We Americans have been bad. We’ve been really, really bad. And now Daddy needs to give us a stern talking to!
Okay, kids. Everybody go into Daddy’s office. It’s time to take your medicine!
And you can tell Daddy is angry! He’s not even sitting at his big desk. Nope. He’s brought out the lectern. He’s standing at the lectern!!!
I didn’t watch Papa Barry lecture the American people last night because I had some very important episodes of The Closer to watch. But I went and read the transcript at WhiteHouse.gov.
I thought I would take a moment to give you the Dianny-edited version of Daddy’s angry lecture.
Daddy’s Angry Lecture – the Dianny Version
Good evening, children. On Wednesday, 14 of you mean, hateful kids were killed as they came together to celebrate the holidays — okay, not “the holidays,” but one particular “holiday,” and we’re not going to use the name of the holiday because it might offend people. They were taken from family and friends who loved them deeply. They were white and black; Latino and Asian; immigrants and American-born… Not that it matters what color they were or where they were from on Planet Earth, but here in Daddy’s office, race is everything … moms and dads; daughters and sons. Each of them served their fellow citizens and all of them were part of our American family. The family that I am super-duper angry at right now.
Tonight, I want to lecture with you about this tragedy, because clearly I need to get your minds right. I’ll also say something in passing about the broader threat of terrorism. And I’m going to talk to you about the problems you are creating that are making it hard for Daddy to keep you all safe.
The FBI is still gathering the facts about what happened in San Bernardino, but here is what we know. The victims were brutally murdered and injured by one of their coworkers and his wife. So far, we have no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas, or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home. So you careless children have to stop acting like this is some bigger threat against us. Because you’re behaving like a bunch of children!
But it is clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization, embracing a perverted interpretation of Islam that calls for war against America and the West. And, no, I’m not an Islamic scholar, like the Caliph of the terror group these two pledged allegiance to, but I know. And you have to just believe me when I tell you that they’re perverting Islam.
They had stockpiled assault weapons, ammunition, and pipe bombs. So this was an act of terrorism, designed to kill innocent people. But if you kids think that means I’m going to do anything to prevent terrorism designed to kill people, think again! What you needed to notice is that they had stockpiled assault weapons! ASSAULT WEAPONS!! And you know why?! Because of you!! You and your stupid Second Amendment!! You’re to blame you rascally, intransigent brats!
Our nation has been at war with terrorists since al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11. And remember, al Qaeda had nothing to do with Islam either. They also perverted Islam. As do Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, the Taliban. They’re all perverting Islam! All of them! It’s a perversion of Islam. Got it?!
In the process, we’ve hardened our defenses — from airports to financial centers, to other critical infrastructure, and of course by permitting women, gays and transgenders to serve in combat. Trust me, kids. That will totally make us safer.
Intelligence and law enforcement agencies have disrupted countless plots here and overseas, and worked around the clock to keep us safe. And have managed to do some good despite my Administration doing everything humanly possible to screw it up for them.
Our military and counterterrorism professionals have relentlessly pursued terrorist networks overseas — disrupting safe havens in several different countries, killing Osama bin Laden, and decimating al Qaeda’s leadership. Because don’t forget. I killed Osama bin Laden! Oh, and hey, did I mention I killed Osama bin Laden?!
Over the last few years, however, the terrorist threat has evolved into a new phase. Pretty much because I’ve given them free rein to do so while I pretended that by killing Osama bin Laden (which, by the way I did), I single-handedly won the War on Terror that I then pretended never existed.
As we’ve become better at preventing complex, multifaceted attacks like 9/11, terrorists turned to less complicated acts of violence like the mass shootings that are all too common in our society (notice what I did there? I managed to blame our society. Damn I’m good at backhanded insults). It is this type of attack that we saw at Fort Hood in 2009 — which I’m sure surprises you to hear that Fort Hood was a terrorist attack since I said it was workplace violence, but pretend you didn’t notice I’ve been calling it workplace violence for six years; in Chattanooga earlier this year; and now in San Bernardino. And also, pretend you don’t notice that all three of those attacks were launched in areas that were Gun-Free Zones. Just pretend you don’t know that.
