Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Inaugural Post

My thanks in advance to the people who will actually read this blog. In lieu of starting things off by writing about myself I'd like to post an email that was recently forwarded to me by a friend and my subsequent response. Not because either are particularly earth-shattering or relevent; I was feeling politically boisterous and just had a little time on my hands. I'm posting it because I was in the midst of creating this blog when said friend sent me back what I can only describe as an extremely complimentary email on my insights accompanied by an outright threat of physical violence if I didn't start my own blog right away. So here we go with the post that started it all (please excuse the shameless plug for Barack Obama at the end):

WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT TO TURN ON THE TV AND HEAR ANY U.S. PRESIDENT, DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN GIVE THE FOLLOWING SPEECH? My Fellow Americans: As you all know, the defeat of the Iraq regime has been completed.

Since congress does not want to spend any more money on this war, our mission in Iraq is complete.

This morning I gave the order for a complete removal of all American forces from Iraq This action will be complete within 30 days. It is now time to begin the reckoning.

Before me, I have two lists. One list contains the names of countries which have stood by our side during the Iraq conflict. This list is short. The United Kingdom , Spain , Bulgaria , Australia , and Poland are some of the countries listed there.

The other list contains everyone not on the first list. Most of the world's nations are on that list. My press secretary will be distributing copies of both lists later this evening.

Let me start by saying that effective immediately, foreign aid to those nations on List 2 ceases immediately and indefinitely. The money saved during the first year alone will pretty much pay for the costs of the Iraqi war. THEN EVERY YEAR THERE AFTER IT GO TO OUR SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM SO IT WONT GO BROKE IN 20 YEARS.

The American people are no longer going to pour money into third world Hellholes and watch those government leaders grow fat on corruption.

Need help with a famine ? Wrestling with an epidemic? Call France .

In the future, together with Congress, I will work to redirect this money toward solving the vexing social problems we still have at home . On that note, a word to terrorist organizations. Screw with us and we will hunt you down and eliminate you and all your friends from the face of the earth.

Thirsting for a gutsy country to terrorize? Try France , or maybe China .

I am ordering the immediate severing of diplomatic relations with France , Germany , and Russia . Thanks for all your help, comrades. We are retiring from NATO as well. Bon chance, mess amiss.

I have instructed the Mayor of New York City to begin towing the many UN diplomatic vehicles located in Manhattan with more than two unpaid parking tickets to sites where those vehicles will be stripped, shredded and crushed. I don't care about whatever treaty pertains to this. You creeps have tens of thousands of unpaid tickets. Pay those tickets tomorrow or watch your precious Benzes, Beamers and limos be turned over to some of the finest chop shops in the world. I love New York

A special note to our neighbors. Canada is on List 2. Since we are likely to be seeing a lot more of each other, you folks might want to try not pissing us off for a change.

Mexico is also on List 2 President Felipe Calderon and his entire corrupt government really need an attitude adjustment. I will have a couple extra tank and infantry divisions sitting around. Guess where I am going to put 'em? Yep, border security.

Oh, by the way, the United States is abrogating the NAFTA treaty - starting now.

We are tired of the one-way highway. Immediately, we'll be drilling for oil in Alaska - which will take care of this country's oil needs for decades to come. If you're an environmentalist who opposes this decision, I refer you to List 2 above: pick a country and move there. They care.

It is time for America to focus on its own welfare and its own citizens. Some will accuse us of isolationism. I answer them by saying, "darn too-tin."

Nearly a century of trying to help folks live a decent life around the world has only earned us the undying enmity of just about everyone on the planet. It is time to eliminate hunger in America It is time to eliminate homelessness in America . To the nations on List 1, a final thought. Thank you guys. We owe you and we won't forget.

To the nations on List 2, a final thought: You might want to learn to speak Arabic.

God bless America . Thank you and good night. If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a soldier.

(Please forward this to at least ten friends and see what happens! Let's get this to every USA computer!)

The response:

Since this email was absent a subject line or any comment from you I can't tell if you forwarded it because you liked it's content or if you are making fun of it. I personally would find it horrifying if any American president, Democrat or Republican, gave a speech like this. The entire thing smacks of the "Cowboy Diplomacy" that George W. Bush has practiced for the last 7 years. This arrogant "You're either with us or against us" attitude is one of the reasons the rest of the world dislikes us so much.

Now I do agree with many of the sentiments expressed: we need to end this war and bring our troops home as soon as possible, we need to allocate more funding for Social Security, we need to secure our borders (and our ports), we need to get out of NAFTA, we need to end homelessness and hunger in America, we need to protect ourselves from terrorists and yes, we need to start making foreign diplomats pay their parking tickets.

That said, the rest of these proposals run the gamut from the irrational to the absurd. Severing diplomatic relations with some of the world's largest democracies and pulling out of NATO being one of the absurd ones. Again, we've spent the last seven years not talking to our enemies, now we're going to stop talking to our friends? Also, drilling for oil in ANWAR only puts off the inevitable and destroys one of the last untouched natural spots America has left. We need to institute a several dollar a gallon gas tax to put pressure on private industry and spur innovation of new technologies with the goal of eventually weaning ourselves off of oil-based transportation.

My favorite part though was the call to end all foreign aid to every country on his so called 2nd list. Ignoring the irony of his praise for teachers at the end of a screed riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, his math is a little fuzzy as well. The rabid, America-first isolationist crowd is always decrying how much foreign aid we "pour into Third-World hellholes" but here are the real numbers: last November Congress's Joint Economic Committee estimated the cost of the war from 2002-2008 to be around $1.3 trillion (other estimates have the final cost around $2 trillion depending on when we withdraw but let's use the former figure). The Foreign Aid Spending Bill Congress passed for 2007 was $21.3 billion. Some quick math shows that it would take approximately 61 years to pay for this war if we ended it immediately and used only our foreign aid budget. And of course that's not counting any aid we would still be sending the 20 countries besides ourselves with troops still in Iraq or the nineteen countries that once had troops there but have since withdrawn them (I'm assuming this particular president would tell the other countries from the "Coalition of the Willing" that didn't even send one measly troop to shove off).

Sorry to go off on a rant like that but I've been watching politics all day and Bill O'Reilly just said something that really ticked me off. I think the American people are tired of the arrogant chest-thumping and prideful go it alone-ism exemplified in this speech. What this country needs right now is someone who can unite us as a nation and bring the other countries of the world back into our corner, someone who can redevelop the international good will we received after 9/11 that has subsequently been squandered, and I think we all know that there's only one brother who can do that. Obama '08!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The first comment to your first post! I don't give a shit if it's a year late. I. Don't. Give. A. Shit.

To be honest, I was reading the forwarded email part, and I'm kinda like "ya, fuck 'em!" Of course, I know that ain't gonna be B-Dub's response (that's your rapper name, not to be confused with your raper name), and I started thinking about what George Bush foreign policy would really mean. Funny how we feel like we need all 50 states, but that's it. Nothing more. Why does St. Louis make the cut but not Paris? Or London? Or some cool, unknown village in French West Africa? Anyhow, I like the multi-dollar gas tax, but I still want to drill in ANWR for two reasons: (1) The northern part of AK is a shit hole. Shit. Hole. (2) It would help the economy for my peeps. My. Peeps.

Anyhow, congrats on going a full year. Nobody would have guessed you'd last this long. That's what she said. Yes I did. Even when I'm not commenting I'm reading and it's always good material - except that Dog v. Cat shit. But I digress, thanks for the good times and please don't stop!