. . . But Sadly, the Replacement Poem Spells Out 'Douglas Feith'
Apparently, the Pakistani education system has hit upon a stunning new refinement of Hooked-on-Phonics. The BBC reports that an English textbook intended for 16-year-old high school students features a poem arranged so that the first letter of each line vertically spells out "President George W. Bush." After a public outcry, the poem has been deleted. But some of its more stirring couplets include:
Eyes that have foresight, for hindsight won't do,
Never backs down when he sees what is true,
Tells it all straight, and means it all too. . .
Bracing for war, but praying for peace,
Using his power so evil will cease,
So much a leader and worthy of trust,
Here stands a man who will do what he must.
Pakistani officials say they're not sure how the ode to Dubya-riffic virtues made it into the textbook. But a recent theory has it that "it may have been downloaded from the internet by a textbook writer, and later approved for publication by the curriculum committee."
That would explain a lot--except, of course, how Mark Halperin's byline was mysteriously deleted. -- HOLLY MARTINS