Wednesday, March 23, 2011

That doesn’t mean that we can solve every problem in the world

Yemen’s parliament gives the president emergency powers. Why is it never X-ray vision, the power to fly, invisibility, or super-speed, it’s always the ability to arrest people without charge, the power of censorship. Really crap super-powers, is what I’m saying: “I am Captain Scissors; I have the power to prevent the press publishing remarks critical of the government!” You’re not going to get Lois Lane’s panties wet that way, you’re just not. (By the way, who wants to start an internet campaign to get Sarah Silverman cast as Lois Lane in the next Superman movie?)

Obama was in El Salvador, where he visited the tomb of Oscar Romero. If he apologized for the US’s financing of the death squads that murdered the archbishop, I must have missed it.

He gave a press conference with President Funes, who tried to make him feel bad about cutting short his visit to the country: “President Obama asked me if this is the weather characteristic of this time of the year, and I was saying that, yes, and that it is a pity because if he had stayed a little bit longer we could have invited you to get to see the beaches of our country that are one of the best in the region.” So no beaches for you, Barack.

I’M SURE THEY’RE PLEASED TO HEAR IT: “We want El Salvador to be successful.”

He promised that he could pay for the Libyan operations out of the existing budget and that “it is not going to be our planes that are maintaining the no-fly zone.”

WHEREVER THERE’S A COP BEATING UP A GUY, WE’LL BE THERE: Asked to define the American national interest in Libya: “Now, with respect to our national interests, the American people and the United States have an interest, first of all, in making sure that where a brutal dictator is threatening his people and saying he will show no mercy and go door-to-door hunting people down, and we have the capacity under international sanction to do something about that, I think it’s in America’s international -- in America’s national interest to do something about it.” I must have missed the part where he said what America’s national interest is.

WHAT THAT DOESN’T MEAN: “That doesn’t mean that we can solve every problem in the world.” It doesn’t? I has a sad.

Ah, he circled back to the national interest thing: “It is in America’s national interest to participate in that because nobody has a bigger stake in making sure that there are basic rules of the road that are observed, that there is some semblance of order and justice -- particularly in a volatile region that’s going through great changes like the Middle East -- than does the United States of America.” Some semblance of order and justice in the Middle East, is that too much ask? I said, is that too much to ask? Hello, is this thing on?

DEFINE “PEACEFUL”: “Now, we’ve already seen what happened in Egypt and Tunisia -- peaceful transitions.”

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