In a stunning act of leadership, President George W. Bush today announced the withdrawal of all troops from Iraq to assist in Hurricane Katrina rescue and recovery efforts. "It's simple," said Bush, for once not fumbling for words. "Our own people have to come first. The Iraqi people, it's plain to see, need to solve their own problems." Reportedly "under fire" from major campaign contributors including Halliburton and Bechtel for the troop withdrawal, Bush stated, "I'm tired of being a puppet on a string. From now on I'm going to be president of this great nation."
Critics including Molly Ivins, Jon Stewart, Michael Moore and Bill Moyers reportedly stood at attention and even saluted when Bush's motorcade, hauling boats, food and supplies, turned left onto Pennsylvania Avenue headed for New Orleans. "Tell the people of New Orleans that every helicopter in America is coming to rescue them, and not just the government ones." Bush called on fishermen from Alabama to Texas to "load 'em [their boats] up and head for The Big Easy" to help out, in addition to "nationalizing" all helicopter services.
"We've got the strategic oil reserves and plenty of gas for every boat, airplane and helicopter to pick these people up by midnight tomorrow. We've got corporations like Coca-Cola and Pepsi who I'm sure will contribute enough bottled water for Orleaners not just to drink, but to take a bath in. This is a strong, powerful country, and the rescue of New Orleans will be our finest hour."
Broadcast over NPR, ABC, CBS, CNN and virtually every radio network in the nation, Bush's announcement of unity and aid was universally applauded by Democrats and Republicans alike.
New Orleans police, backed up by the 101st Airborne flown in overnight from Baghdad on massive C5A aircraft, will "put an end to looting, pronto," according to Bush. "If it isn't food or water they're hauling, they're dead meat. We're tired of pussyfooting around. Anyone with a gun who hasn't got a badge is going to get shot and left to die. And our National Guard is going to do it's job, too, of helping out our citizens.”
"The greatness of a country is measured by how well it takes care of its poorest and least priviledged members,” said Bush. "I don't care what race or color the people of New Orleans are, they are Americans first and foremost and whether they are rich or poor, white or black, we are going to rescue them, feed them, house them and help them get resettled and find work in towns across America until they can go home."
“Americans, I am asking for your support," said President Bush. "This will not be the day the music died in New Orleans. I want to see a tractor-trailer of donated food and water from every town in America headed to help these people. Our government can't do it alone, we need help from you, the citizens of this great country. And if you incur an expense, say for gasoline, to get food or water to New Orleans, we will have FEMA reimburse all valid claims." Reduced and neglected maintenance of the levees and dams surrounding New Orleans was a "colossal mistake," Bush stated, "But we will build them back better and stronger than they were, and we will rebuild the houses, the buildings and make the "New New Orleans" a showpiece to the world. I give you my word."
As this nation realized it actually had a leader on its hands, peace between Democrats and Republicans seemed to have been found at last.