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Pledges Not to Move Alone Unless It Does

Washington, D.C. ( — Bowing to international pressure not to act unilaterally, the United States reversed course today and promised to consult with its allies before doing whatever the hell it was going to do anyway.

Hoon and Rumsfeld
   President Bush (right) shows off his diplomatic side (left).

"Prior to taking action against any enemy nation, such as Iraq, we will confer with our allies, as well as other countries in that region," pledged U.S. President George W. Bush. "We will sit down with them. We will begin by explaining what our position is, and then we will... no, wait. That's it."

The announcement failed to assuage world leaders, who worry the U.S. will lead them all into a wider conflict without their consent. Bush, however, said his administration was well aware of international concerns, and would handle them internally.

Except for effect, the administration said its new stance overturns earlier, much-maligned statements insisting America would act unilaterally, if necessary, to oust enemy regimes. But the President said he recently was shown a new perspective by Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is generally regarded as a check on the administration's hawks.

"Colin Powell told me that acting alone was not in our long-term interests because, as he put it, 'No man is an island,'" Bush recalled. "Of course, I pointed out that America is a nation, not a man, and that lots of nations are islands, so I didn't really 'get' his argument. But I do like to say 'Colin Powell' whenever I talk about foreign affairs because it makes me look diplomatic."

European Union external affairs chief Chris Patten, however, was not appeased. "What's the point of even talking to your allies if your mind is already made up?" he asked. "It's little more than feel-good lip service."

Replied Bush: "Colin Powell."

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, meanwhile, was one of several voices calling for restraint. "We are all concerned that Saddam Hussein is developing weapons of mass destruction, but the international coalition against terror has no carte blanche for an invasion of any country," Fischer insisted.

In response, Bush said "Colin Powell," and added that his staff has a solution.

"We've created a one-page form that allows us to declare war on Iraq for you," he explained. "It really streamlines the consensus process for everyone."

"That is not consensus!" Fischer railed. "That is worse!"

Answered Bush: "Oh, in that case, just Colin Powell."


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