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"That's Easy!"

A year ago, US troops rolled into Baghdad nearly unopposed. Now we're facing widespread violence and terror across Iraq. I realized today what it is that I'm reminded of by the Bush Administration's attitude towards Iraq over the past 12 months:

GALAHAD: There it is!
ARTHUR: The Bridge of Death!
ROBIN: Oh, great.
ARTHUR: Look! There's the old man from scene twenty-four!
BEDEVERE: What is he doing here?
ARTHUR: He is the keeper of the Bridge of Death. He asks each traveller five questions--
GALAHAD: Three questions.
ARTHUR: Three questions. He who answers the five questions--
GALAHAD: Three questions.
ARTHUR: Three questions may cross in safety.
ROBIN: What if you get a question wrong?
ARTHUR: Then you are cast into the Gorge of Eternal Peril.
ROBIN: Oh, I won't go.
GALAHAD: Who's going to answer the questions?
ARTHUR: Sir Robin!
ROBIN: Yes?
ARTHUR: Brave Sir Robin, you go.
ROBIN: Hey! I've got a great idea. Why doesn't Launcelot go?
LAUNCELOT: Yes. Let me go, my liege. I will take him single-handed. I shall make a feint to the north-east that s--
ARTHUR: No, no. No. Hang on! Hang on! Hang on! Just answer the five questions--
GALAHAD: Three questions.
ARTHUR: Three questions as best you can, and we shall watch... and pray.
LAUNCELOT: I understand, my liege.
ARTHUR: Good luck, brave Sir Launcelot. God be with you.
BRIDGEKEEPER: Stop! Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.
LAUNCELOT: Ask me the questions, bridgekeeper. I am not afraid.
BRIDGEKEEPER: What... is your name?
LAUNCELOT: My name is 'Sir Launcelot of Camelot'.
BRIDGEKEEPER: What... is your quest?
LAUNCELOT: To seek the Holy Grail.
BRIDGEKEEPER: What... is your favourite colour?
LAUNCELOT: Blue.
BRIDGEKEEPER: Right. Off you go.
LAUNCELOT: Oh, thank you. Thank you very much.
ROBIN: That's easy!
BRIDGEKEEPER: Stop! Who approacheth the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.
ROBIN: Ask me the questions, bridgekeeper. I'm not afraid.
BRIDGEKEEPER: What... is your name?
ROBIN: 'Sir Robin of Camelot'.
BRIDGEKEEPER: What... is your quest?
ROBIN: To seek the Holy Grail.
BRIDGEKEEPER: What... is the capital of Assyria? [pause]
ROBIN: I don't know that! Auuuuuuuugh!
Or as Joshua Micah Marshall put it last April:
Ending Saddam Hussein's regime and replacing it with something stable and democratic was always going to be a difficult task, even with the most able leadership and the broadest coalition. But doing it as the Bush administration now intends is something like going outside and giving a few good whacks to a hornets' nest because you want to get them out in the open and have it out with them once and for all.

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