How GOP Candidates would Deal with Syria, Short Version

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Political Satire

In the course of the second GOP debate at CNN, anchor Jake Tapper asked the candidates about Syria policy.

They for the most part did not actually answer the question, but occasionally said something. But they often said it at great length. Here is the short version:

“TAPPER: Thank you, Dr. Carson. Let’s move to Russia if we could.

Russia is sending troops and tanks into Syria right now to prop up a U.S. enemy, Bashar al-Assad. President Obama’s incoming top general says, quote, “Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security.”

Mr. Trump, you say you can do business with President Vladimir Putin, you say you will get along, quote, “very well.” What would you do right now if you were president, to get the Russians out of Syria?”

Shorter Trump: I will be such great friends with Vladimir Putin, it will make your head spin. Your whole life you could never dream of being as good friends with him as I will be. He’ll respect me because unlike Obama I’m not a namby-pamby wimp. I’m strong. I’m supercalifragilistic expialadocious. It would make your head spin to know how strong I am. So since he’ll respect me and I’ll be strong, I’ll just ask him to cut it out. If he doesn’t, I’ll call his face ugly. Nobody wants to be called ugly by me in public. You’d never believe what lengths people will go to, to avoid that. Some people have even had face transplants just so I don’t insult their noses or cheekbones. And America will be friends with Russia and Syria and ISIL because I’ll be strong and I’ll be friends with all of them and I’ll just call a time-out. China and Mexico, too. I’ll just give them all a time-out. I know about time- outs. It would make your head spin how many time-outs I got in school. And I’ll threaten all their presidents with a face transplant, even a comb over. Have you seen how bad a comb-over can look? Nobody wants that.

Tapper: Why would President Rubio’s approach be more effective than President Trump’s?

Shorter Rubio: Putin is like that guy with the tats who tries to steal your girlfriend in a bar. He’s going to make doe eyes and take Saudi Arabia and Egypt away from us. Then they’ll be in his bed and not in ours. And we’ll just be like the loser drinking mojitos at the bar all by himself. Not that I know what that’s like.

“TAPPER: I want to bring in Carly Fiorina.”

Shorter Fiorina I have met Putin. By the time we split, he was almost bankrupt. I have that effect everywhere I go. I wouldn’t talk to him, he might want his money back. How would I deal with Syria? I’d rebuild the Sixth Fleet. I know Syria is mostly desert. But I’m sure you could get a destroyer in there. And I’d send thousands of troops to Germany. Why, Germany is almost next door to Syria. GIs in Munich. That’ll fix Syria’s wagon. And I’d just give Egypt and Jordan everything they could possibly want. It would make your head spin how much I would give Egypt and Jordan. I know Egypt hasn’t done a thing about ISIL in Syria. Maybe even President al-Sisi is leaning toward our sworn enemy Bashar al-Assad. But the main thing is to give Egypt everything it is asking for. Because of the sixth fleet, and Munich and also who wants to drink mojitos alone at the bar?

[TAPPER] “Senator Cruz, Governor Kasich says that anyone who is promising to rip up the Iran deal on day one, as you have promised to do, is, quote, “inexperienced,” and, quote, “playing to a crowd.” Respond to Governor Kasich, please.”

Shorter Ted Cruz Iran is the hugest threat to the United States in history. It would make your head spin to know how huge a threat it is. True, its military budget is between Norway’s and Singapore’s. True, it doesn’t actually have a nuclear weapons program. But just by being Iran it is the hugest threat in the universe. You know that meteor that killed off the dinosaurs? That was a minor threat compared to Iran. Because Obama is the world’s leading financer of terrorism. Yes, I am a sitting senator and I am calling the president of the United States and the commander-in-chief of the American armed forces not just a terrorist but the biggest financer of terrorism in the world. Because Obama is going to let Iran actually have an economy, and they’ll be able to buy and sell things and there are 75 million of them and they are all terrorists, even the babies, because Obama is worse than that meteor that killed the dinosaurs. And I was solicitor general of Texas and I never let those black helicopters of the United Nations mess with Texas even once. And we never once had a meteor strike in Texas all that time because the United Nations is behind the meteors, you know.

