Tag Archives: foreign affairs

Heavy fighting in Yemen causes concerned Americans to wonder exactly where Yemen is

24 Jul

CHICAGO–Dick Moser, longtime resident here, didn’t mince words today when asked about the renewed conflict in Yemen.

“It sounds serious,” said Moser. “So serious, in fact, that I’m strongly considering writing my Congressman, to demand that he google ‘Yemen’ and tell me where this place is.”

Across the nation, reports of continued clashes between the Houthi-led insurgents and the Saudi-backed government caused considerable alarm.

“If the insurgents keep moving north,” said Gladys Springwell, who teaches third grade at Oak Ridge Elementary here, “they’ll reach Indiana, and after that, Chicago must be next on their list.”

Opinion was divided as to what the American government should do next. 46% said “Obama should just bluff his way through the next press conference and pretend we know where this place is,” while 37% believed that “he should just fess up and ask a reporter to look it up on their phone.” As a less preferred option, 15% said the upcoming Republican presidential primary debates should be replaced with a Nickelodeon-style physical challenge, although this option might have garnered more support if it had actually been one of the options mentioned by the pollster.

Chicago residents were also worried about the nature of the insurgent forces. “I understand the Houthis are still a serious threat,” said Don Parlander, a paralegal at Rackham & Pitts, a prominent local law firm. “If he manages to get the Blowfish behind him, I don’t see how the government can withstand the attack.”

Parlander was not reassured by news that the Saudi-led forces had taken Aden. “I always said he should have been the one to end up with Carrie,” he explained.

We’re about 80% certain none of these countries are Yemen.

GOP demands Obama one-up Putin by invading Canada

5 Mar

WASHINGTON–as pressure mounts on Obama to do something about Russia’s seizure of the Crimean peninsula, the Republican Party has united around the suggestion that President Obama invade and occupy a portion of Canada, “to show that we can do it too.”

“Right now, Putin’s holding all the cards,” said Sen. John McCain (R–AZ). “He thinks he’s the only one who can invade a friendly neighboring country with impunity. Well, let’s show him we can do that, and more.”

McCain suggested that either Newfoundland or Nova Scotia would be good places to start. “Canada would hardly miss them,” he explained, “and they’d look good in a CNN special graphic.”

The White House later issued a statement saying that it was considering either “launching a massive military response” against Russia or, as a backup plan, “basically doing nothing.”

After the invasion threat, Canada attempted to put its military forces on highest alert, but apparently he was off camping with his family.

Kim Jong Un purges uncle for being insufficiently evil, low-rise hair, mismanaging “Hungry Monday”

9 Dec

PYONGYANG—in a development that stunned veteran North-Korea watchers, dictator Kim Jong Un purged his uncle and country’s number two, Jang Song Thaek, forcibly removing him from a meeting of the Workers’ Party.

“I have stripped Comrade Jang of his post for three reasons,” said Kim. “First, he is a capitalist lackey splittist, seeking to undermine our state through treasonous ends. Second, his hair is insufficiently voluminous to represent the leadership of this great country.”

Kim then paused, unable to remember the third reason. After a long gap, he finally said “Oops,” and had all witnesses to the gaffe arrested.

According to experts, Jang had outlived his usefulness now that Kim was fully in control of the military and was tall enough to reach the shelf with the candy on it.

The last straw apparently came last week when two of Jang’s aides were executed for “economic sabotage.” They were sentenced to death after North Korea’s version of Black Friday, Hungry Monday, came and went without “any real doorbuster deals worth lining up for,” according to Kim.

At UN, Obama pledges “as much ineffectual diplomacy as it takes”

24 Sep

NEW YORK—in a masterful speech today at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama promised that he would engage in “as much ineffectual diplomacy as it takes” to postpone “tough decisions” until after he leaves office.

“Let there be no confusion,” said Obama in stirring tones. “I will kick this can down the road for as long as there is road to kick down.”

For supporters, it was a return to the kind of bold oratory that marked his 2008 campaign, “brilliantly fused” with his timid approach to governing since.

“I’m just delighted that instead of half-hearted, empty words, we are back to Churchillian, inspiring, empty words,” gushed supporter Karen McAdams of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Leaders from around the world were quick to support Obama’s proposals for “lengthy, futile talks” to resolve conflicts in Iran, Syria, and Israel/Palestine.

