Aired Sept. 28, 2013 on Dave’s Gone By. Youtube clip: http://youtu.be/gNnmz3d-hMMs
Shalom Dammit! This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of September 29th, 2013.
Let us spin the wheel of the Arab world to find out which country is in chaos today. (spin sound) Oh boy, will it be Egypt, Lebanon? Iran? Maybe Iraq? No, it’s Syria! They’d been quiet for so many years, you could almost forget it was a Muslim country. But no, as the song goes, there’s always something there to remind me. In this case, a poison-gas attack that happened a month ago while the government was trying to put down a revolution.
President Bashar al-Assad denied using chemical weapons, he denied having chemical weapons, he denied knowing what chemical weapons even were – until the U.S. threatened air strikes, and suddenly he’s all, “Ohh!, you said CHEMICAL weapons, I thought you said chemical WEAPONS. Yeah, we have a few of those, lemme load up the U.N. truck.”
Now, when news leaked of the gas attack – and when you have a gas-attack leak, you better change your underpants – the first reaction was war. President Obama – not the right-wing Republicans, but the so-called soft-on-terrorism schvartze Democrat in the White House – he was the one saying, “load up the planes; let’s send a message.”
And then the debate began: If Assad is using chemical weapons, that’s bad. But he’s not using them on us. So that’s good. We’ve got our own problems. But if Assad has the weapons he denied having, and he killed the 1400 people he blamed the rebels for killing, then he could someday use the gas on us, which is bad. So we can start bombing him now, which is good. But then, to make sure he doesn’t rebuild, we have to put soldiers on the ground, which is bad. And, let’s face it, every time we get involved in another country’s military politics, the results are a
Jerry Lewis movie played in slow motion. In the end, Jerry survives and even gets to smooch Connie Stevens, but not before destroying the hotel and getting stung by 370 bees.
As “can’t win” situations go, this one’s a doozy. If America fails to act after Obama’s tough words, we’re perceived as all talk and no action – like the first half hour of lesbian porn. But if we go in with strategic missiles, we put our soldiers in danger, we open ourselves up to reprisals, and we get half of Europe going wah wah wah, you didn’t ask us first. Pass the diapers before we wet ourselves.”
And then there’s precedent. By that I mean the precedent of the predecessor President. He went to Congress with bogus proof that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Congress listened – because back then, the idea of checks and balances was almost actually functional – they believed Dubya Bush, and boom, there we were in Baghdad for ten long years. Who can blame the House and Senate for making sure Barack isn’t full of the same bologna?
Lucky for us, Russia – of all places – Russia steps up and says, let’s give Assad a chance to turn the weapons over peacefully. He’s been a naughty boy, but even he knows getting your country blown up by Uncle Sam is even worse than getting blitzed by rebels. The hard part is figuring out whether Assad is telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help him Allah? Is he surrendering 99.9 percent of his chemicals? 89 percent? 39? I mean, let’s say the owner of a Dunkin Donuts franchise wins Lotto. Yes, he sells the store lock, stock and bagel, but he also keeps a few crullers in reserve, just in case.
Folks, in my Rabbinical Reflections, I have made no secret of my fear and my distrust of the Arab nations. They have caused great harm to my people – Americans – and, of course, to Israel. Any opportunity to stop the AlQaedification of the world is an almost irresistible temptation. And if you tell me that the Syrian government killed 1400 Syrians, well, I am so far beyond giving a rat’s ass that many a rat will go assless for decades to come. Still, the method by which Assad eliminated his own people cannot be ignored – especially by Jews, who know that gas is a pretty wretched way to die. That, and listening to the Jonas Brothers.
But I hope we learned from 9/11 that fights are like noses; you have to pick them carefully. So let’s give Assad a chance to prove that he doesn’t want to be the next Hosni Mubarak, let alone Saddam Hussein. If he chokes, well, at least he knows what his victims felt like.
This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches in Great Neck, New York.
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