Jewish World Review Feb. 4, 2003 / 2 Adar I, 5763
What the world would like the president to say
After consulting with our loyal allies in Europe, speaking with United Nations officials, reading major American newspapers, listening to National Public Radio, consulting with Hollywood movie stars, and meeting with professors from our universities, I have changed my mind.
They are right.
I now realize that the most important goal America and its president can pursue is to be liked, hopefully loved, by mankind, and especially by France, Germany, China, and the Arab world.
I now realize that we Americans who think in terms of good and evil are simpletons. We should think, as the professors do, in multicultural terms and, therefore, render no moral judgment over Iraq or any other nation except Israel. Who am I to declare any regimes an "axis of evil"?
I now realize that it was arrogance to make such a judgment on three regimes governed by men whom I should have tried better to understand. Now that I realize America's primary goal is to be liked, I will never again call any regime evil. In fact, in consultation with the presidents and deans of our major universities, I have decided to rename the governments of Iraq, Iran and North Korea an Axis of Diversity.
I now realize that the only reason I ever considered putting thousands of young American lives in jeopardy was because of oil. I was deluded in thinking that Saddam Hussein might use his weapons of destruction against vast numbers of innocents, or to think because Saddam erased a sovereign nation from the map in 1991, he would contemplate doing such a thing again. The French have taught me that the way to deal with people whom I used to believe were evil is by giving them business contracts.
Yes, all these people knew better than I that I considered attacking Iraq only in order to obtain cheap gas for American SUVs. Even though it would have cost us far more money to topple Saddam Hussein than we would make from Iraqi oil. Even though I could simply have done what the French and Russians have done -- make deals with Saddam to buy all the oil we want. And even though we publicly promised that after Saddam, Iraqi oil will belong to the Iraqi people.
Despite all that, the left somehow recognized that a war against Iraq was really only a way to enrich my oil buddies. The left, whom I used to foolishly identify with appeasing and defending evil, have opened my eyes. They are right that nothing America does is out of a sense of mission to lead humanity in confronting evil. That was all a cover up for our true motivation -- more wealth. That is why we alone stand by Israel -- for all that oil in the Negev. That is why we protect Taiwan -- for Taiwan's bounteous natural resources. From now on, our moral model must be the Europeans who shape their Middle Eastern policies so as to be loved by 200 million Arabs rather than by a few million Israelis.
I now realize that America must be guided by Germany with its 100-year record of moral leadership; by France with nearly as long a record of standing up to evil; by our university professors, who almost alone in America understand that America and Israel are the world's villains; by the United Nations, which was so prescient in doing nothing during the Rwanda genocide and today provides more moral light with Syria on its Security Council and Libya heading its Human Rights Commission; by The New York Times and other newspapers that so insightfully attacked President Ronald Reagan for labeling the Soviet Union an evil empire; and by China, which I used to identify with cultural genocide in Tibet, but thanks to my new desire to be loved, I will now regard only as a huge potential source of love and cheap imports.
My fellow Americans, I will no longer be calling you "my fellow Americans," but rather, "my fellow earthlings" or "my fellow citizens of the world." Nor will I conclude this or any future address by asking that G-d bless America. That annoys secular Europe, and if we aim to be loved, we can no longer speak in religious terms.
Finally, given my new belief that America's task in the world is not to lead but to be loved, I have decided to step down from the presidency as soon as Congress and the states pass a constitutional amendment allowing Al Gore to be president. He, my predecessor President Clinton, and the whole Democratic Party have long believed that America's purpose is to be loved. They should be governing.
My fellow world citizens, peace and love.
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