The Prez of Comedy


“I would say anybody in the world who has not ordered troops into battle based on getting rid of someone?s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction can joke about weapons of mass destruction.” (Al Franken, 03/26/04)

“I keep sort of a running tab on the number of public officials or corporate officials who are forced to apologize on a regular basis for awkward attempts at humor. It?s an instrument that is best handled by professionals, much like scalpels and other sharp tools.” (Harry Shearer, 03/26/04)

I’d be more inclined to write off the Prez of Comedy’s WMD bit as simple bad taste if his remarks didn’t signify a world leader’s dissociation from appalling situations that he created, and worsening by the day. What Bush’s enablers conveniently forget is that the amount of destruction he unleashed didn’t create the shiny-penny democracy they keep saying exists. Instead, he’s put Iraq on the brink of civil war or becoming a hardline theocracy.

And no, Saddam wouldn’t still be in power otherwise. Had the UN inspectors been allowed to complete their work, the lifting of sanctions would have occurred with world military and civilian support behind UN-supervised elections planned for the Fall of 2003. Instead, we have this:

Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric may issue a religious edict declaring the June U.S. transfer of power to Iraqis illegal if an interim constitution article is not amended, a close aide said in remarks published on Saturday.

“If article 61 of the interim constitution is not changed, Imam (Ayatollah Ali) al-Sistani may issue a fatwa declaring illegitimate all those (Iraqis) to whom power is transferred in June,” said Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer al-Mohri.

Sistani “may also order the Iraqi people to protest or carry out major popular demonstrations and sit-ins in all Iraqi cities,” added Mohri. […]

Washington has been pushing for progress on the constitution and the make-up of a new government in order to meet a June 30 deadline to hand over sovereignty.

Mohri also urged the United Nations and the U.S.-run Coalition Provisional Authority running Iraq not to disagree with Sistani, “or else there will be pandemonium in Iraq, and protests and chaos will be widespread.” (03/27/04 Reuters)

The Al-Jazeera report adds the detail:

Sistani had complained that veto guarantees enshrined in the constitution could constrain the power of the Shia. He also says a proposed three-person presidential council, comprised of a Shia, a Sunni and a Kurd, is a recipe for religious and ethnic squabbling.

What’s particularly alarming is that the handy N/S geographical divisions of the parties increases the likelihood of civil conflict drawing in Turkey from the north, and/or Iran from the south. (Bush: Ain’t I a stinker?)

Despite a big buildup that drew a mob of world press to the region with promises of kickass footage and a sensational capture or two, the administration’s Spring Product announced late last year is another disaster. Pakistan’s hunt for bin Laden has mobilized hardline sentiment in the country and dismayed Musharef’s moderate opposition.

[Pakistan’s military spokesman Shaukat] Sultan said the operation in Pakistan’s semiautonomous tribal areas had been successful. … But observers critical of the massive military sweep called it a political failure, citing the high number of troop casualties and officials’ failure to capture any so-called “high-value targets.”

The deployment has drawn criticism from Islamic hard-liners and opposition politicians, who have capitalized on widespread anti-U.S. sentiment. …

Musharraf, speaking on Pakistan Television, defended the operation Saturday, insisting that the militants in the tribal areas are a threat to the nation. (03/27/04 AP/Pennington)

Look, everyone’s entitled to test their chops at open mic night. I just don’t think Bush should be doing WMD bits when terrorists are closer than ever to acquiring them, not in Iraq, where they never were, but in Pakistan, where illicit availability has improved (as it has with many other shady new best friends of the Preznit’s.) In case he’s still not giving a shit, al Zawahiri just released a tape urging Muslims to overthrow the Musharef government that’s even less funny than the Preznit’s WMD bit or the Jerky Boys.

I’m wondering when the SCLM will get around to asking why his self-proclaimed mission to spread democracy seems to be turning two secular states into theocracies — one of them with nukes. (Three if you include Shit Midas’ domestic influence.) Not even a peep about it.


Comments: 4


Peanut, your graphics freakin’ rule, dude.


The flagon with the dragon has the brew that is true, the vassel with the pretzel has the pellet with the poison.


Yeah, I think Franken has it about right. Nothing is really out of bounds in comedy– but context is everything. Boy is it ever.

And I’m curious: Has anyone named Shecky ever been anything but a comedian? Like a College President, say, or an Undertaker?

Loved the pic of President Pupkin, Peanut.


“Instead, he’s put Iraq on the brink of… becoming a hardline theocracy.”

Well Bush has been working hard for the US to become one of those too, so it’s only fair that he tests it out first on someone else…


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