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U.S. DIPLOMAT EXPLAINS WHY SYRIAN CIVILIANS MUST KEEP DYING

(SatireWire.com) – U.S. State Department transcript of a cell phone call between Palmer Greavey, Under Deputy Secretary for the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs, and a 29-year-old civilian identified as Hassam.

GREAVEY: Hello, Mr. Hassam is it? This is Palmer Greavey, Under Deputy Secretary for the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs. I understand you’re a Syrian civilian currently being bombed by the Assad regime, and you have a question?

HASSAM: Yes. I have a question about the agreement between the U.S. and Russia.

Syrian civilians holding up their part of the agreement.

GREAVEY: Magnificent, isn’t it? A total win-win. The U.S. doesn’t attack Syria and al-Assad gives up his chemical weapons. You’re calling to congratulate us?

HASSAM: Actually, no. I am calling about the other part of the agreement. The part where we keep dying.

GREAVEY: Oh, yes, that. It is vitally important, Mr. Hassam.

HASSAM: Is it? Because sometimes I wonder if maybe there was some way to have an agreement that did not include us continuing to die.

GREAVEY: I’m sorry I don’t understand.

HASSAM: Basically I am saying that we do not wish to keep dying.

GREAVEY: No no, you have to, Mr. Hassam. You see, President Assad agreed to give up chemical weapons because it allowed him to keep attacking you for another year while we focused on those stockpiles. Would he have agreed to that otherwise?

HASSAM: Well…

GREAVEY: Come now, Mr. Hassam. You know the guy. Be honest.

HASSAM: No, I guess not.

GREAVEY: Exactly. So for this agreement to work, you have to keep dying. Otherwise the agreement falls apart, you see?

HASSAM: Yes, when you explain it that way.

GREAVEY: Good, because it is vitally important that civilians not interfere with the process by doing anything rash.

HASSAM: Like living?

GREAVEY: Yes.

HASSAM: I admit I was considering it.

GREAVEY: Well I’m sorry for saying so, but that’s pretty selfish. Two superpowers get together and agree not to start a war, and just for you we should throw that away?

HASSAM: We are already having a war. The bombs are falling on us now.

GREAVEY: I mean a real war. With Americans in it.

HASSAM: Ooo snap!

GREAVEY: Thanks. That was kind of witty.

HASSAM: No, that was my leg.

GREAVEY: Oh. Look, don’t get me wrong, Mr. Hassam. Civilians are important. In fact, if you think about it, Syrian civilians are just as important to this agreement as the U.S. and Russia and President Assad himself.

HASSAM: I never thought of it that way.

GREAVEY: Glad to help.

HASSAM: But Mr. Deputy Undersecretary, may I ask, in the negotiations, were we represented, too? Civilians, I mean. Because if we were, maybe we could have a win-win-win agreement, instead of just a win-win agreement.

GREAVEY: There’s no such thing as a win-win-win, Mr. Hassam. There’s only a win-win. That’s not me. That’s a diplomacy rule.

HASSAM: Oh. OK. I just thought that if we were represented, maybe it would not have ended up where we all keep dying.

GREAVEY: We thought about it, honestly. But we had to deal with the Russians, with the Assad regime, with the opposition leaders. They’re really wasn’t room for ordinary civilians. Besides, it’s a logistical nightmare. Think about it. If we choose, say, you to represent the victims, and we tell you to come to a meeting with all sides at 9 a.m., and you get bombed on the way, what happens?

HASSAM: I die?

GREAVEY: Well that, yes, but you also throw off the negotiations. Do we wait for you to show up? Do we choose new civilians? What if they get killed? Next thing you know, it’s almost noon, the croissants are stale, everybody’s in a bad mood. At that point, even if you do show up, all the parties are annoyed with you. That’s hardly a strong negotiating position. You might have come off worse.

HASSAM: Worse than dying?

GREAVEY: We’ll never know, fortunately. We avoided putting you in that awkward position.

HASSAM: Um… thank you.

GREAVEY: Not a problem.

HASSAM: So we will just continue dying then.

GREAVEY: That would be best.

HASSAM: OK. Well, I suppose I will say, keep up the good work and we will just, you know, wait right here, under the rubble.

GREAVEY: Good man. Thanks for the call.

HASSAM: You are welc…

GREAVEY: Mr. Hassam? Hello?

HASSAM: …

GREAVEY: He’s gone. Well, there you go. Proves my point.

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