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Daily Show: 'America to the Rescue' in the Middle East
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Thursday August 23, 2007


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Jon Stewart offered a Daily Show-style history of American arms policy in the Middle East on Wednesday's program. "Obviously, the Iraq War is very complicated," he began. "It's another reason why Barack Obama's foreign policy inexperience is going to be an important issue in this campaign. You can't have a newbie overthrowing the delicate balance that we have engineered and maintained in this complex region."

Stewart then proceeded to give examples of that "delicate balance," starting by pointing out that "a weakened Iraq has meant a strengthened Iran. ... Our Sunni friends in Saudi Arabia are none too happy about that. But that's no problem for our experienced hands."

"America to the Rescue" read the graphic, as Stewart explained, "A few weeks ago, the White House announced plans to sell $20 billion in weapons to the Saudi royal family. Boom! Balance of power restored! Trust me, you don't have to worry about billions of dollars in weapons being sent to a country like that. Because, may I remind you, a full 20% of the 9/11 hijackers were not from there."

"Of course, this move may intimidate our circumcised friends to the west," Stewart continued, adding -- with a recurrence of the "America to the Rescue" graphic -- that there was no need to worry, because "the White House announced that it will increase aid to Israel by 25%, meaning an additional $30 billion over the next decade to them."

"We've been rescuing the Middle East for some time now," Stewart went on. "Think back to 1990, when an oil-rich, very nice little country named Kuwait was invaded by the very not-nice Iraq. ... At that time, we had to weaken Saddam Hussein, who had become very powerful after purchasing a shitload of weapons from -- oh boy. Oops."

"See, at that time we had to give him the weapons, because he was at war with Iran," said Stewart, getting back in stride. "But see, once Saddam got real powerful, we had to worry that he would topple our friends in Saudi Arabia. Which is why we put troops there, which kind of pissed off, uh, that guy, who had also become very powerful, fighting the Russians in Afghanistan after getting weapons from -- son of a bitch! What the fuck!"

"My point is, foreign policy experience is very important," concluded Stewart.

The following video is from Comedy Central's The Daily Show, broadcast on August 22.