Friday, March 25, 2011

Mid East Roundup (or Round Down)

Having trouble keeping the turmoil in the Middle East straight? Confused? Horrified? Worried that idealistic movements for democracy will result in mass bloodshed, theocracy, and most importantly, an big uptick in gas prices? Here’s a primer that will make you feel as if your cable plan included Al Jazeera. The Obama administration has been accused of hypocrisy and inconsistency by Republicans; neither term would apply to people who called Bush bashing treasonous.


Lucky the third time? The U.S. is tangentially involved in what is now a NATO operation. Actually, the duties in this conflict are divided. NATO is in charge of being called “in charge” while the U.S., France (Sarkozy is the most gung-ho on this, probably because he’s got an election coming and someone told him there are gypsies in Libya), and Britain are in charge of actually bombing the hell out of Qaddafi’s forces. Qaddafi got off the ropes and was about to go door to door killing people in Benghazi before we intervened. Much ado has been made of the role female advisers—the “Valkyries,” Susan Rice, Samantha Power, and Hillary Clinton—had in bringing the Obama administration to war. Of course, if you’re less interested in the validity of life-and-death decisions than in who has tits, you’re probably an asshole like Rush Limbaugh or an “asshole” like Maureen (“I’m Not Saying It, I’m Just Saying Other People Are Saying It”) Dowd. Hey, Maureen Dowd, if my name sounded like a drag-queen pun I’d be kinder to the sisters, but I’m insecure.

We’re taking sides in a civil war with a loose, rag-tag (and I mean rag-tag—they actually play tag with rags) coalition of democracy advocates, disaffected military men, and guys who think Qaddafi’s Jewish. The rebels have adapted the protest tactics that worked for the public in Tunisia and Egypt, combining a more militant revolutionary edge with the pacifists’ ability to get their asses severely kicked. Best-case scenario: we create another Kurdistan. Worst-case scenario: we actually win.


[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="What a crappy mustache! "][/caption]

Is President Bashar Al-Assad a hard-line strongman who can ride the tiger, or an ophthalmologist with a crappy mustache which makes you just want to punch him? I mean, give Saddam Hussein some credit (Oh, and by the way, if we’d just waited for this we could have skipped the whole thousands of dead American soldiers and years of suck. Just saying), he was an evil man, but at least he could rock a mustache. I say Bashar goes down!


President Ali Abdullah Saleh has a better mustache than Bashar. He’s going down too, and then the shit is really going to hit the fan.

Saudi Arabia

What a bunch of assholes.


An oil spigot connected to a U.S. army base soaked with the blood of the innocent, whose deaths we ignore. It’s Realpolitik!


There hasn’t been much reporting lately from the country that started it all, when a poor street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire to protest of the confiscation of his wares by the state. In a dramatic turnaround, the burnt corpse of Bouazizi has been elected president. Ministers do his bidding, interpreting his whims based on which way the ashes of his body land as it disintegrates.


Good-looking people! It seems that the Muslim Brotherhood is poised to do well in the coming elections. Religious zealots gaining political influence, possibly applying their narrowminded bigotries to what should be a free and open society. Good thing that can’t happen here!


Even better looking? Iran seemingly crushed their uprising earlier this year, but mayyybe…Iran is different from these other countries in that it is ruled by assholes who are Shi’ite (a term ebonic in origin) as opposed to Sunni. The difference between the Sunnis and Shi’ites is that the Sunnis crack their eggs on this side of the egg and Shi’ites crack it on the other. I stole that joke from someone. You can actually get away with typing it Shiite, but then I can’t do my lame ebonic joke.


No, I’m sick of this. I’m done.

--Dan Kilian

44 Rings Up 43

Soup of the Day: Persian Pessimism and Rape



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