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Obama, UN-ing

Peace is Not Profitable

by MISSY BEATTIE

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: Each year we come together to reaffirm the founding vision of this institution. For most of recorded history, individual aspirations were subject to the whims of tyrants and empires. For recent recorded history, individual aspirations will be subject to the whims of US tyrants and Empire.

The leaders who built the United Nations were not naïve. They understood that humanity could not survive the course it was on. So, we, the exceptionally exceptional United States stepped up to resolve conflicts, our way, to enforce rules of behavior, our way, and build habits of cooperation, our way.

For decades, the UN has made a difference, albeit, in small areas—eradicating disease, educating children. Admirable. But there’s that larger loom-er—the protection of American interests.

For much of my presidency, I have worked to enrich further the already filthy wealthy. Now, five years after the global economic collapse, the uber-rich are being lifted to greater heights of prosperity. More effort must be made to assure that they, the 2%, continue to thrive.

The UN has worked to end a decade of war. All our troops have left Iraq. An international coalition soon will end its mission to dismantle al Qaeda. Remember though that there are those who wish to harm us—9/11, 9/11, 9/11. Never forget the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber, Boston, and 9/11.

As we shift our war footing, mercenaries will replace troops. And, yes, mercenaries are expensive. We pay them handsomely to be unaccountable.

Further, we are limiting the use of drones to target only those posing an imminent threat. Each week on what I call casual Tuesday, we have a killer party during which I list America’s most wanted. Moreover, we are transferring detainees to other countries whose justice systems are not unlike ours, although their cages may be a little smaller. And here’s additional good news: We hope to close Guantanamo Bay, as soon as the last detainee commits suicide. And, yes, we have begun to review the way we gather intelligence, so as to balance security and privacy. Your secrets are safe with me.

As a result of this work among our partners throughout the world, partners that defer to our exceptionalism, the planet is more stable. Still, dangers remain. With each massacre, we learn. We now know that guns should be available at the entrances to malls. Both the NRA and General Dynamics have endorsed this.

Convulsions in the Middle East and North Africa have laid bare deep divisions within societies. Peaceful movements have been answered by violence. And when there is violence the path to peace may be a military strike, sometimes so small it is recognizable only to the people it devastates. In Syria, for example, we can avert more suffering. If we fail to take action, someone may determine who’s responsible for the use of chemical weapons. Children died. Children were writhing in pain. And then they died. Let me be clear.

Children died agonizing deaths. I call a drone strike and some unfortunate child is collateralized, POOF. Only a smudge is left to tidy. But sarin gas. Oh, I am weeping now. I can barely swallow.

The ban on the use of chemical weapons in war has been agreed to by 98 percent of humanity. And what about that remainder—the other 2 percent? Well, I spoke of them earlier. They are the fittest—those whose calculations were rewarded with huge bonuses. We are grateful to them. They, Congress, and I determine who is responsible enough to use chemical weapons.

I do not believe that America or any nation should influence who will lead Syria – that is for the Syrian people to decide. Nevertheless, a leader who slaughtered his citizens and gassed children to death cannot regain the legitimacy to lead a badly fractured country. I am pleased to provide at least three or four names of capable Assad replacements so that the people of Syria have a choice.

And I am prepared to wield my power to secure American interests in the region. Even though we are reducing our dependence on imported oil, we reserve our right, deserving we are for being exceptional.
Further, we will not tolerate the development or use of weapons of mass destruction—by anyone. Except the USA. USA! USA! USA!

I want to be clear on Iran. President Rouhani’s conciliatory words must be matched by transparency. Rouhani received a mandate to pursue a moderate course. Just as I attained the highest office for promising hope and change.

Let me be clear on Israel. The United States will never compromise on our commitment to Israel’s security. The state of Israel is here to stay.

Israel. Israel. Israel. Israeli children. Israeli children have the right to live without having rockets fired at their homes. And Palestinians have a right to not be displaced, much.

America must remain engaged in everyone else’s business. The world is better for it. America is exceptional. Because we are willing to stand up for our interests through the sacrifice of blood and treasure, the blood of our young and tax dollars on behalf of those who will thrive into the 21st century. And we stand ready to commit mass atrocities to safeguard this.

We live in a world of imperfect choices. Certainly, some would prefer I choose peace. But peace is not profitable.

These are extraordinary times, with extraordinary opportunities for opportunism. That is why we look to the future, not with fear, but, instead, salivating.
Thank you, very much.

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Baltimore. Email: missybeat@gmail.com.