And as groups like ISIL grew stronger amidst the chaos of war in Iraq and then Syria, and as the Internet erases the distance between countries, we see growing efforts by terrorists to poison the minds of people like the Boston Marathon bombers and the San Bernardino killers.
But it had nothing to do with Islam. Nothing. Not one thing. Not anything. Nada. Zero. Zip. Nothing to do with Islam.
For seven years, I’ve confronted this evolving threat each morning in my intelligence briefing — that is if I bothered to attend an intelligence briefing (which, okay, I rarely did). But there was an intelligence briefing every day whether I attended them or not. And, sure, I pretty much ignored what my intelligence officials were telling me. But only when Valerie disagreed with what they said. She attended all the intelligence briefings.
And since the day I took this office, I’ve authorized U.S. forces to take out terrorists abroad precisely because I know how real the danger is. And yeah, okay. I tend to have to be dragged kicking and screaming into authorizing these take-downs. Like Osama bin Laden. Who, by the way, I killed.
As Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than the security of the American people. And I have to keep reminding you of that because, honestly? You probably can’t tell that’s my greatest responsibility.
Now, permit me to make this terror attack all about me. As a father to two young daughters who are the most precious part of my life, I know that we see ourselves with friends and coworkers at a holiday party like the one in San Bernardino. I know we see our kids in the faces of the young people killed in Paris. Just like Michelle sees herself in the murdered children of Chicago, but let’s not talk about Chicago. And I know that after so much war, many Americans are asking whether we are confronted by a cancer that has no immediate cure.
Okay, I know you’re really asking whether you have a President that gives a damn, but play along with me children. Because I’m really angry at you!
Well, here’s what I want you to know: The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it. We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tries to harm us. Our success won’t depend on tough talk, or abandoning our values, or giving into fear. That’s what groups like ISIL are hoping for. How do I know that’s what ISIL is hoping for? Well, I just do. Instead, we will prevail by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless, and by drawing upon every aspect of American power — well, except actually military might. That’s off the table.
Here’s how. First, our military will continue to hunt down terrorist plotters in any country where it is necessary. In Iraq and Syria, airstrikes are taking out ISIL leaders, heavy weapons, oil tankers, infrastructure. But since we don’t want to change our rules of engagement and will not step up our air attacks, the results will be pretty much as lame as they have been since August 2014.
And since the attacks in Paris, our closest allies — including France, Germany, and the United Kingdom — have ramped up their contributions to our military campaign, which will help us accelerate our effort to destroy ISIL. But we’re not ramping up. No sir. We won’t do anything more than we’ve already been doing which is pretty much nothing.
Second, we will continue to provide training and equipment to tens of thousands of Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting ISIL on the ground so that we take away their safe havens. Sure, those fighting forces we’ve already armed happily turned over all the weapons we gave them to terrorist groups, but what can you do?
In both countries, we’re deploying Special Operations Forces who can accelerate that offensive. But don’t expect us to back them up with any actual show of air support. We’ve stepped up this effort since the attacks in Paris, and we’ll continue to invest more in approaches that are working on the ground.
Third, we’re working with friends and allies to stop ISIL’s operations — to disrupt plots, cut off their financing, and prevent them from recruiting more fighters. Since the attacks in Paris, we’ve surged intelligence-sharing with our European allies. We’re working with Turkey to seal its border with Syria while turning a blind eye to Turkey’s own radicalized government and its voracious appetite for ISIS-supplied oil. And we are cooperating with Muslim-majority countries — and with our Muslim communities here at home — to counter the vicious ideology that ISIL promotes online. And thanks to taqiyya they’re promising to do everything they can to help us. And thanks to my own taqiyya I’m pretending I believe them.
Fourth, with American leadership — which isn’t exactly “leadership,” but more standing in the background while others do the fighting — the international community has begun to establish a process — and timeline — to pursue ceasefires and a political resolution to the Syrian war. Doing so will allow the Syrian people and every country, including our allies, but also countries like Russia, to focus on the common goal of destroying ISIL — a group that threatens us all.
This is our strategy to destroy ISIL. Now can you see why it hasn’t been working?
