West Wing
Memorial Day

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Flowers Out The Wazoo

Leo approaches Jed, who's pacing on the veranda thing as you do when you're contemplating a bombing. Leo gives him the damage assessment report on the daytime strike. Jed laments that he's been on the phone for three hours trying to work the diplomacy, and he's "barely moved the needle." Israel is stubborn as all hell about refusing to pull back from the compound, insisting that the chairman is harboring terrorists, the Egyptians aren't helping him, the Syrians and Saudis aren't any better. "Sir, the FA-18 strike is a reasonable response," Leo says, not pushing an agenda at all, because we don't do that here. Jed counters that they have to start thinking long-term in terms of some kind of a peace process. Leo comes back by basically saying that Israel wants peace and the chairman doesn't, which is just about the most simplistic analysis I've ever heard. "The Israelis are right," Leo says. "There's only one way to bring stability to this region. And we should be out there with them, digging ditches and putting up barbed wire." "The fence?" Jed asks, shocked at Leo's sudden retreat into nonsense. "It's a realistic solution," Leo says. "It's a land grab," Jed scoffs. "There's no alternative!" Leo says. "There's no partner for peace." Jed wants to know where you'll find one after the Israelis go ahead and take all the land they want anyway and the United States has taken out a bunch of civilians in Gaza. "We're no longer a neutral arbitrator; we've got skin in the game," Leo says, unable to understand why Jed can't get on the Bomb The Crap Out Of Them Bandwagon. Hop On Board! "And when the sun comes up in Gaza," Leo intones, "you're gonna have to launch those planes." Not that he's pushing an agenda, because we don't do that here.

In Donna's hospital room, Josh is watching coverage of the aftermath of the Israeli advance on the compound. HP walks up, putting on his jacket, and remarks that the Palestinians do, despite their talk, understand that the only chance for peace is by cooperating with the U.S. in some kind of a process. Josh has a different topic on his mind. "So you guys spent a lot of time together over there?" he asks, tossing his head back toward Donna. HP looks over at her as well. "Uhh...some," he says. Josh makes like he's going to be satisfied with this, but after a pause, he comes back with "Pretty long flight from Gaza to Germany." HP hesitates, not sure exactly how far into this he's supposed to wade. "Not really," he says with a nervous smile. "It's nothing compared to the flight from D.C." HP advances on Josh a bit. "Look, she didn't mention...anything. If this -- is going to be an issue, then --" "No, no issue," Josh says, eyeing HP suspiciously. Donna stirs, and they both go over to her bed. She asks for her morphine clicker, and HP hands it to her. She clicks it a bunch of times. "I think it only works the first time," Josh says, distracted. HP says he's got to take off briefly, but he'll be back. Josh wisely turns away to the TV to let them say goodbye, and HP leans over and gives Donna a smooch. On his way out, he gives Josh a stiff "nice to meet you" type of a thing. When he's gone, Josh looks at his feet, really wanting to ask Donna all about it and knowing it's none of this damn business. Donna bails him out. "Isn't he charming?" she asks. "Sure," Josh says. "In a bodice-ripping, Heathcliff-on-the-moor, I'm-too-sexy-for-my-camera sorta way." Not sure what about any of that is supposed to be satire, there, Josh, 'cause I'll take all that stuff, and I don't even wear a bodice, really. Though for HP, I'd consider it. A nurse brings in another bouquet, and Donna asks whom it's from. Josh plucks the card, and he is puzzled. The front is in Arabic, and the back says, "Wishes for a speedy recovery. Father of the baker, Father of the Light, Son of the Sword." I think all three of those are Madonna albums, incidentally.

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