Times we laughed at the US State Department – Chapter 8

"America is a force for good in the Middle East."


Yes, somehow this is only chapter 8. Yes, this series has been dormant since the last issue, aptly published on Halloween 2018. I’m sorry. How can a mere mortal keep up?

But let’s get on with today’s issue. Yesterday in Cairo, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo uttered these words in a speech in Cairo:

It is a truth that isn’t often spoken in this part of the world, but because I’m a military man by training, I’ll be very blunt and direct today: America is a force for good in the Middle East.

We need to acknowledge that truth, because if we don’t, we make bad choices – now and in the future. And our choices, the choices we make today have consequences for nations, and for millions and millions of people, for our safety, for our economic prosperity, for our personal freedoms, and those of our children.

It’s truth if you take like from Sesame Street’s Mr Backwards. Example: America is a force for evil in the Middle East. But some of it is true, tragically true: “our choices have consequences for nations, and for millions and millions of people.” Sad and bitter truth! For millions of people! Bitter, bitter enough to make the angels weep.

Pompeo justified the assassination of Qassem Suleimani by asserting it was pre-emptive, that Suleimani was planning “Imminent attacks.” Then on Fox news, “There is no doubt that there were a series of imminent attacks being plotted by Qassem Soleimani,” Pompeo told the Fox News host. “We don’t know precisely when and we don’t know precisely where, but it was real.”

“We don’t know where,” “we don’t know when.” Back in college, I took a course in Formal Logic. To me, if you don’t know where and don’t know when, you don’t know. You simply don’t know. So it is plain as day, Pompeo was lying.

Some Fort Russ readers may be old enough to remember the deju vu song, Where or When, by Rodgers and Hart. Here, for a reminder, is Patti Page singing it. Well, I have rewritten the lyrics:

It seems we’ve heard some bilge like this before

You cited the assessment in the same way then

But I can’t remember where or when

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The lies you’re swearing are the lies you swore

The smile you are smiling you were smiling then

But I can’t remember where or when

Old threats that happen for the first time

Seem to be happening again

And so it seems that we’ve been scammed before

And scared before, gone to war before

But who knows where or when?

To read the earlier stories in this series, simply enter “Times We Laughed” in the search box at upper right.

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