Let's Enforce a Deal

By Bill Maher

Who can be sure what comes next, now that we have an agreement with Syria and Russia? Certainly not me. If I had to pick the two world leaders I trust the least, I'd probably go with Bashar al-Assad, who is a sociopath, and Vladimir Putin, who is sociopath adjacent. They're two men brought together by their mutual love of poisoning people.

Plus, one is from the Middle East and the other is from Russia. I'm just saying. Their national pastime is dropping something in your drink, driving you around to ATMs, making you withdraw all of your money, and then stealing your kidney.

I'm sorry, but it’s a longstanding policy of mine: don't go to any country where they use the phrase, "You like party??"

But just the fact that two sketchy megalomaniacs seemed eager to sign an agreement makes me feel like there's a decent chance they’re up to no good. It's the same way you feel when you walk out of a car dealership and the salesman is telling you what a good deal you got, how you're a great negotiator, etc. And all you're thinking is, "Okay, how is this guy fucking me?"

But boy, did this make me feel better: "What concerns us most is that our friends and enemies will take the same lessons from this agreement -- they see it as an act of provocative weakness on America's part."

That's John McCain. John McCain doesn't like this deal. Because in his mind, it didn't end with us closer to war. And that shows weakness.

Honestly, guys like McCain and Lindsey Graham would rather show some display of "strength" than end up with a policy that might actually achieve the objective we set out to achieve. We wanted the Assad regime to stop using chemical weapons and maintain that international norm. It seems we have that. We wanted them to sign on to the treaty saying they won't ever do it again. It seems we have that too. We wanted them to give up the stockpiles of chemical weapons they already have. It seems... well, we'll have to see about that one. But all of this without firing a shot or spending a dime on anything other than John Kerry's hotel bills. 

I tend to prefer that to projecting some nebulous form of "strength." After all, we sure projected some strength in Iraq! We were resolute! When we said we’d bomb we meant it! In John McCain's world, that's the test of a policy's worth.

Well, sorry, but it's not. It's about results. It's about costs and benefits. Bluster is for rappers.