Thursday, August 06, 2009

Paging Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart is a funny and intelligent guy, but ever since his weepy America-has-finally-fulfilled-its-promise performance upon the election of Barack Obama, he hasn’t been quite the same -- epitomized by his disappointingly pathetic apology for the perfectly sensible (thus politically unpopular) statement that President Harry “Hiroshima” Truman was a war criminal.

While interviewing writer Ronald Kessler earlier this week, Stewart -- though brilliant and scathing when he’s on -- had another cringe-worthy outing, apparently forgetting that Barack Obama is not the nice guy with a great smile he once interviewed, but the commander-in-chief, the head of a global empire -- a guy who okayed the deaths-sans-trials for over a dozen Pakistanis within days of taking office.

Responding to Kessler’s comment that “Obama [smokes] on a regular basis, despite his claims that he gave it up,” Stewart appeared to forget these uncomfortable facts (a shockingly prevalent phenomenon among Obama boosters), telling Kessler:
Stewart: Now that seems okay with me. I’ll take that.

Kessler: You’re a smoker?

Stewart: I was a smoker for 20 years. And I prefer that to... bombing countries. I’ll take a smoker.
Well Jon, with Barack Obama you get both a president that smokes and a president that bombs sovereign countries without so much as a declaration of war. Since taking office, Obama has overseen hundreds of Pakistani deaths from attacks that he's signed off on, in addition to the hundreds of Afghan civilians who have died to further the U.S. goal of -- wait, we’re still waiting for a blue ribbon commission to get back to us on what that is.

To refresh your memory, here’s a woefully incomplete list of just some of our peace president’s overseas contingency operations:

January 23, 2009:
Barack Obama gave the go-ahead for his first military action yesterday, missile strikes against suspected militants in Pakistan which killed at least 18 people.
May 6, 2009:
US-led air strikes have killed dozens of Afghan people, the Red Cross said today as the Pentagon launched a joint investigation into what appeared one of the deadliest incidents and heaviest civilian losses so far at the hands of coalition forces.
Rohul Amin, the governor of Farah province in west Afghanistan, where the bombing took place during a battle on Monday and Tuesday, said he feared 100 civilians had been killed.
June 23, 2009:
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — An airstrike believed to have been carried out by a United States drone killed at least 60 people at a funeral in South Waziristan on Tuesday, residents of the area and local news reports said.
August 1, 2009:
The widening war in Afghanistan between Taliban militants and American-allied Afghan forces is taking an increasingly heavy toll on civilians, with 1,013 killed in the first six months of 2009, up from 818 during the same period in 2008, according to a United Nations report released Friday.
Explosions and suicide attacks carried out by anti-government forces, including the Taliban, caused a majority of the civilian deaths, killing 595 during the period, the report said. Of the 310 deaths attributed to pro-government forces, about two-thirds were caused by American airstrikes.
August 5, 2009:
A US air strike has killed a wife of the Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, delivering a message to the notorious militant commander that western and Pakistani pursuers are closing in on him.
Two missiles from an unmanned drone plane struck a house near Makeen in South Waziristan, a Mehsud stronghold near the Afghan border, last night, killing at least two people and wounding several others.
Unfortunately, like many of his fellow American liberals, it would appear Jon Stewart values soothing rhetoric about human rights (and torture bad!) over actual policy.

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