Dear Dairy:

Leaks today from the General Accounting Office regarding Gen. Petraeus’s report on the progress of the Surge we’re so eager for that we went ahead and wrote it for him indicate that only 3 of the 18 benchmarks we’ve set for the Iraqi government are being met. People are bound to misinterpret this as a failure of the Surge, when anyone not rendered insensible and blind by their slavish devotion to a flawed view of Iraq can see the reality: we set 15 too many benchmarks! In actual fact, the al-Maliki government should be applauded for going 3-for-3!

Still, it would be nice if some progress had been made toward the other 15 benchmarks. I said to Uncle Dick, ‘There must be one fella in all of Iraq that can contain these warring factions, control civil unrest and the influence of foreign governments and insurgents, provide security and basic services to the Iraqi people and, most importantly, maintain the steady flow of oil out of Iraq.’

He said there is, but he got his neck lengthened by about six inches last year.

I’d still like to meet him!