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A Clear Message

September 3, 2013

No one’s jamming their transmissions

“…and that is why, in my capacity as Secretary of State, I fully support the President’s decision to consult with Congress, which he is under no obligation to do, before bombing Damascus back into the Stone Age.

“Questions? Yes. You there.”

“Mr. Secretary, in your remarks you stated that there would be celebrations if the United States decided not to intervene militarily in Syria’s civil war. You also referenced intelligence sources as confirming that. Could you elaborate?”

“Yes. Not only have CIA analysts predicted with a high certainty that people will most likely be happy not to be blown up, but we have independent confirmation from NSA. I, of course cannot elaborate on how NSA was able to glean that from Damascans’ email, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, but we have copies.

“Here’s one Facebook post just translated by NSA today: ‘If we get bombed, Mo’s birthday celebration is cancelled’.

“Yes. You in the back.”

“Mr. Secretary, you made it clear that the White House and supporters of military action in Syria consider the situation in Syria to be different from that in Iraq in 2003. Can you explain the reasoning?”

“Yes. I can. First of all, we are depending on cherry-picked intelligence from the French. The Bush administration depended on cherry-picked intelligence from the British. France and Great Britain are different countries, though both are in Europe. France is part of the EU. England is not. They also speak French in France.

“Also, intelligence sources make it clear that Syria is inhabited by Syrians and not Iraqis. These are separate countries.”

The Secretary held his hands up and moved them apart to demonstrate.

“S-s-syria. Begins with an ‘s.’ Iraq does not. Next?”

“Yes, sir. You said that boots on the ground would not be necessary, that options would most likely involve air strikes.”

“Yes. Yes, I did. What’s your question?”

“Isn’t that how it began with Iraq? Air strikes, then the first invasion in 1991, now an unending occupation.”

“Again, Syria. Iraq. Separate countries. They aren’t even in the same location. French. It’s all different.”

“What about suggestions that the Syrian rebels have ties to Al Qaeda, that US, UK, or Israeli intelligence had a hand in the sarin gas attacks that are prompting this action…potential action?”

“Right. French. Not our intelligence. French intelligence said it was Assad. Assad begins with an ‘a’, by the way. Hussein begins with an ‘h’. So, there it is. Independent confirmation. Different.

“And let me say it again: if the United States fails to take military action there will be celebrating, laughter in the streets. Though laughter is the best medicine, I’m sure I quote someone on that. And medicine, especially the best medicine, is a good thing. But we don’t want the best medicine to fall into the hands of America’s enemies. We want the best medicine for our troops.

“Not that there will be boots on the ground. No boots on the ground. None. Nada.

“Oh, and the American people! We want the very best medicine for the American people. It is the President’s dream, as it is mine, that the American people will one day get the best medicine, usually only affordable by Canadians, French, British, citizens. Places like that.

“Heck, that’s why we keep doing things like bombing Syria. We keep hoping that by appeasing the war hawks we can cut a deal to make sure that RomneyCare will be allowed to stay on the books.

“Of course, typically, they just laugh at us when we do that. Of course, that’s fine. War hawks in the Republican party are Americans. They are our opponents, but not our enemies. Therefore they should have access to the best medicine. Laughter. As should all Americans.

“But not our enemies. You see, in war, the idea is to make the enemy cry. In healthcare, it’s to make people laugh. Different things, like Syria and Iraq are different things.

“When I was a boy…”

It was at this point that someone backstage turned to someone else and said, “Please tell me there’s an off switch, batteries I can pull out.”

“Nope. Should have sent Biden. Fewer gaffes.”

“…and so the kids in the neighborhood got together and said, ‘No, bully, you have no right, none at all…'”

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