Bill Maher on US Syria Policy: We Look “More Like George Zimmerman” Than World’s Policeman

Bill Maher slammed the U.S. for its Syria policy saying “we’re starting to look not so much like the world’s policeman, but more like George Zimmerman, itching to use force and then pretending it’s because we had no choice.” Dang, that’s pretty deep, but so true and President Obama looks a whole lot like his predecessor.

During his final New Rule Friday night, with reference to the U.S. being on the verge of bombing another Middle Eastern country, he said, “America must stop asking, why do they hate us?” He added that “we have to stop bombing Muslim countries if we ever want to feel safe from terrorism in our own.”

Maher asked, “How did we inherit this moral obligation to bring justice to the world via death from above?” “It doesn’t make any sense. Our schools are crumbling and we want to teach everyone else a lesson.”

Last week actor Ed Asner said Hollywood is staying quiet about voicing their disappointment in President Obama because they don’t want to come across as anti-black. Well, we can always rely on Bill Maher, a strong Obama supporter, to tell you how he really feels and he isn’t viewed as anti-black.

This was cross-posted from The Hinterland Gazette.

Author: JANET SHAN

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11 Comments

  1. Maher is pretty cool but I certainly didn’t get that he took exception with Obama. He took exception with U.S. policy in the middle east, something we know has been going on for a very long time.
    I agree though, Obama certainly did appear to have an itchy trigger finger on this after the second attack with chemical weapons.
    Maybe it just doesn’t dawn on us that the people in the middle east don’t necessarily want our advice and interference and pushing our way into their eternal squabbles. They resent us always pushing our values on them, when clearly..they have no inclination to adopt them wholeheartedly.
    If they will sign the 1993 convention and honor the terms we may butt out afterall, but don’t count on it

  2. Maher asked, “How did we inherit this moral obligation to bring justice to the world via death from above?”

    Wow. Says I, heaving a heavy sigh. You know, sheknows, I really admire all the posts you lay down here – I think you’re a really smart person – way smarter than me and lord knows, you add so much high calibre to the conversations here — most of the time I agree with you – but on this one, uh uh. You say you think Maher is “pretty cool”. To me, he’s a ….
    jerk. Reading Ms Shan’s report, sitting here after supper, I just shake my head in disbelief at her report of Maher’s quotes.
    How did WE (meaning the US, I suppose) inherit this moral obligation…..” – holy cow, all we read about in my country is how the US considers itself ‘exceptional’ — about how much dough they put into the armed forces. The US is a country steeped in Christianity (or maybe it’s just “Christianism” — i.e., talking the talk without walking the walk), I don’t actually know — my gut feel says the latter in most cases when it comes to the really HARD stuff.

    Maher asks how did we inherit this moral obligation ….. My answer is this: Because you asked for it and wanted it. The US cannot speak loudly to the world about how they’re the only Superpower and the most powerful moral nation on the earth, the free-est and most democratic and then walk away when children and women and other innocent people are getting gassed to death. We, all of us, we are our brother’s keeper.

    Remember Rwanda? Probably not — the US stayed away. Canada went in, in the form of peace-keeping forces. We pled for help, on our knees — no one came. Look up General Romeo D’Allaire, who led our peace keeping forces there, if you want to know what happened. After returning home, into civilian service, he was found sleeping on a park bench in the rain, suffering from PTSD – he is still recovering – he’s written a book — look it up. Millions of children were slaughtered in Rwanda , women, young men, villages levelled. Human beings, all.

    My feeling is, President Obama remembers Rwanda. I think he also remembers the saying “Never Again”, when all the German Jews were slaughtered by the leader of THEIR country. None of us really knew the extent of what the Nazis did until the end of the war — so there’s an out for us there — but we were shocked and we, along with the Jews, said “Never Again”.

    My feeling is Obama wanted to hit back right away — thing is, he had to have had proof that Assad did it — and that’s where the slowly (too slowly in my mind) moving crap came in. He looks weak, he looks like he’s covering his a** and it looks to me like he’s cowering to the Republicans and everybody else. I’m on his side, but I’d like to have seen him more in fast. Because, in my mind, he’s MORALLY correct to hit at Assad. Not him specifically, but him, as your leader, as the leader of the free world, as Americans always refer to themselves. You can’t have it both ways. Is the US the leader of the free world all the time, or only when it’s convenient?

