President Obama tried his hand at stand up comedy. Here’s the punchline:
Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. Now, it is true that the Iraq war was a subject of vigorous debate, not just around the world but in the United States, as well. I participated in that debate, and I opposed our military intervention there.
But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future.
We get the joke … For example, we know that:
- While Russia's annexation of Crimea is probably legal (and see this), the U.S. invasion of Iraq was blatantly illegal
- The U.S. thwarted the United Nations at every possible opportunity
- The protests against the Iraq war were the largest protests in history, and yet the politicians plowed ahead with the disastrous war and refused to listen to the facts … or the will of the people
- War crimes – in the form of a torture program specifically aimed at producing false confessions to justify the war, and chemical weapons attacks against civilians (which greatly increased the rate of birth defects), and the use of depleted uranium, which can cause cancer and birth defects for decades (see this, this, this, this, this and this), and one of the main US creators of the death squads in El Salvador being sent to Iraq to set up paramilitary death squads and torture centers – were all ordered by top American leaders
- Iraqis are worse off now than before the Iraq war. There was no Al Qaeda in Iraq until the U.S. invaded in 2003 (“so what?“). And minorities – such as Christians – are more widely persecuted now than under Saddam Hussein.
- The U.S. doesn’t need to annex a country to control its resources.
We get it … the whole satirical opposite-of-reality comedy schtick. It’s just not very funny.
So – other than a few polite claps by his secret service escorts – Obama’s stand up act is getting no applause: