"Subject: Iraq. I am deeply concerned about Iraq. The task you have given me is becoming really impossible.
"There is scarcely a single newspaper which is not constantly hostile to our remaining in this country. Any alternative government that might be formed here would gain popularity by ordering instant evacuation.
"At present we are paying millions a year for the privilege of living on an ungrateful volcano, out of which we are in no circumstances to get anything worth having."
No, this is not a memo about Iraq to the president from Robert Gates. It was written about Iraq by Winston Churchill when he was colonial secretary on Sept. 1, 1922, to David Lloyd George, the Prime Minister of Great Britain.
Pretty smart man, that Churchill.