Archived Story

Pied Piper lives on the Potomac

Published 9:51am Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Got to forgive presidential and congressional staffers for covering their ears and singing “la la la” at the top of their lungs, as everyone pretends not to be knee-deep in the icky, tricky, sticky Syria situation. One might say Washington is in a Semi-Syrious mode right now. And a semi-not-so-Syrious mode simultaneously.

Because this whole affair is riddled with enigmas and mysteries enough to make Winston Churchill spin his conundrums right off. And rumor has it, he harbored huge conundrums.

Demonstrating resolve in the face of chemical weapons, Barack Obama weaves through the media like Gumby’s drunken brother in a wind tunnel. Unfamiliar territory for a chief executive who never learned how to play both sides against the middle. For four and a half years, he’s been a facilitator with nothing and nobody to facilitate. All he needed was a facilitatee.

And now there’s a war. Not a leftover war. His war. A new war. Good Obama. Bad Obama. Boots. No boots. Barefoot. 30 days. 300 days. 3000 days. He loves us. He loves us not. Yes. No. Maybe. Better be prepared to give that Nobel Peace Prize back.

The Pied Piper of the Potomac is blowing a patriotic tune, dancing figure-8s up and down the M.C. Escher staircase that is Capitol Hill. Deadly determined to do the right thing; if only he knew what it was.

The intelligence is solid, but we can’t put our sources at risk divulging it. We know what we need to know, but don’t know everything. A red line in the sand has been crossed. Then again, sand is a lousy conductor of paint. Don’t want to go to war but can’t be seen as backing down. Must take military action to advance the cause of peace.

Made his decision but seeking Congressional approval. Doesn’t need it. Wants it. Might use it. Then again, maybe not. Could very well follow their advice or just start bombing tomorrow. Or not. If Joe Biden agrees. Which he will. Probably.

Meanwhile, Republicans are torn between their innate hatred of Obama and eternal love of bombing the crap out of the Middle East. This is an important vote, but not enough to encourage anyone to come back from recess early. Boehner and Cantor approve a limited punitive strike, but other Republicans aren’t obligated to follow their lead. Their smile says yes. But their eyes say no.

Internationally, the president prefers cooperation but is willing to go it alone. The Arab League is fine with it, but can’t give permission. England is not in on this with us, but we might want to call back later. Obama has to punish Bashar Al Assad but doesn’t trust the rebels as far as he could throw Portugal. Worried about rattling sabers but can’t afford to look like a wuss. If he wants to hang with Putin.

And finally, what America really needs to understand; this is all about Syria crossing a line. Then again, it’s mostly about Iran. And Hezbollah. Not to mention Russian and Chinese entanglements. And don’t forget Israel. Or Saudi Arabia. Does the term Afghanistan ring a bell? Qatar? And just on a side note, does Qatar call their national airline – Air Qatar? They should. Syriously.


Will Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world. Email Will at

  • mickakers

    President Barack Obama made a wise decision in deciding to seek further advice and more opinions before embarking on aggression by attacking Syria. This decision should be made by the United Nations not by the United States. All means of diplomacy should used before war like actions. Vladimir Putin and the Russians have demonstrated this fact by their recent diplomatic moves. If President Obama had not delayed in his decision to attack, the Russians would not have had the time for their diplomatic effort in convincing the Syrian government to turn over the stockpile of Poisonous Gas to the international community.

    (Report comment)

    • mikehaney

      Obama to Vladimir Putin. OH, thank you,thank you, thank you!!

      (Report comment)

  • Geronimo

    mikehaney , please say something new other than you hate Obama , and think he’s the worst ever. I’m sorry I bothered with the comments section. I wonder if Obama hates you. I don’t hate you , I feel sorry for you and all the hate in your heart.

    (Report comment)

    • mikehaney

      I hate everything about Obama. As a man no. What he is doing to my country. Yes.

      (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    100,000 casualties.
    How many Syrian gov’t troops?
    How many Alquida?
    How many civilians killed by gov’t troops?
    How many killed by Alquida?
    How many rebel troops killed by Alquida insurgents?
    Stay the heck out of Syria!!
    On top of all this, the US has the worst POTUS in it’s history.

    (Report comment)

Editor's Picks

Special needs camp teaches bike-riding

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The father didn’t want anyone to see, so he tried to casually brush them away. But the tears that welled in his ... Read more

Antique equipment shows off history

Ohio lies in a unique position within the United States, with part of the state situated in the Mid-West and the southeastern portion of the ... Read more

Unexpected heroes

Passersby help people trapped in burning house   Heroes don’t always wear capes, uniforms or badges. They aren’t always scanning the skies, or roaming alleyways ... Read more

Rescuer tries to save orphaned fawn

ROME TOWNSHIP — A hunter taking a deer out of season Monday afternoon left two orphans — one apparently lost to the woods and the ... Read more  | 2 comments