Obama comes clean

Sometimes, we need a bit of dark humor to get through periods of political darkness. Humorist Andy Borowitz has the scoop on the reasons that Obama is considering bombing Syria.

Attempting to quell criticism of his proposal for a limited military mission in Syria, President Obama floated a more modest strategy today, saying that any U.S. action in Syria would have “no objective whatsoever.”

“Let me be clear,” he said in an interview on CNN. “Our goal will not be to effect régime change, or alter the balance of power in Syria, or bring the civil war there to an end. We will simply do something random there for one or two days and then leave.”

“I want to reassure our allies and the people of Syria that what we are about to undertake, if we undertake it at all, will have no purpose or goal,” he said. “This is consistent with U.S. foreign policy of the past.”

Meanwhile The Onion has an opinion piece by the Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad rubbing Obama’s nose in the fact that he has limited options.

Well, here we are. It’s been two years of fighting, over 100,000 people are dead, there are no signs of this war ending, and a week ago I used chemical weapons on my own people. If you don’t do anything about it, thousands of Syrians are going to die. If you do something about it, thousands of Syrians are going to die. Morally speaking, you’re on the hook for those deaths no matter how you look at it.

Oh, and speaking of me being toppled from power, let’s say, just for fun, that tomorrow I were to somehow be dethroned. Who’s in charge? Half of these rebel groups refuse to work with one another and it’s getting harder to tell which ones are actually just Islamic extremists looking to fill a potential power vacuum. We’ve got Christians, Sunnis, and Shias all poised to fight one another for control should I fall. You want to be the ones sorting through that mess when you’re trying to build a new government? I didn’t think so.

So, all in all, quite the pickle you’re in, isn’t it? I have to say, I do not envy you here. Really curious to see where you go with this one.


  1. Scott J says

    The Onion piece is about as accurate an analysis of the situation as one can make. The Western World now has a terrible conundrum about how to intervene in localised conflicts without performing another Iraq and all the others that came before it.

    I feel its a shame that the UN has permanent security council members with the power to veto as one of them has a vested interest in every country around the world, meaning that even in situations where it would make sense for the UN to act (and I’m not necessarily saying that Syria meets that criteria), they are unable to and therefore exert zero influence on the outcome. Not what I imagine was the goal of the UN when first created.

  2. left0ver1under says

    O-bomb-a: “Let me be clear”

    George Bush Sr.: “Read my lips”

    I am getting really tired of his crap. 2016 can’t come fast enough.

  3. Jeffrey Johnson says

    I can’t even see a trace of humor here.

    It’s a bit disgusting that the ill will toward Obama runs so deep that it enables one to chortle with glee over such a bleak situation of misery and death, merely because it places the President in a very tough spot with no good options. I can’t see the reason for it, but it seems to be the hangover from building wildly idealistic dreams that inevitably shatter when the messy chaos of reality intrudes. I guess idealists hate nobody more than one who fails to preserve their cherished dreams from the unpleasant forces of reality.

    There are a lot of people able to criticize everything with ease, but have nothin constructive to offer.

  4. Jockaira says

    Humor is frequently defined as embarrassment at the human condition. If you cannot see the humor in the articles above, then perhaps you are not human.

    But we appreciate your input anyway.

  5. Jeffrey Johnson says

    then perhaps you are not human.

    This remark is about as astute and likely to be true as any typically thoughtless Internet comment made from a standpoint of having the luxury of zero responsibility.

    To begin with, there seems to me to be something inhuman about making jokes and laughing about a bloody tragic conflict that has taken 100,000 lives with no end in sight. This is a situation where there seems to be little agreement among experts as to what the consequences of various choices might be, including the choice of doing nothing. Anybody who pretends they know the best course of action, or to predict outcomes confidently, is either lying or stupidly reckless. Ditto for people pretending they are worldly and wise by imagining this to be a replay of Iraq, even though that is an easy pre-fabricated opinion requiring no thought to adopt.

    The best humor has elements of truth in it. It is true that the situation we as a country are in with respect to Syria is fraught with risks and dangers and diplomatic pitfalls no matter what we do, including doing nothing. I don’t see anything funny about that though. But further, what really makes the Onion piece fall flat is the absurd notion that Assad is sitting pretty. Assad may not live much longer, and if he does it will probably end up being in severely reduced circumstances. If there is one thing that is certain in this pit of uncertainty is that given the option, Assad would trade places with Obama in about a millisecond.

    I guess to laugh at the Borowitz joke you’d have to think that the country was willing to attack with no objective. But if I really believed that I would find it cause for great alarm, not humor. But I don’t believe that. The problem with Syria is not a dearth of objectives, but rather too many overlapping and conflicting objectives. Untangling them seems to me nearly impossible, and no matter what we do there will be grim and unwelcome consequences. Some big laugh.

    To laugh about this, you just have to have not bothered to think seriously about it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *