Fresh from his summer vacation, left-wing comedian Jon Stewart became the latest media liberal to blast President Obama’s efforts to promote military action against the government of Syria.
In no uncertain terms, Stewart blasted the idea, saying that it was ridiculous for Obama or other American leaders to want to punish Syrian dictator Bashar Hafez al-Assad for allegedly using chemical weapons against radical Islamic rebels in his country. According to Stewart, the Obama Administration’s statements about “red lines” and limited actions smacks of “seventh grade” behavior. Never shy to employ vulgarities to make his point, Stewart used several in his extended rant. Transcript and video follow.
That Stewart, whose real name is actually Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, would be so willing to actually ridicule a president he has ardently defended shows that President Obama is really alienating many of his left-wing partisans with his push to attack Syria.
Of particular note in Stewart’s attack is that he repeatedly derided Obama’s claim that no ruler of any country should be allowed to use chemical weapons in a conflict.
“You can’t use chemicals to use your own people,” Steward mocked. “You have to do it organically. America and the world want to make sure Assad uses only locally-sourced free long-ranged land of ordinance.”
Stewart also condemned what he said was a “parade of idiots” who argued for the Bush Administration’s bi-partisan-backed invasion of Iraq years ago.
Watch the video above or read the transcript of it below:
JON STEWART: Welcome back to the show! I was very much hoping that, I was very much hoping that a big story would break during the commercial so we wouldn’t have to talk about Syria but that did not happen. Obviously, it’s a very dark story but you know what we do here man? It’s a comedy show, gotta make the best of it so here we go (graphic on-screen) Uncle Jonny Stew’s Good Time Syria Jamboree!
Reminds me of a joke. So Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Syria were walking into a bar called America Is Not Planning on Bombing You. And the bartender says ‘I don’t think you should be in here, Syria.’
PRESIDENT OBAMA (video clip): After careful deliberation, I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets.
STEWART: Wow, America taking military action against a Middle East regime! It’s like I never left. So what brought the president to this decision?
GEORGE W. BUSH (archived footage): The 50 tons of mustard gas at a turkey farm.
STEWART: Oh wait, sorry that’s the wrong president. Wrong president. And that is a different country.
GEORGE H.W. BUSH (archived footage): Leave Kuwait or be driven out.
STEWART: OK, that was the same country and family [sic], but it was a slightly different war.
Actor BILL PULLMAN (from 1996 film “Independence Day”): Today, we celebrate our Independence Day.
STEWART: That is a fictional president! And, to be fair, that war was pretty justified.
UNIDENTIFIED TELEVISION ANCHOR: The White House says it has evidence now that chemical weapons were used in that attack in Syria two weeks ago.
JOHN KERRY (U.S. Secretary of State): Blood and hair samples that have come to us … it has tested positive for signatures of sarin.
STEWART: That’s the one, that’s the war I was talking about! Signatures of sarin, yeah. I assume that’s different from the new fragrance of the same name. (Dramatically in black-and-white video) Signatures of sarin: because love is blind, now.
I came back [from vacation] to a dark, dark place.
Now if memory serves, 100,000 Syrians have already died in the conflict with president Bashar Hafez al-Assad with no military intervention from the West. So why now? Daily Show flashback, August, 2012.
OBAMA: We have been very clear to the Assad regime but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.
STEWART: See the red line. You can’t use chemicals to kill your own people. You have to do it organically! America and the world want to make sure Assad only uses locally sourced, free-long-range land ordinance.
Now, back in the early ’80s, we knew that Iraq used chemical weapons against Iran and were likely to use them again. Not only did we not attack them, we supported Iraq in doing it. And of course, we still reserve the right to use bunker-busters, cluster bombs, and the Mark 77 which is not, not filled with napalm, technically.
So given the fact that we have no idea who would have control over these chemical weapons in a failed Syria, remind us again why we have to do this?
DAVID GERGEN (Political pundit): The danger is the more reluctant you are and the more deliberative you are, the danger is that you can start looking weak.
LARRY SABATO (Political pundit): If they sense that strength is not there, that weakness has replaced it, then they will go their own way.
Sen. TED CRUZ (R-Texas): Bullies and tyrants don’t respect weakness.
STEWART: Oh right, we have to bomb Syria because we’re in seventh grade! And the red line, the red line that they crossed is actually a dick-measuring ribbon.
Why does holding back look like weakness? Isn’t it maturity? Like when a guy is picking on Clark Kent [Superman’s alter ego] and he doesn’t do anything even though he knows he could throw that guy into the sun.
I’ll tell you what would be real weakness: Clark Kent laying waste to a town because someone called him a pussy. You know what else is weakness? Asking the advice of a parade of idiots who got the same issue completely wrong in Iraq, or as those people are known on cable: experts.
PAUL BREMER (former U.S. ambassador to Iraq): He’s got to act in Syria. I hope, frankly, that he acts in a much more vigorous and robust sense.
DONALD RUMSFELD (former U.S. defense secretary): The idea of de-mystifying what you’re going to do for the enemy is mindless. I can’t imagine what they’re thinking.
BILL KRISTOL (Weekly Standard editor): I wish he could have intervened a year ago, two years ago.
STEWART: Hey everybody, the idiot parade is in town! (singing) Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up!
I just wrote that song today.
All right. Assad has crossed the line of what we feel is the appropriate way to kill people so we have to send a powerful message to the world, chemical weapons will not be tolerated.
OBAMA: We would not put boots on the ground. Instead, our action would be designed to be limited in duration and scope.
STEWART: So you’re saying that the only way to keep America’s penis from looking small is to take a somewhat ineffective action purposely designed to accomplish very little. We’ll call it “Operation Just the Tip.”
By the way, Operation Just the Tip, one of Milton Bradley’s least popular games. You put in the shaft, pretty sneaky sis!
We’ll be right back.