“TAPPER: Governor Kasich…

KASICH: …Yeah, well…

TAPPER: …Did Senator Cruz just play to the crowd?”

Shorter Kasich If Iran helps Hamas and Hizbullah we’ll put the sanctions back on, even though that isn’t part of the deal about their nuclear enrichment and isn’t written down anywhere and none of our allies will go along with it, because one of our problems is that we’ve alienated our allies and we should try to work with Europe and go to war with Iran down the road even though Europe would never, ever go along with that– all because we need to be close to our allies.

TAPPER: …Thank you, Governor. I want to go to Senator Paul.

Shorter TRUMP: “…Slow (ph) and steady,” (inaudible) “chicken…”

[I don’t have a satire on this 7th grade hazing, it’s just in the transcript. You can’t improve on the original sometimes.]


Related video added by Juan Cole:

AP: “GOP Candidates Debate Donald Trump, Other Issues”

26 Responses

  1. Man, Ted Cruz must have been practicing his sophistry on Iran for weeks. Seriously, I have very low expectations for Cruz, but I really don’t see how he could have made his speech any more melodramatic and pretentious. Holocaust allusions maybe? (Reminds me, Huckabee gave Cruz a run for his money on Iran)

  2. Was it Jindal who pointed out had the USA destroyed the Assad regime, that now the Daesh would fully control Damascus? That may have been the only sane point in the entire theater of the absurd.

    • No, it was Rand Paul who eloquently pointed out the obvious fact that if we would have bombed Assad, the Islamic State would have control of Damascus. What failed to be mentionNo, it was Rand Paul who eloquently pointed out the obvious fact that if we would have bombed Assad, the Islamic State would have control of Damascus. What Rand Paul failed to mention was that if Damascus fell, Lebanon would fall along with Jordan shortly thereafter. was that if Damascus fell, Lebanon would fall too, along with Jordan shortly thereafter.

    • No, it was Rand Paul who eloquently pointed out the obvious fact that if we would have bombed Assad, the Islamic State would have control of Damascus. What Rand Paul failed to mention was that if Damascus fell, Lebanon would fall too, along with Jordan shortly thereafter.

  3. I watched the debate in full, and had a difficult time staying away from my alcohol. Fiorina clearly came across as a war monger who will bankrupt the country with military spending. Trump lacks depth and rationality, and seems to say whatever just now came into his head. Rubio is a scare mongerer, talking endlessly about threats real and non-existent. Walker strikes me as evil — I can easily visualize him going to W Bush’s house to drink and torture animals with Ted Nugent. Cruz appears to be an insane caricature of Grandpa from the Adams family. Jeb had the audacity to claim that his brother had kept us safe, conveniently forgetting about 911. Collectively, they are a sad collection of quasi-human beings. — I’m very worried for the future of this blue dot upon which we stand.

    • Well said. Feeding the flesh eating, reptilian dinosaur, T Rump upon other Republican Presidential Candidates is a spectacle. Fiorina might find some battle-bullship to accompany the destroyers of the 5th Fleet to Syria and after multi trillions of additional budget and attention deficit armaments, an insulative barrier will be achieved so Putin won’t have to suffer the indignity of speaking to her. How considerate.

  4. Desperation of the American far-right has set in and was in plain sight during these “debates.”

    Without another major war or orchestrated crisis within the next year, the current GOP will lose the White House to a Democrat and in time, their money leveraged highly reactionary content in Congress. (The absolute worst in U.S. history.)

  5. If it were not that every one of these candidates represents the very best conceivable privilege afforded to humanity in the history of civilization I would have laughed. What happened to our very defining American notion: To whom much is given, from whom much is expected? Not that history doesn’t repeat itself-but are we doomed in aeternum?

