had a fantasy about a post-operative, smartened-up Bush holding a press conference. Here's an excerpt:
Sandra Kentwell, CNN: Um, one thing that I’ve noticed about your position on Iraq is that it changes from day to day. Sometimes you say that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction. And yet, other times you say that the purpose of this war – this ‘preemptive action’ as you call it – is to prevent him from making weapons of mass destruction. So, I guess I’d like to ask, which is it? Does Saddam have these WMDs, or not?
Bush: That’s more like it. Excellent question, Ms. Kentwell! Why, I can’t tell you how nice it is to initiate a dialogue with an intellect of the same caliber as my own. Conversing with those who, like me, ‘live the life of the mind,’ is always cause for ebullience.
But enough shilly-shally. Let me address your query directly.
I must confess that, until recently, I was vexed by this very point; namely, does Saddam have, in his possession, weapons of mass destruction? As our treatment of North Korea illustrates, the United States’ policy towards a rogue nation is contingent upon the answer to this most vital of questions.
But in the last few weeks, I have come to realize my folly in analyzing the issue of WMD-ownership in strict accordance with Newtonian-physics. Once I jettisoned my preconceived notions of reality, the matter became–
Marlin: I’m sorry, did you say ‘Newtonian physics?’
Bush: Precisely. If you view Iraq in a classical Newtonian framework, then you must concede that they either do or do not have weapons of mass destruction. It is this narrow mindset that causes such confusion in the uninformed.
But, over President’s Day weekend at Camp David, I delved into the collected writings of Erwin Schrödinger, and now have no recourse but to conclude that Saddam both has and does not have weapons of mass destruction.
Weinberg: How’s that again?
Bush: Hah hah! Yes, I’ll freely admit that the concept is a bit difficult to grasp, unless you’re something of a physics hobbyist, as I have become since the operation. But if you examine the facts on a subatomic level, the proposition that Iraq both has and does not have these weapons is really inescapable. Here, allow me to give you an overview of quantum mechanics in general, and the principles of Schrödinger’s hypothesis in specific…
[The presentation that follows is largely incomprehensible.]
Bush: And so as you can see, until such time that the inner workings of Iraq are observed by the outside world, its WMD program exists in both a state of being and of not being – or, to put it simply, in a state of ‘superposition.’
James Groff, LA Observer: But why don’t you want to allow inspections to continue?
Bush: Here we come to the very crux of the matter. As I have just elucidated, so long as Iraq is kept in this state of superposition it only half-has weapons of mass destruction. But the mere act of observing Iraq may force it to enter one state or the other; analogous, in the demonstration I just gave, to the opening of the box and immediately rendering the cat either dead or alive. By continuing inspections, we run the risk of giving Iraq the WMDs it so desperately wants. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather deal with a Saddam that only half-has WMDs rather than a Saddam who, you know, like totally has them.