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Friday, February 23, 2007


by Karl Kadie

In the late, not-so-great days of the Iraq-US war,
Fred Kagen, face flushed, scattered with red blotches,
writes with feverish intensity. His analysis
for the American Enterprise Institute
advocates a surge of 40,000 troops in Iraq –
the new key to winning the war.
Kagen's symptoms – physical and mental –
persist for many days. Kagen visits
Vice President Dick Cheney.
Kagen talks later with William Kristol.
Cheney goes home early, blaming his bad heart,
Unaware his face shows the same crimson blotches.
The next day Cheney meets with President Bush.
"The solution is muscle," Cheney says,
"Don't worry about the hearts and dimes."
The President is under public pressure, susceptible,
and catches the virus immediately.
His face turns blood red, and the first lady orders him to bed.
Possessed, the President rises early.
He jokes about his ski-burn with the press,
and advocates a troop surge in Iraq.
"It's nice to see a president showing leadership," says Kristol.
The President meets with members of Congress,
including Majority Leader Harry Reid.
While the glare of the Capitol's Christmas lights
disguises the President's condition,
Reid responds with good cheer,
"We'll go along with that. As long as
the troop surge only lasts a few months," says Reid.
Merely a carrier, Reid is infected but does not have the virus.
Other cases are reported.
TSS is spreading fast and containment is in question.
Nonetheless a spokesmen from the National Institute of Health
counsels that more study is needed.
"TSS is not a yet powerful epidemic," she says.
"Just an epidemic of the powerful."

Karl Kadie holds an MA in English from San Francisco State University and is a native Californian. He has been writing poetry for over thirty years, and published poems in Haiku Headlines, The New Verse News, and on poetry blogs. His poems reflect the political events of the new century. Karl earns his living by marketing high technology products and services for global companies.