Daily Show host Jon Stewart warned the extremist group Islamic State (ISIS) on Wednesday that the worst thing for them in the long term might not be failing to establish a caliphate in Iraq and Syria, but dealing with the aftermath of success.
“Take a good look at us,” Stewart suggested. “We’re living your dream. We’re the most powerful state in history. We influence the whole world. And all we talk about is how everything sucks now.”
Stewart argued that Americans were happier in the Revolutionary era, when they could attack British soldiers and dump tea into harbors without worrying about any responsibilities.
“But you know what came after that?” he added. “Two-hundred years of f*cking paperwork, that’s right. And by the way, of all the places to build a new government, great job picking the one region where they go through regimes like Pringles.”
Stewart observed that the group, which beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley earlier this month, had succeded in recruiting not only extremists from the Middle East, but Americans like Douglas McAuthur McCain. McCain, who was killed while fighting for ISIS in Syria this past weekend, reportedly showed little inclination toward joining this type of group online, where he listed the Chicago Bulls and Pizza Hut among his favorite things.
“I hope you’ve notified your recruits that life in your caliphate would be less ‘Pizza Hut’ and more ‘hut,'” Stewart cautioned.
And even if ISIS has shown its willingness to engage in brutality for the sake of its own cause, Stewart said, that did not mean its leaders were necessarily ready to handle the day-to-day responsibilities of running an actual government. Or to provide adequate care for the fighters currently trying to bring that to pass.
“In 20 years, guess what? They’ll be filling the waiting rooms in your dysfunctional V.A,” he explained. “Let’s see how much fun you’re gonna have when you’ve gotta terrorize a nine-month backlog by hand ’cause one computer’s department doesn’t talk to another computer’s department.”
The group would still have to find ways to keep its prospective populace happy, Stewart said, like parks, or zoos, or hosting their own Olympics.
“Even if you get [them], you’re just gonna spend billions of dollars to end up with a bunch of skating rinks you’re never gonna use again,” he said. “Especially after you outlaw skating, ’cause you’re f*cking crazy.”
Watch Stewart’s commentary, as posted online on Wednesday, below.