Tricky, tricky, you shit-faced murderers. You got us into Iraq and now we can’t leave.

The ensuing power vacuum would suck up every baby-raping warmonger in the Fertile Crescent and create a land of tyranny rivaled only by Kublai Kahn. So now the question is: How do we get out of this quick-like?

The answer: We don’t. We settle in.

The 51st state of the union will not be Puerto Rico or even American Samoa. It will be a sand-filled, terrorist incubator that will make those Islamic schools in Pakistan look like an alternative kindergarten in Marin County.

Now that we have a certified 51st state, we are going to need a state animal – the dung beetle, a state flower – the Columbine, and even a state flag – red for blood, black for oil.

But the question of tourism in our newest state remains a tricky one. You think Texans are xenophobic and speak a strange language while hanging onto barbaric customs. Iraqis are going to claim to be their own country long after we’ve forgotten the Alamo, and it will take some very fleshy carrots combined with some dynamite sticks to convince them otherwise.

But it can be done. It has to be done. What are our other options?

“Full scale retreat. Let the Arabs sort it out.”

That would be fun to watch. But it wouldn’t be funny “ha-ha,” so much as funny “uh-oh.”

“Bring in the United Nations and have them help us. International troops, international money, yadda yadda.”

Nice idea, but it reeks of the kind of meddling we did at the end of World War II, when all the major powers carved up Mesopotamia like some gerrymandered oil pie. And don’t put too much faith in the U.N. They could barely field enough troops to reduce ethnic cleansing in the Congo, let alone the fifth circle of hell that is Mess-o-potamia.

When armies of children were hacking up Congo villagers this September, abducting boys and raping girls, the U.N. sent in Uruguay. Uruguay, you remember, hasn’t been in a war since forever. Their blue-helmeted troops proved psychologically and logistically unfit to handle roving squads of child soldiers hopped up on psychedelics and wielding machetes. Many had nervous breakdowns. Others just openly wept. So how could the U.N. handle trained guerilla insurgents with enough bomb-making skills to make MacGyver weep?

“Stay out of the bushes! Stay out of the bushes!” warned Jesse Jackson before this whole thing went down.

Too late, Jesse, we are in the bushes. We have become the bushes. The Bushes are us. And the biggest machete in the world couldn’t nip this thing in the bud. Quagmire doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Hold on to your 50-starred flags, young’uns.

They will be collector’s items in a few years, as well as some excellent kindling in the great new American Republic of Iraq: The No Exit State.

Former Nexite David Downs is a reporter for the South Coast Beacon.