  6. Unfortunately, the debate’s transcript has nothing funny about it. It is another chronicle of recycled BS and hypocrisy. The arch-hawk Ted Cruz tossed in the discredited story about Iran’s self-inspection of nuclear facilities that was echoed by others on the stage. Same with the charge of Iran wanting to build a nuclear bomb even though that was refuted by Israeli and US intelligence agencies years ago. None of them was called on these lies by CNN’s appointed trio of moderators. Then there was all the talk about immigration that was limited to building walls. Nothing about the disease and crimes that encourage people to leave their families for the lesser evil of the United States.

  7. This may explain why the Canadian govt. is reluctant to open up to refugees in case right-minded Americans suddenly decide to infiltrate the expected stream of displaced Syrians.

  8. In an upside down world, the jester will be king.
    Today’s US right has now achieved the mass to use the USA as the next large scale Fascist-like murderous empire, just by sheer will and willingness to trample intelligent and civilized behavior.
    Brace yourselves, they will once again burn everything and everyone down to utter poverty amid rubble just like the inquisition, the fascists of Hitler and others, and the various dictators and murderous mobs like ISIS and the other religious states in the Mideast many backed by the US.
    America is over, unless there is a silent majority much larger and braver than I can see.

    • Nick – to quote “America is over, unless there is a silent majority much larger and braver than I can see.”

      America is NOT over. There is a very intelligent and brave American majority that is far too busy attempting to provide for their families and their future to be visible except at the polls when it matters.

      Which is why President Obama was elected, TWICE, despite frothing, noisy Limbaugh/FAUXNews-led reactionaries and a hostile attempting-to-manipulate the public corporate-controlled media.

      We are not as dumb as corporate-controlled media pretends to paint us.

      Count on it.

  9. If it wasn’t so scary, it would be hilarious. Here’s another disturbing trait. I have seen several news sources say Fiorina was impressive because she ACTUALLY KNEW SOME FACTS. This field of crazies is so bad that someone who has a little knowledge looks good. It’s like the saying that in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king. Never mind the content of Fiorina’s ideas or the policies she espouses. In 2008 some people were impressed with Senator McCain because he could name drop about having met with the president of Georgia. What I said then may be true of Fiorina. They know a fair amount of facts, but understand nothing. Most of these yahoos know next to nothing and understand nothing.

  10. Cannot fully avoid the perception that these comments are taken from the now defunct comic strip, POGO.

    • The saga of Ponce de Leon Montgomery County Alabama Georgia Beauregard Possum aka Pogo ran in leading newspapers for 27 years.

      Informed Comment has run for eight years on the internet.

      Only 19 more to go.

        • Professor Cole – I stand corrected.

          And a “hats-off” to your many loyal contributors. Not the usual rabble seen elsewhere.

  11. Is there really much substantial difference between what the GOP brain trust had to say here and what Hillary said in her wonderful recent speech?

    If you lot don’t make Bernie the next president I think Trump would be the best alternative. Sure things will go straight to hell but at least he might be enough of a loose cannon that many of those who have been safe and secure while making the world a worse place could be coming along on the ride with the rest of us.

      • Oh, I’m well aware that the article is satire. I meant comparison between Hillary’s speech and what the GOP hopefuls in the debate said in reality. Also, congratulations on managing to satirize the debate. It’s getting harder and harder to make up anything more crazy, fantastic, wrong and cruel than what they come up with for real now isn’t it?

        Can you imagine what sort of reception someone espousing the same views as Eisenhower or even Nixon would get from today’s Republicans?

        • Excellent point about Eisenhower and Nixon. They would receive the media dog-whistle “Socialist” or “Communists” by the far right-wing reactionary current Republicans.

          With the emergence of pure evil like Trump and Cruz, the GOP is disappearing and being replaced by the lunacy that destroys countries and destabilizes entire regions.

          Incidentally, Ike was the last actual Republican President. When Nixon went b@†$h!† a quiet insurgency began their odious infiltration culminating with another weak-of-mind so-called Republican President.

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