    This whole thing gives me a pain in my belly — I am drinking Pepto Bizzmal as I write this.

    As the self-identified “leader of the free world”, the US cannot afford to “butt out”, as you say. Almost 1500 Syrian people were gassed to death by their government. Will the US find if okay to butt back in when the numbers get to, say 15,000? Will that be enough? Or maybe 150,000? Where does it stop? When will it end. Crap. I love the US, I’m half American and 100% Canuck and don’t check my math, because the #’s add up, to me. But I really thought better of the US – they backed a stupid war in Iraq when there was nothing there to cause a war for — but here — they want to walk away.
    Like they walked away from Rwanda.

    Sorry for the rant — it’s been a hard day here, but nothing near so hard as those Syrians are facing. I live a good middle class life here in Toronto, comfy and all — but facing a massive 70 year BD coming up soon, I find myself wishing I was 30 years younger — I’d go in there and help out myself.

    Hugs to you SK — you’re a good person, I can tell, I just had to rant for a minute or 15! If there are typo’s here, sue me, I didn’t proof this – it comes from the heart.

  3. “It doesn’t make any sense. Our schools are crumbling and we want to teach everyone else a lesson.”

    Amen brother Bill. Of course it’s easier to avoid controvery when it comes to foreign policy when your constituents aren’t encouraged to acquire more than a certain amount, and certain kinds of knowledge.

  4. You are delightful Brownies girl….I mean that. By all means rant away! Lord knows I am used to bone picking here so I never find it a problem, but your openness and sincere posts are always a pleasure.

    I agree with you about everything you say. I happen to like Bill Maher’s outspokenness and his humor, but that is not everyone’s cup of tea. I will say that I believe his question was rhetorical about how we got here. It’s his way of saying we shouldn’t be here…again, and again.

    There was another post here a few days ago by another author who stated something similar about our less than welcomed interference in their squabbles. I relate to that because I have seen how these conflicts have never been truly resolved since before Israel. We do not fully understand their culture and we presume a lot…just my opinion.

    Naturally I feel for the Syrian people and all those who will continue to suffer and die in this civil war, just as I feel for the Egyptians, and the Palestinians, and the Israelis and the well…. you get the picture.

    When we pray for peace now, we always say “God grant peace in the Middle East”. I can honestly say I have been saying a prayer that way for over a decade.

  5. Brownies Girl says, “Sorry for the rant…”

    If I may ‘interlope’ here, there is nothing to be sorry for.

    I have been “ranting” myself for weeks now on this issue and I wholeheartedly agree with you.

    “Remember Rwanda?” “Never Again!” “Moral Obligation” All very familiar words to me and all very relevant.

    Thanks, and I hope I am not too assuming or forward when I say “I am in good company” — with you…

  6. Jeez, guys. Maher is a comedian and don’t forget it. His bias is to come up with funny stuff, he just happens to be politically astute. Column writers, ditto. I don’t take Dowd that seriously, but she is entertaining as are O’Reily and Maddow. Relax and think for yourself and make up your own one liners, then send them here, cause we are way too serious about ourselves where the events are the real serious stuff. That’s my red line, don’t cross it.

  7. Thanks SK, and thanks Dorian for your kind words too. Reason I keep hanging around here is I feel like I’m in good company, even when disagreements occur. This whole Syrian thing bothers me incredibly. Maybe because I realize there are politics involved — and there’s humanity involved — and I want to say — just PO on the politics for a minute — there’s a right thing to do and there’s a wrong thing to do — and we have to do the right thing. Not just the US, but my country too. Assad needs to go – and soon. The sooner the better. Putin too, but that’s a whole other story.

    In the Christian world, there IS such a thing as a moral obligation, you are right, Dorian. How long will we stand by, mulling over what it’s gonna cost money-wise, what it’s gonna cost politically, what it’s gonna cost the economy? People are friggin’ being slaughtered for heaven’s sake! Assad is a psycho, doesn’t any ordinary American see that? And people like Senator Cruz say “it’s not our business, not our concern?” Holy crap! And I’m not rapping the US only, my country with our idiot “Cruz-like” right-wing leader, we’re no better. And I only have ONE vote. Sigh.

