What exactly is it about the White House Correspondents Association dinner that motivates American presidents to use comedy in situations where it has no place? These dinners include everyone who is anyone on the Washington scene, and it has become customary for the current occupant of the Oval Office to take a turn at being a stand up comic. But, unfortunately, presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have used this forum to take comedy to a low point.
You may recall Bush's performance at this dinner in 2004 when he supposedly made fun of himself and his administration for not finding weapons of mass destruction (WMD's) in Iraq. He showed the audience a photo of himself looking out a window in the Oval Office, and he said: "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere." Slides were shown, and there was one shot of Bush looking under furniture in his office. He said: "Nope. No weapons over there." Then another picture showed him searching further and he said "Maybe under here."
The Washington Daily News, who reported on this story, said that the families of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq were not laughing. And I might add that the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis that were displaced from their homes, who fled their country, or who saw members of their families needlessly killed certainly would not have found it the least bit funny.
As bad and offensive as that sad performance by Bush was, it was painful to witness another example of extremely bad taste at this year's dinner when President Obama made these comedic remarks: "Jonas Brothers are here, they're out there somewhere. Sasha and Malia are huge fans, but boys, don't get any ideas. Two words for you: predator drones. You will never see it coming. You think I'm joking?"
That one sentence, "you will never see it coming," says it all. We know full well that he wasn't joking, since we have witnessed how he has taken the use of drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan to new heights, easily surpassing the performance of G.W. Bush. Drones are being launched by the Air Force and the C.I.A. like never before. Drones have become the U.S. military's weapon of choice, the shining stars of its infinite arsenal; so effective in hovering over targeted areas, ready to launch their deadly missiles at insurgents. But, if innocent civilians get it the way, well, that's a shame, but that's the price of war; it's called collateral damage, and it has now claimed over 400 innocent victims since the use of drones began in that region.
This kind of comedy is something that would be expected to come from someone like Mr. Bush, but from Barack Obama?? Suffice it to say I'm shocked, stunned, disappointed, and disillusioned by Mr. Obama's comedy. It's not likely that many Afghans or Pakistani citizens who live in constant fear of another drone attack were laughing, because they were too busy trying to stay out of the sights of hellfire missiles.
This is no joke! There is no humor that can be associated with the plight of the innocent civilians of nations that our military has invaded and occupied. These people do not want us in their country, we are unwelcome invaders, and we have no business of any kind being there (except for the purpose of controlling the priceless resources of Central Asia; petroleum and natural gas).
Mr. Obama, a constitutional scholar and professor, apparently is not big on history, or he would recall and heed that famous quote of Winston Churchill, "if you fail to learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it." He is making a huge mistake by following President Lyndon Johnson and George W. Bush into the history books; he has not learned from Johnson's terrible escalation of the Vietnam War that caused the unnecessary deaths of 58,000 U.S. troops, and Bush's ill-fated invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. History, I'm afraid, will not be kind to our latest president if he continues to pursue these misguided policies of war.
These people under siege are human beings, just as we are, created by whatever Supreme Being designed our entire universe. They may have different skin color, worship in a different way, and follow their own lifestyles, but the vast majority of the citizens who live in these nations are not terrorists; they deserve to live their lives in peace just as we do and they have the right to live without our massive military presence relentlessly hounding them from above.
So, Mr. Obama uses stand up comedy abut these deadly drones that are killing innocent men, women and children. What in the world motivated him to do that when he knows the entire world will hear his remarks and not take them kindly? He could have had them stricken from his prepared remarks as tasteless and unfeeling, but he didn't.
When I consider this example of misplaced comedy, I think of some of our nation's greatest presidents and what history tells us of their depth of character. Does anyone think that presidents of the stature of Washington, Jefferson, or Lincoln, among some others, would ever have used this kind of comedy to make light of serious moral issues? I think not.