Posts Tagged President Obama
Since the current American Foreign Policy regarding Syria has swung back and forth more than a half-naked Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball, we have taken it upon ourselves to interview some of the principle players involved and attempt to clarify things.
First up, Secretary of State John Kerry:
Q: At first you said that there would be no “boots on the ground” in Syria but then you opened up the possibility of “boots on the ground” if we needed to secure chemical weapons. Which is it?
Secretary Kerry: Both. I was against “boots on the ground” before I was for them.
Q: What about arming the rebels fighting against the Assad regime? Do you favor that?
Secretary Kerry: I was against arming the rebels before I was for it.
Q: Finally, what about getting Congressional approval before the US Military action?
Secretary Kerry: I was against getting Congressional approval before I was for it.
Q: I see. Thank you very much Secretary Kerry.
Now we turn to President Obama.
Q: Mr. President what do you have to say about “boots on the ground” in Syria.
President Obama: Let me make this perfectly clear. There will be no “boots on the ground” in Syria.
Q: But Secretary Kerry said that if we needed to secure WMDs we would go in, and there has been talk of providing arms to the rebels. How can we do this with no “boots on the ground”?
President Obama: Let me make this perfectly clear. The US Military wears boots. The C.I. A. wears shoes. We will have no “boots on the ground” in Syria.
Q: Secretary Kerry has said that any action by the US in Syria would be very limited…yet you said that the “US Military does not do pin pricks.” What about the drone strikes we have been doing around the world – aren’t those small precision strikes?
President Obama: Let me make this perfectly clear. The US Military is not in charge of the drone strikes. The C.I.A. is in charge of the drone strikes at my direction. The US Military does not do pin pricks – when I am looking for pricks, I look to the C.I.A.
Q: Are you sure you want to phrase it that way?
President Obama: Why? I didn’t draw a Red Line or anything again did I?
Q: No, no – never mind. Let’s move on. What do all of these changes signal to regimes like Iran or North Korea? What will they think about the reluctance to bomb or put “boots on the ground”?
President Obama: Iran is not Syria. You can check that on a map. Or even a globe. Or if you have a smart phone: use Google Maps. As for North Korea; let me make sure this is understood; the US Military wears boots, the C.I.A. wears shoes, and Dennis Rodman wears sneakers.
Q: That’s all the time we had with President Obama as he was off to a game of golf with Speaker John Boehner where they were going to talk about how budget negotiations are as painful as nicotine withdrawal.
Our next guest is Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Q: President Putin, after years of being sidelined in the Middle East it seems that Russia is once again flexing diplomatic muscles. Can you tell us what led to this change?
President Putin: There is no change here. I have been flexing my muscles for years. Haven’t you seen the pictures?
Q: What we mean is that you seem to have been very vigorous in your defense of Basher Assad in Syria…
President Putin: That’s not the only place I have been vigorous. I am recently divorced. So ladies, if you are looking for vigorous, text a picture to “Comrade Danger.”
Q: I can’t believe you went there…
President Putin: OK I have to go now, very busy schedule…
Q: Doing what?
President Putin: Have a photo opportunity of me riding shirtless on a unicorn.
Q: A unicorn? Aren’t they imaginary?
President Putin: You don’t believe in unicorns?
Q: Well, no…
President Putin: But you believe that all of the chemical weapons on a civil-war torn Middle Eastern country can be identified, secured, and transported out of the country by the International Community – with no American “boots on the ground”? You Americans crack me up. It is almost as funny as sending Dennis Rodman to North Korea.
Q: Not sure that we “sent” Rodman…
President Putin: Have to go. Have the photo op and then dinner with Eric Snowden. He tells me an NSA story, I tell him an old KGB story – we drink some vodka. Good time all around.
Next we turn to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Q: As a senator you voted to authorize President Bush to use military action in Iraq. Later you opposed it. As Secretary of State you supported military strikes on Libya, yet when our Ambassador in Benghazi was in danger you opposed using the military. Last week, now that you are out of office, you urged Congress vote in favor of supporting military strikes on Syria by the Obama Administration, but now you agree with the President to postpone the vote?
Secretary Clinton: Exactly.
Secretary Clinton: My position as a Senator, as Secretary of State and now as a Candid – oops! I mean as a private citizen – has been consistent.
Q: How so?
Secretary Clinton: I have always been in support of authorizing the President to use military force, until I am no longer in support. Well, gotta run – like the subtle hint there?
Q: Where are you going?
Secretary Clinton: To a photo op of me riding on a lion. That Putin is a genius – even Bill said he never thought of the “riding on a wild animal” thing. It’s almost as brilliant as sending Dennis Rodman to North Korea.
Q: You mean… we did send Rodman to North Korea…? Why?
Secretary Clinton: What difference does it make! See ya – in 2016.
Finally, to try to put some perspective on all of this – we ask former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to comment.
Q: What do we know about the Syria situation?
Secretary Rumsfeld: You and I don’t know what President Obama knows. And we don’t know what President Putin knows. And we don’t know what Obama knows about what Putin knows. It looks like President Hollande of France knows something – but what it is, we don’t know.
Q: Is there any way out of this mess?
Secretary Rumsfeld: That’s what they used to ask me about Iraq – so I’ll say the same thing:
I don’t know.
WASHINGTON DC – In a startling development Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced today that Saddam Hussein’s missing Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) have been discovered in Libya.
“It appears that the WMDs that were supposed to have been in Iraq have finally turned up in Libya,” said Secretary Clinton. When asked how certain the US is of this, she replied, “It’s a slam dunk.”
When reminded that the “slam dunk” phrase was used by a previous administration in regards to WMD in Iraq, Secretary Clinton said, “President George W. Bush was a baseball owner and President Barak Obama plays basketball. This administration knows what a ‘slam dunk’ really is.”
When asked how the US could know this when the President has promised to not have “boots on the ground” in Libya, Clinton responded, “We don’t have boots on the ground. Military guys wear boots. CIA guys wear shoes.”
When asked for a comment on this remark Director of Central Intelligence, Leon Panetta , said, “The Agency has a policy of not commenting on the footwear of our covert operatives.”
Reached by telephone for comment, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld , said “What? In Libya?” then there was sound that sounded like a hand slapping a forehead, “Why didn’t we think of looking there?” Then the line was disconnected.
A question was posed to Secretary Clinton as to what kind of WMD had been found in Libya to which she replied, “Bad ones.” When questioned as to if there were any sort of “good WMD” she answered, “Good WMDs are ones that we or our friends control. Bad ones are in the hands of bad people.”
Since shortly after the invasion of Iraq, Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi claimed to have given up on his own nuclear and WMD programs. It was asked why he would have Saddam Hussein’s WMD.
“You just said it,” answered Clinton. “He gave up his own WMD because he already had Saddam’s, why did he need his own?”
Asked if this will increase the US operation Odyssey Dawn from just enforcing a “No-Fly” or a “No-Fly and No-Drive” Zone to something else, Clinton remarked:
“The Kinetic Military Action in Libya should more properly be referred to as a ‘Flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants’ Zone.”
Current Defense Secretary Robert Gates was contacted for comment on the existence of Saddam Hussein’s WMD in Libya. He responded by saying, “Ask Valerie Plame.”
More of this story to come as it breaks, today, the first day of April…
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Memorial Services are always difficult – because of the emotions involved. Tuesday night, President Obama hit just the right tone with his speech at the Together We Thrive memorial service for the tragic shootings in Tucson, Arizona.
As an Arizonan it was good to see how the Arizonans at the memorial fared. Governor Jan Brewer and former Governor and current Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano did well. They were respectful and pointed out that this one event does not reflect the character or nature of Arizona. University of Arizona President Robert Shelton was a gracious host and MC, and his brief words on his friendship with wounded Rep. Giffords rang sincere and heartfelt.
The Native American blessing by the University of Arizona professor was awkward. As an Arizonan who has attended many events in the state which featured a Native American blessing; that was the first one I ever saw where the person making the blessing spent more than half the time introducing himself. It seemed out of place.
The whooping and cheering of the crowd at mentions of certain groups or the University was jarring as well. This was a memorial not a pep rally. Sometimes I wonder at the upcoming generations’ appreciation of time and place. The whooping and hollering reminded me of the news story a few years back about a lacrosse team that wore flip flops to a White House event: not understanding time and place.
But this young generation was done proud by David Hernandez, the young intern who helped nurse Rep. Giffords’ wounds and quite possibly saved her life. He insisted he was not a hero – and gave credit to others. While obviously moved, he held it together in front of the large and intimidating crowd, just as he did while in the line of fire last Saturday.
He reminded me of the U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta the Congressional Medal of Honor winner who recently was at the New York City New Year’s Eve Ball Drop ceremony. He too was humble in his heroism yet has been an articulate presenter when called upon to speak.
Appropriately President Obama called upon us all to live out the vision of our democracy that nine year old victim of the Tucson shooting Christina Taylor Green held.
As someone who has had the privilege to be backstage at a Presidential Candidate debates I can envision a few decades from now a Presidential debate where David Hernandez faces off against Salvatore Giunta. That would surely be living out that dream of our democracy.
Let us all pray that our nation be that fortunate and blessed.
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