    I will never forget Rwanda, got to meet D’Allaire one time, shook his hand, what a kindly man, I wanted nothing more than to take that poor man in my arms and tell him I pray he gets getter and can let go, some day, of his awful Rwanda demons – they haunt him every minute of every day.

    You SK, and Dorian too — you make me feel at home here — and I’m grateful for that. I don’t comment a whole lot, just pretty much on stuff that gets my stomach acids going — glad to know it’s okay if I natter on once in a while. {{{hugs}}} to you both!
    BG

  8. Jeez, guys. Maher is a comedian and don’t forget it.

    Well as a person who has been – albeit for a brief time and not professionally – a comedian, I’d counter that we shouldn’t dismiss someone’s opinion out of hand based upon their profession.

    We have this odd tradition in this country of taking the political opinions of certain people very seriously based upon their job…whether current or previous, and dismissing the opinions of certain people based upon the same criteria.

    Why is it that a plumber is so much better qualified to speak on politics than an actor? Why do we write off the opinion of a comedian, but dare not question that of a military veteran?

    Shouldn’t we look for truth no matter what the source?

  9. Well, dd did give Maher credit for being “politically astute”. Beyond that you make a good point cjj. It is an “odd tradition”.

  10. I do not dismiss what any of these people say, I just give it the weight I feel they deserve. I happen to agree with all of them at least 25% of the time.

  11. Sheknows,

    “Maybe it just doesn’t dawn on us that the people in the middle east don’t necessarily want our advice and interference and pushing our way into their eternal squabbles. They resent us always pushing our values on them, when clearly..they have no inclination to adopt them wholeheartedly.”

    As for how did we get this task of seeing ourselves as the world’s policemen, true, that is a little grandiose. But, as for the fact that our president felt the need to damage Assad’s war machine, let me suggest that judging by the many press reports and journalistic interviews coming from the field in Syria, over and over we constantly hear the pleas of common and everyday people, who just cannot understand why the world is abandoning them. Over and over rebel fighters say they are still eagerly awaited help that never comes—and they cannot understand why the world doesn’t care. So, its not like we are overly eager to make over their own government and cultural values—it’s that we are finally making some kind of compassionate response to their pleas!

    If Obama had ever had an “itchy trigger finger,” for fighting or placing boots on the ground in Syria, he would have done so, immediately—about two years ago. Instead he showed extraordinary commitment to avoid making rash decisions which might place American soldiers in harms way. Several armchair Commanders In Chief on Meet the Press today, discussed his hesitancy to act much earlier,in order to help defeat Assad. But, do you think that if the president had rapidly committed us to having boots on the ground that then, those same pundits wouldn’t have been right there, jumping all over the President for not having enough patience to avoid military involvement?

    Every President, no matter how wise of foolish, is perceived as an easy scapegoat or at least, a convenient vehicle, for criticizing the apparent foolishness of their policies and those of many other Presidents.Obama has been getting it from all sides for a long time!

    Could it be that our President has a genuine aversion to the immense cruelty involved in chemical warfare, and wanted to prevent such cruelty for no other reason than that? And when he was abandoned by the rest of the world, who do not want to get involved, was it a sign of weakness for him to actually consult Congress, and give Congress a chance to agree or voice the wills of their constituencies?

    And what would the same constituents have to say about a decision by Obama to act only on his own feelings about what should be done?

    It seems that Obama is really been criticized for not being hawkish enough to commits grave mistakes and gamble on America’s future, and, undoubtedly, though he would like to see Assad out of Syria, he is framing his goal as wanting primarily to get rid of noxious weapons of mass destruction like Sarin gas?

    Bill Maher, like many humorists is free to say crude and critical things without a moments hesitation—a luxury the President doesn’t have. The most he does is force the views of the many naysayers who just don’t want to get involved. But sometimes, these naysayers don’t really know what the correct actions should be.

    Maher seems to think that it is just SO easy to make life or death decisions from the oval office—just as easy as it is for him to make snap judgments and off the wall comments about a situation he does not really even understand.

    Political satire about political actions, has a very important place in our cultural matrix, but, let’s not start thinking that the fountain of all wisdom can be found in the brash comments of any critical comedian!

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