“The President has shown us a path that, hopefully, will let us all slink off the stage without any real accountability for sorting this mess out,” said re-elected Chancellor Angela Merkel. “This kind of leadership could really save our sausage,” she added, using one of the two hundred German words for sausage.

President Bashir Al-Assad of Syria was also pleased. “This is the kind of international cooperation I can live with,” he said, while discussing his plan to give up his chemical weapons by 2046.

John Kerry accidentally forges historic compromises on Syria chemical weapons, Israeli-Palestinian peace, international financial architecture.

10 Sep

WASHINGTON—an exhausted John Kerry, speaking to reporters in London on Monday, made a random comment about Syrian chemical weapons that may be leading to a historic arms deal. Shortly afterwards, misreading a prepared text, he laid out an innovative approach to an Israeli-Palestinian land-for-peace deal that is now advancing quickly towards completion, and then, dropping his BlackBerry, he mistakenly sent an email that has broken the gridlock on global financial regulation.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Kerry, speaking before the Senate yesterday. “Obviously.”

On Monday, Kerry’s off-the-cuff remark in London about Damascus giving up weapons was seized upon by the Russians and the French. Sources close to the State Department said that immediately afterwards Kerry, instead of proposing that the “Sinai compromise” be used as a basis for the establishment of a Palestinian state, said “Sydney compromise,” which has led to a draft agreement under which representatives from both sides would be allowed unlimited vacation time in Australia in exchange for reaching a deal. He then mistakenly sent an email reading “11%c” to the heads of the ECB and IMF, signalling a potential compromise that international financial institutions could be required to raise their capital levels to 11%, paving the way for a global regulatory accord.

Trying to build on current momentum, Kerry has now hired an infinite number of monkeys, according to staffers, who will be given typewriters to compose official diplomatic cables. “Something good has to come of it,” said a source close to Kerry.

Obama stymied as Gladys Whiskerson, Ohio homemaker, declines to support Syrian strike

6 Sep

PILTON VALLEY, Ohio—in the latest blow to President Obama’s efforts to rally national and international support for punitive action against Syria, his decision to seek permission from Gladys Whiskerson appears to have backfired on him.

Obama, who is said by his staff to be eager to enforce the “red line” he declared last year, had previously said he would strike only if he had support from Congress, the American public, NATO, the European Union, the entire cast of “Friends,” senior executives at Dunkin’ Donuts, and Ms. Whiskerson, a housewife in this small rural community known for her involvement in 4-H and a mean hand at bowling. So far, however, several of those groups have been reluctant to get involved, foremost among them Whiskerson, who called the idea “crazy.”

“I’m just a simple woman who knows apple pie and bowling,” said Whiskerson in a statement. “But I do think that cruise-missile strikes against the Alawite-led Syrian regime are unlikely to increase regional stability in the long run.”

Aides described Obama as “beside himself” at his inability to convince Whiskerson.

“Look, the President is a big fan of gutsy moves in international relations,” said an aide speaking on condition of anonymity. “He’d love nothing more than to enforce his warnings against the use of chemical weapons. But if we can’t get complete unanimity from the seventy-two different groups that he has voluntarily sought approval from, then his hands are completely tied. You can’t expect him to use the constitutional powers of the Presidency without permission.”

On the ground in Syria, the embattled opposition was reported to be “deeply concerned” at the President’s political dilemma. An umbrella group released a statement expressing its “fervent wish” that Obama somehow be able to wriggle his way out of the corner without lasting political damage.

Citing low ratings, NBC cancels Syrian civil war

1 Jun

NEW YORK–NBC CEO Steve Burke today announced the cancellation of Syria’s growing civil war, part of a housecleaning intended to revive the network’s flagging fortunes. He cited viewer apathy and declining ratings as the reasons for the decision, going out of his way to clarify that “we at NBC love what the Syrians have been doing over there–it is truly cutting-edge stuff–and we’re sorry to have to let it go.”

According to industry insiders, while NBC was delighted with the initial response to the Syrian revolution–“demos off the charts,” in the words of one expert–a sense of sameness had set in among viewers. Attempts to keep the war fresh with new plotlines involving factional splits within the rebel ranks only confused the public further, leading all but the diehard fans to stop watching.

