Tag Archives: middle east

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.

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Australian PM super-excited to have his own terrorist threat

11 Oct

CANBERRA–Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott today announced that “after years of trying to whip one up,” his government had finally managed to find a homegrown terrorist threat.

“I’m pleased to announce that Australia now has a genuine Islamic terrorist threat,” said Abbott, smiling from ear to ear at a press conference. “I’d like to thank my team for their years of dedicated race-baiting, which has made today’s announcement possible.”

Abbott announced that Australian federal police had launched a series of pre-dawn raids in order to detain several young men who “had made vague statements about doing bad stuff online.” He noted that “they looked pretty shady and ethnic and stuff.”

Although he did not comment on the specific nature of the threats, Abbott did note that “once guys in their early 20s start talking to their mates about doing something, precise coordinated action can’t be far behind.” A source close to the investigation revealed that in a chat room one of the arrested men had commented on ISIS and said “we should totally do something, you know?”, which caused the entire government to go on high alert.

Prosecutors said that the arrested men would be tried for violating laws that were due to be written any day now.

“My government takes terrorism extremely seriously,” said Tony Abbott. “That’s why we have decided to start violating civil liberties, publicizing trivial incidents, and making hostile comments about religions and ethnicities, so that we can have more of it to fight.”

IMG_3642.JPGWe’ve got a terrorist threat this big

Egyptian constitution passes with 99.99% approval; some dude named Ibrahim didn’t get the memo

21 Jan

CAIRO—the military-backed Egyptian government today announced that its constitution had been approved by 99.99% of voters. A spokesman explained that the only no votes were cast by an elderly couple with bad vision, a donkey that has mistakenly been on the rolls for two years, and a dude named Ibrahim living in Zamalek “who just didn’t get the memo, I guess.” Added the spokesman, “Oh, and the forty percent of citizens who boycotted the vote.”

Reached by phone, Ibrahim explained that “I thought about it carefully, and then decided to exercise my right to vote no.” He then added, “Hang on, there’s someone at the door.”

The document has been hailed as the ninth-most-democratic constitution in Egyptian history, behind only the last seven constitutions and the Decree of Imhotep IV, a pharaoh who reserved absolute power for himself but was known for being very polite.

“This landmark event ensures that the people of Egypt will be able to determine their own destiny,” said Acting President Adly Mansour. “Except in the political sphere, of course.”

Under the terms of the constitution, sovereignty rests exclusively in the hands of the Egyptian people, “unless they start dicking around with it, in which case the army will take it back.”

Obama works up nerve to call Iranian president; “went well” but not sure if he “LIKES me-likes me”

28 Sep

NEW YORK—after exchanging notes during fourth-period study hall earlier in the day, President Obama called President Hassan Rouhani of Iran yesterday. The two spoke for about fifteen minutes and agreed that they would stay in touch.

“Boy, is Barack relieved,” said Vice-President Joe Biden. “He’d been working his nerve up to do this all week, you know? And I was, like, just call him already. What’s the worst thing that can happen, aside from alienating Israel and creating chaos in the Middle East?”

Several of Obama’s aides gathered in the Oval Office to listen in on the call and dissect it afterwards.

“I mean, I think Hassan likes him, you know? I just don’t know if he LIKES-him-likes-him,” said Secretary of State John Kerry. “Afterwards, we spent a lot of time with Barack drafting text messages to send Hassan, but none of them had exactly the right tone, so we decided to just play it cool, you know?”

Towards the end of the call, sources report, Obama suggested that he and Rouhani could “maybe go to the mall some time, or, you know, thrash out a comprehensive monitoring program for uranium enrichment.” Rouhani was apparently encouraging but non-committal.

But, still, “this is a big step forward,” said Biden. “If Barack can get on the phone to Hassan, maybe eventually he’ll work his way up to calling someone really intimidating, like the House Republicans.”

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.

Romney endorses gender equality, education in Middle East; still thinking about it in America

23 Oct

BOCA RATON–in the third and final presidential debate, Mitt Romney put forward a robust vision for the Middle East, one in which education is widely available, women are on an equal footing with men, and the fruits of economic growth are available to everyone.

“All of that is completely wrong for the United States, of course,” he hastened to add.

The debate was marked by an aggressive tone as the candidates debated foreign-policy topics such as the US national debt, hiring more US teachers, and their rival plans to create jobs in the US.

Romney demonstrated his national-security credentials by insulting three nuclear-armed states: China, Russia, and Pakistan. Pressed by Obama on why he had called Russia the number-one enemy, Romney explained that Russia was the top “geopolitical” enemy, Iran the top “national-security” enemy, and South Korea the leading “dance-off” enemy.

While many observers gave a slight edge to Obama, Democrats continued to be nervous about the tightening race. “Mitt Romney is polling 58% among people in Ohio who have grabbed his arm and said they can’t find a job,” said one pollster. “That’s almost one-third of the electorate.”

Romney’s camp seemed pleased with the debate’s results, although they hastened to issue one clarification of their candidate’s comments. “When Governor Romney said ‘We can’t kill our way out of this mess,’ he was obviously joking,” explained campaign manager Mitt Rhoades. “I mean, we’re still Republicans.”

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