The Pakistani government declared Friday, September 21, as an impromptu “Day of Love” holiday for the Prophet Mohammed. With a day off from work and kids out of school and in the spirit of the day, Pakistanis had to decide how to celebrate the “Day of Love.” Barbeque or riot? Sleep in or riot? See a movie or burn down the Cineplex? Of course, if the theater was showing Snow White and the Huntsman one could perhaps sympathize with that last alternative. (Think of all the inadvertent popcorn popping!)
Fortunately, our government paid over $70,000 to produce an ad for airing on Pakistani television featuring Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to try to sooth tensions and appease Pakistanis. In the ad, President Obama states that the United States is “a nation that respects all faiths.” Catholic organizations in the United States opposed to government mandated coverage for contraceptives might argue otherwise, but why split hairs, right? Catholics seldom riot and almost never on a “Day of Love.”
As crazy as it may seem, this ad appears to have done little to stem the tide of anger and anti-American sentiment in Pakistan and other predominately Muslim countries. The State Department is looking to feature others in future Pakistani appeasement ads. The next ad will feature the Sham Wow/Slap Chop infomercial guy. I’m not at all sure these next ads will be any more successful at soothing tensions in the Middle East, but it’s sure to boost sales of Sham Wow towels. They do, after all, hold up to twelve times their weight in liquid! (So does former Senator Chris Dodd, but that’s a different story altogether.)
Reuters on Friday quoted an Islamabad protester saying, “Our demand is that whoever blasphemed against our prophet should be handed over to us so we can cut him up into tiny pieces in front of the entire nation.” At least he wasn’t too upset! (I see Slap Chop sales increasing too.)
It’s a good thing that President Obama hit that reset button on Middle East foreign policy once he took office. Otherwise, things would be a little tense right now. He has recently been criticized for missing over half his daily security briefings. But he hit the reset button, what more needs to be done? Besides, as he recently lamented in a rare interview with a member of the press, Washington can’t be changed from the inside, only from the outside – like on a golf course. So, while his Middle East policy may now lie in shambles, his golf caddy full employment program is a rousing success!
Curtice Mang is the author of the new book, The Constitution – I’m Not Kidding and Other Tales of Liberal Folly. He can be contacted at www.mangwrites.com, where one can also purchase his book; or contact Curtice at mangwrites at cox.net.