The creative teams behind the war were disappointed but not surprised. “While I would love to see this war continue forever, it’s taken longer to find our audience this season,” said Syrian President Bashar Assad. “I’m incredibly proud of the work my team here has done, and I hope we can continue to slaughter civilians online.”

The civil war will join many other NBC assets that have recently been let go, including “Smash,” “Rock Center,” and a lingering sense of self-respect. In the most recent ratings results, the network placed thirty-seventh, behind ABC, CBS, Univision, Oxygen, a bunch of eighth-graders with a webcam, and vacuum-tube radio.

John McCain visits Syrian rebels; next stop will be morale-boosting stop with Al-Qaeda of Pakistan

28 May

GAZIANTEP, Turkey–Sen. John McCain (R–Arizona) today visited a group of rebels battling against the despotic Assad regime in Syria as part of his ongoing efforts to build alliances with Islamic militants around the world. After a photo op and a meeting with rebel leaders, McCain and the Syrian Free Army jointly issued a communique in which they called for the “destruction of the repulsive Assad regime” and the “establishment of an Islamic caliphate extending over all the Arab lands.”

Although no one disputes the inhumanity of the Assad regime, when asked if supporting a rebel alliance that included anti-Western Islamic militants was really in the best interests of the United States, McCain shrugged. “It’s not like intervening on behalf of Islamists in a messy civil war has ever had bad consequences for us, has it?” asked McCain rhetorically. “Besides, these guys assure me they have scrupulously obeyed international norms in the conflict to date.”

McCain raised further eyebrows with the second part of his “Rough Guys with Guns” tour when he visited the tribal areas of Pakistan and posed for photos with grinning leaders of the local Al-Qaeda affiliate. “Look, we all know that the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” said McCain. “And these guys helped defeat the Soviet-backed Afghan communists, so, you know, what’s not to like?”

A third stop was planned in Yemen, where McCain was to visit with local anti-anti-American guerrillas and also recommend “wiping our home free of the Zionist abomination” and “cleansing the Satanic American presence with fire.”

Shadowy Chinese army unit hacks into US computers; changes own PE grades

22 Feb

BEIJING–a secret team from China’s People Liberation Army called Unit 61398 is suspected of being behind a recent wave of cyber attacks on US government and corporate computer networks, an FBI spokesman confirmed today.

According to Special Agent Dan Baker, “Unit 61398 is an elite hacking force that has been able not only to penetrate our digital infrastructure, but to give themselves As in PE and put themselves in English class with that cute Susie Traeger.”

Said Ed Rooney, Principal of Unit 61398’s high school, “The computer said they had been absent nine times this year, but as I watched the screen, it counted down to two.” Added Rooney after some reflection, “I don’t really know why they did it that way.”

Federal cybersecurity officials expressed concern that Unit 61398’s damaging activities could continue. “They’ve already stolen an entire term’s worth of biology quizzes off our central servers,” said Agent Baker. “If we don’t act quickly, there’s a risk they could defeat our electronic locks and access Ms. Donagh’s secret supply of Coke Zero that she keeps in the walk-in fridge. They might even be able to shut down our entire cafeteria meal-planning network.”

Bashar Assad will load saved game; “do it a little differently this time”

13 Dec

DAMASCUS—Bashar Assad, the embattled Syrian dictator, has acknowledged that “this has not really played out the way I’d hoped,” and plans to load a saved game from May 2011, sources close to the presidential palace said today.

The growing international support for the increasingly unified opposition, and a seeming weakening of Russian commitments to the regime, all spell trouble for Assad, who vowed that “he’s going to try a new strategy” after restoring from the last checkpoint.

“He’s philosophical about it,” said a senior military leader who asked not to be named. “He realizes that he had the wrong approach to the conflict, and even though he doesn’t really want to go back and play through the civil war all over again, it’s time to cut his losses and try again.”

According to this source, “Bashar is going to try it one more time, this time being more aggressive,” and if that doesn’t work, he’s going to try to find a downloadable patch online that will lower the difficulty level of battles. “The international community said he was playing a dangerous game, and he was,” said one source. “Luckily, he saves frequently.”

Assad will not be the first prominent person to undo a series of bungled moves. “It’s not hard,” said one senior strategist of the regime. “It’s just like an Etch-a-Sketch.”

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