intervened in this case as the ship and crew were in danger. Our plans are to study intelligent life forms and to be frank, you just don’t qualify…
The closing theme to Star Trek plays in the background