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Thursday, November 16, 2006
Robert Gates
Secretary of Defense (to be)
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Dear Secretary Gates,

     I just want to be the first to say, “Welcome Aboard!”

     You know better than anybody that you have huge shoes to fill.  Replacing Donald Rumsfeld is like a baseball player trying to replace Babe Ruth!  It’s like a logger trying to replace Paul Bunyon!  It’s like an Evangelical Christian trying to replace Ted Haggert!

     But if anybody can stand in Rumsfeld’s long shadow, it’s you, Robert Gates, and I think you’re up to the job!

     But if you want to succeed, here’s what you’ll have to do: Stop playing politics!  When you were on the Baker/Hamilton commission, you were free to say any old thing you wanted about what a “mess” we were in over there in Iraq and how Rumsfeld couldn’t even win a war against the Quakers.

     But now you’re in a position of responsibility, sir, and there’s only one thing to do: Follow the Rumsfeld Doctrine!  

     For three and a half years, we’ve been fighting this war the Rumsfeld way, and we’ve been winning!  Every report from the Pentagon has been good, every FOX news story said we we’ve been making progress, and My President said every day that victory was around the corner!  

     But guess what?  As soon as Rumsfeld leaves, we hear Iraq is in a civil war, the country is in chaos, and we’re caught in the middle with no plan and no way out.  

CONFIDENTIAL (for the eyes of Robert Gates only):

     I’ve outlined a 7-step program based on the Rumsfeld Doctrine, which if you follow it to the letter, will guarantee Mission Accomplished in Iraq!

Step 1: Let Saddam escape.  A week later, after he regains control of Iraq, declare that he is developing weapons of mass destruction and we must take him out again.  

Objective: Boost troop morale and re-establish a sense of mission.

Step 2: Bomb what’s left of Baghdad but do not, I repeat, do not plan beyond that.  Send only enough troops to secure Iraqi oil fields.  Order the remainder of the troops to stand around and watch while Baghdad gets looted.  Dismantle the Iraqi army so there is no one to restore order.  Do not, I repeat, do not restore electricity or plumbing.

Objective: Secure Iraqi oil fields.

Step 3: Make sure each serviceman and woman has a dumpster within proximity so he or she may scrounge around for improvised car and body armor.  Give them access to postal service so they may write home for same.  Recycle soldiers for multiple tours of duty, even after their enlistment period has ended.  Distribute millions of bumper stickers that say, “Support Our Troops.”

Objective: An all-volunteer army.  Do not, I repeat, do not institute a draft!  Learn from the mistakes of Vietnam!  We want Americans to feel that the most they have to lose while they’re watching the news is their dinner.

Step 4: Hire private contractors like Halliburton, Bechtel, and Kellogg, Brown, & Root to do all the service, reconstruction, and prisoner interrogations.  Pay them a hundred times the going rate and do not, I repeat, do not monitor them.

Objective: Secure Dick Cheney’s great great great grandchildren’s trust funds.

Step 5: Speaking of prisoner interrogations--take the gloves off!  But do not, I repeat, do not allow cameras in prisons!  Rumsfeld corrected the camera mistake after Abu Ghraib, but the damage was done.  Good news: Americans have memories that last as long as Britney Spears’ marriage.  Bad news: Iraqis never forget.  Fortunately, we will be occupying Iraq for the next thousand years, so over time we can win their hearts and minds.

Objective: Give our troops and private contractors an opportunity to let off some steam with some good, clean, American fun.  Also, while torture does not usually uncover any useful information, it can provide valuable talking points such as, “We have sources that confirm that Iraq has nuclear weapons poised to strike New York, Los Angeles, and Washington DC, and I’ll tell you anything else you want to hear if you’ll just take that out of my. . . !”

Step 6: Stay the course!  Tell My President whenever He says, “Stay the course,” follow it with, “. . . be with you.”  Then, when the liberal media play “Gottcha” and shows the hundreds of times He said, “Stay the course,” Our President can say, “I didn’t say, ‘Stay the course.’  I said, ‘May the force be with you.’ ”

Objective: Survive Our President’s term without Him having to leave Iraq with His tail between His legs.  Hand it to Hillary and make her leave with her tail between her legs.

Step 7: Hire Rumsfeld as your advisor.  Iraq is too complicated for anybody to understand except Donald Rumsfeld.  Your comments show you don’t grasp the complexity of the situation, and you will need Rumsfeld’s strong hand to guide you through the intricacies.  Good news: If you follow the Rumsfeld Doctrine, you’ll be guaranteed the same success we’ve had the last three and a half years!

Objective: See Objectives to Steps 1-6.

     By the way, remember when you were Deputy Director of Intelligence at the CIA and Ollie North and his buddies got caught selling weapons to Iran and funneling the money to the Contras in Nicaragua?  Remember when you said you first heard about it on October 1, 1986, but then it turned out you heard about it in the the summer of 1986, except you “couldn’t recall”?  Don’t worry about the Liberal Democrats beating you up in the confirmation hearings.  At this point, they’d settle for Ollie North!

     Congratulations on being the Second Best Secretary of Defense Of All Time!  Right behind Rumsfeld!

Carl Estrada

P.S. With your experience on the board of directors of Science Applications International Corporation which has done such fine work training the Iraqi media after we blew up Al Jazeera’s headquarters, you’re just the man for the job!

P.P.S. I think you should stay on the board at Parker Drilling. Then Parker can get Halliburton’s contracts after they all get indicted.

P.P.P.S. I guess we won’t be seeing any of those Diebold voting machines in 2008.  They’ll all bear the proud insignia of your  voting machine company,VoteHere!

P.P.P.P.S. Could you please send me a photo of yourself?  Autographed?  Make it out to my grandson, Lester.  You’re his favorite!  He likes you even better than Rumsfeld!



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