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Notes from White House briefing: Timing never right

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 PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:25 am    Post subject: Notes from White House briefing: Timing never right Reply with quote Back to top

Press & Sun-Bulletin, NY
Oct 21 2007
David Rossie

Notes from a White House press briefing.

"Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I'll take your questions in just
a moment, but first I want to inform you that the president has asked
members of the House of Representative, in the interests of the ongoing
war against global terrorism, to withdraw their non-binding resolution
calling for Sept. 3 to be designated as Holocaust Remembrance Day.

"The president will outline his reasons for this request later today
when he addresses a gathering of Cub Scouts and their leaders in Blue
Earth, Minnesota. Now to your questions."

"Dana, why would the president make such a request in light of our
long-standing support of Israel and the well-documented enormity of
the Holocaust?"

"Well, Bill, as you know, Germany's Prime Minister Angela Merkel will
be coming to Washington next month to meet with the president, and
she might be annoyed at being reminded of that unpleasant incident,
which, I might add, happened more than 60 years ago."

"I might also add that the Germans are tired of having their noses
rubbed in it. Yes, Andrew."

"Dana, to follow up on Bill's question, we're talking six million Jews
and God knows how many others -- Gypsies, homosexuals, Catholics and
others -- who died in those death camps. Don't they deserve some kind
of recognition?"

"Of course they do, Fred, but while the House resolution may indeed
be well-intended, the timing just isn't right. I remind you that
Germany is a staunch ally in the war against global terrorism and we
don't want to jeopardize that alliance. And keep in mind that if it
were not for the American military hospitals in Germany, the men and
women wounded in our effort to bring democracy to Iraq would have to
be flown all the way to the States for medical treatment.

"Besides, as the president himself pointed out in a recent interview,
there probably wouldn't have been a Holocaust if Poland hadn't tried
to invade Germany in 1939."

"Excuse me for interrupting, Dana, but hasn't he got that backwards?

Wasn't it Germany that invaded Poland?

"I'll have to get back to you on that, Fred, but I think the president
had it right. He said he learned that from Bill O'Reilly, a well-known
historian, who also told him how American soldiers killed nearly a
hundred unarmed German SS troopers during the Battle of the Bulge.

"And one final point, the president has already gone on record of
being opposed to Holocausts, no matter who's to blame for them. Now
can we move on?"

If you find the preceding to be too bizarre to be taken seriously, go
back to the beginning and wherever you find the word Holocaust, change
it to Armenian genocide and where you encounter the words Germany and
Germans, substitute Turkey or Turks. Now does it sound so outrageous?

For those of you who have been too busy wondering who is going to
get custody of Britney Spears' offspring, or Ellen Degeneres' dog,
here's what's been happening:

A handful of Democrats, who don't want us to win in Iraq, drafted a
resolution condemning what they claim was the genocidal slaughter of
more than a million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks back in 1915.

Nearly a hundred years ago, for God's sake. A few Republicans signed
on as well.

The present-day Turks are understandably miffed at this for a number
of reasons, including the fact that the Ottomans are no longer in
charge. Turkey is a vibrant democracy, and if you don't believe it,
just ask a Turkish dissident if you can find one who isn't in prison
or hasn't been shot.

More to the point, as our president has pointed out, the Turks are
a vital ally in our war to end global terrorism and bring peace and
prosperity to Iraq. Toward that end, they are reportedly getting
ready to invade Iraq themselves and teach those uppity Kurds a thing
or two. At which point The Coalition of the Bribed would become The
Coalition of the Uninvited.

Meanwhile, while Bush may be about as popular as crabgrass with the
populace in general, he has managed to scare a significant number
of congressmen -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- away from the
genocide resolution. You can identify them by their French tricolor
lapel pins.

Rossie is former associate editor of the Press & Sun-Bulletin; his
column appears Sundays.
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