Me: "But you're still complaining about the $87 billion? If you won't tell us unequivocally that you wouldn't have invaded but for the imaginary deception, then you must tell us where you'd cut from that budget."
T9LG: "We don't know. But we do know that we wouldn't have to bear all of those expenses if you'd been nicer to the U.N. and France and Germany, and not ridden off on your unilateral high horse. Then these other nations you insulted would contribute."
Me: "So you are saying you wouldn't have invaded?"
T9LG: "Don't pin us down; it interferes with us having it both ways. But if we'd just sweet talked them a little longer, they would have come along."
Me: "Right. So are you saying we should withdraw the troops?"
T9LG: "No, of course not. Now that we're there we must try to protect our troops."
Me: "How about preserving our victory?"
T9LG: "We refuse to admit there was a victory."
T9LG: "We'll deny we ever said it."
Me: "How about securing stability for the burgeoning Iraqi democracy and rebuilding their infrastructure?"
T9LG: "There's certainly no stability. As for an Iraqi democracy, we only favor nation building when we're in power and the intervention has nothing to do with preserving America's security interests, such as in Haiti and Bosnia. As for the infrastructure, 'health care, education and the environment.'"
Me: "But you do agree we shouldn't leave now that we're there?"
Me: "Then what would you do differently?"
T9LG: "We might send more troops, depending on the polls."
Me: "Even though the experts -- the military commanders -- say it's not advisable?"
T9LG: "Well, politicians should run wars, not the military."
Me: "And you say you want to protect the troops, no matter what?"
T9LG: "Of course, stupid question."
Me: "Then why are you doing the one thing that could put them in jeopardy: badmouthing their efforts to the point that their morale and the American public's support for their effort are undermined?"
T9LG: "Because the economy's doing better, and we need something to talk about."
Me: "Thank you for your candor."