TO: (Recipients Withheld)

FROM: General Jinjur, Provisional Proconsul of Oz

SUBJECT: War on Wickedness

IMPORTANCE: High Top Secret

It seems a long time since Operation Bucket of Water was completed, the Wicked Witch melted, and her followers shouted, “Hurrah for Dorothy! The Wicked Witch is dead!”

Retrospectively, that may have been the point where events began to diverge from our prewar plans.

Let it be said that the Wicked Witch was a highly desirable enemy, being undeniably wicked, readily identifiable by her skin pigmentation, unpopular, and, best of all, highly water-soluble.

Would that our new enemies in Oz had all these attributes. More thought should have been given to the geopolitical consequences of wiping out the Wicked Witches of both the East and the West, the so-called Axis of Wickedness. Thanks to the resulting power vacuum, Americans can no longer safely venture outside the Emerald City. Beyond the walls of this high-security enclave, the emeralds have all been looted, and sewage flows in the streets.

The Yellow Brick Road remains unusable, due to attacks by Munchkin warlords. Militias loyal to Glinda, the “Good” Witch of the North, who, just for the record, I never trusted, have launched a wide-scale insurgency. The Witch of the South has been abducted by militant Winkie clerics. Our attempts to portray the armed resistance as a last-ditch attempt by a handful of Wicked Witch of the West loyalists have lost all credibility.

U.S. forces have ceased to be viewed as liberators by many of the population, perhaps due to some unfortunate comments about Munchkins by senior Army commanders, and the PR problems stemming from our use of the Wicked Witch of the West’s dungeon for interrogation purposes.

As for the current unrest stirred by Quadling suicide bombers, we’re completely out of our depth, due to intelligence failures. We have no one who even speaks Gillikin.

All the state assets of Oz have been privatized, but unfortunately, there is no longer a state. This could be spun as ensuring a healthy legislative climate for multinationals, except of course for the general nonavailability of water, electricity, or the rule of law. Our last PR offensive was seriously undermined by the recent attacks on private contractors by flying-monkey suicide bombers. We keep having to revise upwardly the strength of the anti-American resistance, making it hard for us to tap the country’s vast snake-oil reserves.

Shock and awe have given way to nausea and denial. The ruby slippers turned out to be made of tinsel, damaging the credibility of our characterization of them as a weapon of mass destruction, and leaving us open to charges of having duped the American people into a bloody, multibillion-dollar fiasco.

There is no long-standing tradition of Oz nationhood. When we learned that our one-time ally the Wizard of Oz lacked popular support outside the Emerald City, we exfiltrated him, along with special agent “Dorothy,” and transferred sovereignty to a provisional ruling coalition of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion, but they seem to lack legitimacy, among other things.

To deal with the situation in Oz, we have been forced to withdraw troops from the borders of Mordor, and are starting to seem seriously overstretched.

When I asked our former ally the former Wizard for a strategy to get our faction re-elected, he said we wouldn’t need a strategy, as long as we had a slogan. “I Am the All-Powerful” was his suggestion. He also suggested we keep the special effects coming, and make sure we stay hidden behind the curtain.

Anyone have better ideas?