It is designed and supported by our military commanders and counterterrorism experts (not really), together with 65 countries that have joined an American-led coalition. Sure those 65 countries may only be contributing encouraging emails and slaps on the back, but they’re still part of our coalition. And we constantly examine our strategy to determine when additional steps are needed to get the job done. That’s why I’ve ordered the Departments of State and Homeland Security to review the visa *Waiver program under which the female terrorist in San Bernardino originally came to this country. They’re going to review the hell out of it. I mean, really review it. And then, when they’re done reviewing it, we won’t change a damn thing. And that’s why I will urge high-tech and law enforcement leaders to make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice. Okay, I admit, I have no idea what that means, but it’s here on my teleprompter, so it must be important.
Now, here at home, we have to work together to address the challenge. There are several steps that Congress should take right away.
To begin with, Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon? Okay, yeah. A lot of the people on the no-fly list aren’t exactly terrorists. And sure, nobody on the no-fly list is even aware they’re on it which means they were placed there without due process. And, yeah, flying is not a Constitutional right and gun ownership is. And preventing someone on an arbitrary, capricious government list to be deprived their Second Amendment rights without due process is pretty damn unconstitutional. But who cares? It just sounds really good in a soundbite, and don’t argue with me children! This is a matter of national security.
We also need to make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons like the ones that were used in San Bernardino. I know there are some who reject any gun safety measures. And when I say “some,” you know I’m talking about you disobedient children who do not think you have to listen when Daddy commands. But the fact is that our intelligence and law enforcement agencies — no matter how effective they are — cannot identify every would-be mass shooter, whether that individual is motivated by ISIL or some other hateful ideology. What we can do — and must do — is make it harder for them to kill. And the only way to make it harder for them to kill is to make it harder for you to defend yourself if they try and kill you.
Next, we should put in place stronger screening for those who come to America without a visa so that we can take a hard look at whether they’ve traveled to warzones. And we’re working with members of both parties in Congress to do exactly that. But if they are Muslim “refugees” who wish to emigrate to spread Islam, we must bring them in because, you know, our values.
Finally, if Congress believes, as I do, that we are at war with ISIL, it should go ahead and vote to authorize the continued use of military force against these terrorists. For over a year, I have ordered our military to take thousands of airstrikes against ISIL targets. I think it’s time for Congress to vote to demonstrate that the American people are united, and committed, to this fight. Of course my authorization of military action against ISIL is so restrictive and comes with a time limit that by authorizing it, Congress is helping me get a lot of Americans killed because I haven’t the foggiest idea how to wage a war, and I am not interested in the notion of America winning. Mostly because I just do not have time for that. I’m too busy.
My fellow Americans, these are the steps that we can take together to defeat the terrorist threat. Let me now say a word about what we should not do. And this is the important part, kids. Because you bad, baaaaad children need a lecture from Daddy on how to behave.
We should not be drawn once more into a long and costly ground war in Iraq or Syria. That’s what groups like ISIL want. How do I know that’s what they want? Well, I don’t. But you have to trust me. They know they can’t defeat us on the battlefield. ISIL fighters were part of the insurgency that we faced in Iraq. But they also know that if we occupy foreign lands, they can maintain insurgencies for years, killing thousands of our troops, draining our resources, and using our presence to draw new recruits. And see? Since I am not willing to seek victory, any war I drag us into would be nothing short of a bloodbath and a quagmire what with the ridiculous rules of engagement and whatnot. Nonetheless, I’m going to demand Congress declare war on ISIL. Just not a long drawn out war. And certainly not a war we seek to win. And definitely not a war that costs money.
The strategy that we are using now — airstrikes, Special Forces, and working with local forces who are fighting to regain control of their own country — that is how we’ll achieve a more sustainable victory. Except we won’t arm the Kurds. My Supreme Leader in Iran has made that clear. No arming the Kurds. And it won’t require us sending a new generation of Americans overseas to fight and die for another decade on foreign soil. Which is exactly what happens when you are not interested in the notion of winning. And I’m not interested in the notion of winning because, I’m just too busy for that. Speaking of busy. I probably should wrap this up because I have the Kennedy Center Honors to get to. But before I go, I have to get to the meat of the matter, which is lecturing you awful, hateful children.
