A deconstructed transcript of Mr. Obama’s Iraq & Economy speech.
Good news from the Crescent… er, Oval Office. Well, not exactly good, because good news about wars is inappropriate by definition, inasmuch as all war is regrettable at best and often reprehensible, and calling it “good” is insensitive to boot. The not-so-good news is that we won the war in Iraq. Well, not exactly won, because winning is a flawed construct based on concepts borrowed from other fields of endeavor.
And on third thought, even those other fields of endeavor like sports and commerce should not refer to winning either, because it presents a false view of human superiority based on episodic rather than essential criteria. Furthermore, it feeds into a psychology which generates models of human interaction based on promoting gaps between levels of performance rather than achieving mutuality and symbiosis.
So, to review, the not-so-good news is that we not-so-won the war. Well, not exactly war, because the United States has no interest which is opposed to the intrinsic interest of any individual or group of individuals in the Middle East or elsewhere. The notion of war cannot be rightly applied to a military action engaged in for the purpose of securing a democratic result within a country which we intend to neither occupy nor dominate.
Additionally, even to the extent that manifestations of conflict emerge between our forces and local militant activists who perceive a contradiction between their interests and ours, the language of “war” is inflammatory. It has the effect of identifying particular civilian or quasi-military forces as an “enemy,” which communicates to American citizens a sense of demonization while entrenching a spirit of resistance in those opponents whom we have ostracized by this process.
Once again, the not-so-good news is that we not-so-won the not-so-war. One thing we clearly did was accomplish the mission begun by President George W. Bush. Now, don’t take that as a compliment to him, but as a slap, since he — ha ha ha, wait for it — announced in 2003 with a funny sign that the mission had already been accomplished. And on second thought, this is not even the mission begun by George W. Bush, since that was a mission we opposed at the time.
Then again, although combat is over, we have not fully accomplished the mission even yet, since we still have 50,000 men on the ground holding things together. Thus, we have not-so-accomplished the ill-defined mission which George W. Bush started for some stupid reason, so that the tangential advantages we are touting tonight should not rightfully accrue to his credit. But in all fairness we should note that I called former President Bush to tell him that we all agree he loves the country and the troops.
Make no mistake. We are definitely leaving Iraq, except for the soldiers we left behind. And we are surging now in Afghanistan to clear things up so we can definitely leave by 12:01 a.m. of July 1, 2011. This decisive message should strike terror into the hearts of the Taliban (who will not get their free Slurpees in 7 Eleven unless Joe Biden sponsors their emigration to Delaware.) Let no one harbor any doubt about the determination of this administration to lead this military of this country in this conflict until the not-so-enemy collapses under the weight of all the heavily emphasized usages of “this.” We will not-so-defeat the Taliban, including their newly formed and oddly named July 2 Committee.
Which reminds us about the economy. The economy is struggling despite the wonderfulness of the stimulus, due to the scandalous mismanagement by former President George W. Bush, who everyone can agree loves the country and the fatcat bankers. Our administration will continue fighting the sluggishness of the economy, although we do not like the connotations of the word “fighting.” We will not rest until every trouble spot in the country has a sign trumpeting the American Remuneration and Retribution Act or whatever the heck Ol’ Joe is callin’ it this week. And this, my friends, is a big f***ing deal.
At this point, we will have a moment of silence to ignore the Tea Parties and the Glenn Beck rally.
My fellow Americans, now that you know my views with utmost clarity, I ask you to help me recover our lost American values, other than the value of a dollar. These are special times and history will judge us for how we answered the major questions of our times like: is the golf better at Martha’s Vineyard or Pebble Beach? Oh, and one last thing. If a pollster from Rasmussen and the vast right-wing conspiracy calls, will you stop saying you strongly disapprove? That is racist.
Thank you and good night.