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Post Readers Propose First Paragraphs for Dick Cheney's Memoir

The mission was simple, put America back on its footing as a leader for peace and prosperity. The Bush administration had inherited a crumbling nation under the stench of mismanagement and immorality of the Clinton presidency. Conservative values had taken a horrendous beating and our country was moving heedlessly into chaos. There was little time to attain a semblance of world superiority, and we plunged headfirst into an agenda, despite acknowledging it likely would not receive national acceptance, of restoring worldwide respect for this land we love so dear.

-- Drexel B. Ball, Orangeburg, S.C.

Jan. 20, 2001: Things to do. 1) Convince W that he can really, really be a Jedi knight, if he is loyal & always listens to the Jedi master.

-- Joe Bartl, Toronto and Kandahar

Well, I appear to have gotten away with most of it.

-- Steve Chandler

In the beginning I created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And my Spirit moved upon the face of the waters. And I said, "Let there be light": and there was light.

-- Stephan Spitzer, Brookeville

I wish to apologize for the following quote that caused an illegal war: "We found the weapons of mass destruction."

-- Carl Calo, Rockville

George W. Bush was exactly the right man to be Governor of Texas. The perfect fit stopped there. He didn't like Washington and Washington didn't like him. He brought to the presidency the true-believer faith of a redeemed soul and the confidence of a man who overcame personal dissolution. It wasn't enough. It wasn't enough for the linen liberals who never saw a diner in their lives. And it wasn't enough for Washington where false outrage so often outsells sincere courage. George Bush is back in Texas. Someday soon history will follow him there to write his name large on a monument to the steadfast.

-- Jim Stasny, Falls Church

My bad.

-- Susan Wenger, Montgomery Village

From my desk in the White House, I watched the Twin Towers collapse on September 11th, 2001. I watched the Pentagon smoldering with flames. From that moment, I knew that I would be the punishment of God. If they committed great sins upon my country, God would send a punishment like me upon them. I was transformed by that moment: my greatest ambition was to scatter my enemies, to drive them into caves, to see their cities reduced to ashes, to see those who love them shrouded in tears, and to gather into my prisons their wives and daughters. In this memoir of my greatest years of public service, I hope to give you my anger, that it may abound, until all enemy noncombatants have been vanquished.

-- J.P. Antona, Tampa

It was xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Soon after, xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx. xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx once xxxxxxxx xxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxxxx and xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxx xx xxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxx. On xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xx life-changing xxx xxxx xxxxxx x xxx xxxx xx xxxxxx. My xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx told me xxxxxx.

-- George Plesko, Sharon, Mass.

I'm gonna tell the complete, unabridged story of my life, and I am saying from the start that I was always right. I was born right, right from the start. I always got it right even if nobody else did. Regardless of popular opinion, which I consider worthless, I always was, am, and will be right. As any [expletive] fool knows, might makes right, and I've had plenty of might. That makes me mighty right. Now for the details:

-- Patricia Collier, Annapolis

January 20, 2009. My helicopter passes over New Carrollton on the way to Andrews AFB. I study the tapestry below. My eye catches something, both remarkable and disturbing. A citizen is watching my helicopter and smoking a cigar. As we pass overhead, he raises his arm and offers me the international sign of disrespect.

-- Jim Sheets, Burtonsville

Were you there? In the room? At the table? Hearing what the leaders of the free world, myself and President Bush, were hearing? Were you briefed by the NSA, CIA, FBI, ATF, NORAD, the Joint Chiefs, the State Department, Scotland Yard, Mossad, Interpol, and Poppy Bush? What's that you say? You weren't? If you weren't there, in the room, at the table, rubbing elbows with the freely elected guardians of all that we as Americans hold dear, then your job as a patriot is to SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP.

-- James R. Heckel, Sparta, N.J.

My old friend, Bob Dole, suggested this book could be a bestseller if I would limit it to the amusing things that happened to me in my many years in public service. I have given it great thought, so I shall begin by telling you some of the jokes we told in the White House war room when we started bombing Iraq.

-- Wes Pedersen, Chevy Chase

Today I write to you using a Dixon Ticonderoga soft pencil. Why? Because I hope to get every last bit of carbon out into the atmosphere while I still breathe. In fact, I'm smoking a cigarette right now and running my car for no good reason at all. That is my determination and thus begins my story.

-- Robert Eckert, Issaquah, Wash.

History is often like peeling an onion. What seems apparent in a glance is often changed dramatically as subsequent layers are stripped away and things unseen come to the light of truth. So it is that we've come to this point in glancing back at the culmination of a life of service from the boy raised in Casper who dated and later married the homecoming queen, "flunked out" of Yale yet rose to the pinnacle of power in Washington, and is now content to watch life glide by from the porch of my home on the Eastern Shore. How history judges us, absent the typical Washington knee jerk, will be determined more by the final outcome of what we accomplished than in seeking to define the nuances -- in much the same way it is fruitless to determine the difference between Scotch and ice in a highball glass.

-- Randy Groves, Washington

New Year's Eve, 2006. Saddam Hussein had been hanged the day before, and for some reason, I was feeling a little down. As I picked at the disgusting breakfast of scrambled egg whites and poached herring that the cardiologists prescribed, my mood didn't improve even when Lynne came in and handed me a package. "From Paul," she said. "He needlepointed it for you over the holiday." I wasn't sure that I could take another homemade Wolfowitz gift, but when I unwrapped this one, I changed my mind. It was a framed sampler, as usual, but the message he had stitched in red, white and blue thread was just the boost my morale needed: "We stand at Armageddon and we battle for the Lard." Even if he couldn't spell, Paul understood what it was all about. Too few did.

-- Alfred Friendly Jr., Washington

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