Here’s what else we cannot do. We cannot turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between America and Islam. That, too, is what groups like ISIL want. How do I know that’s what ISIL wants? Well, I just do.
ISIL does not speak for Islam. You know. Kinda like how I don’t speak for all Americans.
They are thugs and killers, part of a cult of death, and they account for a tiny fraction of more than a billion Muslims around the world — including millions of patriotic Muslim Americans who reject their hateful ideology. Like Syed Farook’s father who rejects their hateful ideology, but learned the best way to calm his son down was to assure him Israel wouldn’t be around in two years.
Moreover, the vast majority of terrorist victims around the world are Muslim. If we’re to succeed in defeating terrorism we must enlist Muslim communities as some of our strongest allies, rather than push them away through suspicion and hate. And you suspicious, hateful Americans better stop doing it! And I mean now! Or I am sending you to bed with no Food Stamps.
That does not mean denying the fact that an extremist ideology has spread within some Muslim communities. Even though I deny the fact that extremist ideology has spread within some Muslim communities.
This is a real problem that Muslims must confront, without excuse. And when I say Muslims, I mean all of us Muslims.
Muslim leaders here and around the globe have to continue working with us to decisively and unequivocally reject the hateful ideology that groups like ISIL and al Qaeda promote; to speak out against not just acts of violence, but also those interpretations of Islam that are incompatible with the values of religious tolerance, mutual respect, and human dignity — none of those values exist in Islam, but let’s all pretend they do.
But just as it is the responsibility of Muslims around the world to root out misguided ideas that lead to radicalization, it is the responsibility of all Americans — of every faith — to reject discrimination. Unless you are discriminating against white Christians, those dirty Jews, or those race traitors in the African American community who embrace the Constitution, gun rights and Conservatism. Or let’s not forget those Indian/American documentary filmmakers.
It is our responsibility to reject religious tests on who we admit into this country. Even though religious tests are enshrined in our laws governing refugee admittance. But since when do I care what our laws say? I am the law, so what I say goes! And don’t forget it!
It’s our responsibility to reject proposals that Muslim Americans should somehow be treated differently. Unless, of course by “differently,” you mean permitting them to discriminate against gays or Jews or Christians, or permitting them to bring fake clock bombs to school without being subject to a school’s zero-tolerance policies.
Because when we travel down that road, we lose. That kind of divisiveness, that betrayal of our values plays into the hands of groups like ISIL. Unless you are being divisive against cops. Or whites. Or Christians. Or those dirty Jews.
Muslim Americans are our friends and our neighbors, our co-workers, our sports heroes — and, yes, they are our men and women in uniform who are willing to die in defense of our country. We have to remember that. So let me wag my finger at you hateful, awful, racist, Islamophobic Americans.
My fellow Americans, I am confident we will succeed in this mission because we are on the right side of history. We were founded upon a belief in human dignity — that no matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or what religion you practice, you are equal in the eyes of God and equal in the eyes of the law. But you’re not equal in the eyes of Allah. Just so you know.
Even in this political season, even as we properly debate what steps I and future Presidents must take to keep our country safe, let’s make sure we never forget what makes us exceptional. Not that I think we’re exceptional. We’re not exceptional. We’re arrogant, dismissive, derisive. Well, not “we” but you. I’m not any of those things. I’m perfect. Actually, come to think of it, I’m pretty damn exceptional. You aren’t. But I am.
Let’s not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear (except the freedom to exercise your Second Amendment right to own a gun, or the freedom to speak out against Islamic domination, or the freedom to criticize me); that we have always met challenges — whether war or depression, natural disasters or terrorist attacks — by coming together around our common ideals as one nation, as one people. So long as we stay true to that tradition, I have no doubt America will prevail. Which is why I am trying so damn hard to divide us. Because I don’t want America to prevail.
Thank you. Now, I gotta jet. But first, of course, I have to say the obligatory “God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.”
And don’t make me lecture you again!
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Books by Dianny:
RANT 2.0: Even More Politics & Snark in the Age of Obama,
Liberals Gone WILD!!! The Not-So-Silent Conquering of America,
RANT: Politics & Snark in the Age of Obama,
and two novels: Sliding Home Feet First and Under the Cloud