Letter From Obama: How To Make The United States Cave
Executive Mansion, Washington
Dear Publicity-Hungry Tyrants of the World:
We here in the West Wing of the White House are thrilled with the ransom we have negotiated with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il for the return of two kidnapped American journalists. The General, as the man who never served in the military is known within his country, gets to dominate today's news cycle, letting the world see him looking healthy (if not exactly robust) and forcing an ex-president to come a'calling.
Consequently, to help the blood-soaked monsters of the world understand exactly how to manipulate us, we are issuing the following guidelines:
1. Kidnap Our Citizens. But, for Pete's sake, don't be obvious about it. If you pull one of ours off the street and request money, the American people might get mad and demand military action, which would be overplaying your hand. Instead, charge our citizen with a crime and conduct a show trial. The commercial nature of the enterprise will be lost amid chatter about the Vienna Convention and international border disputes.
2. Only Kidnap One Or Two. Americans have a hard time focusing on a large number of people. That's why the interest in American Idol becomes stronger as the number of contestants decreases. Kidnap one or two people so that it's easy for producers and editors to run the pawn's photos again and again.
Which leads to the most important guideline of all . . . .
3. Only Kidnap Attractive Young Women. Ugly jarheads can waste away in hell holes for years, and only the military will notice. Purloining a bald oil executive is a one-day story. But kidnap a hot babe, and it's weeks of coverage.
Iran had to take a mulligan on this one. In 2007, Iran detained an American professor named Haleh Esfandiari on charges of plotting to overthrow the regime. Problem: The eminent Ms. Esfandiari isn't a beauty queen, so CNN was not inclined to run 24/7 video of her.
Iran realized its mistake, released the frumpy professor and kidnapped an actual beauty queen. Roxana Saberi (pictured) was a former Miss North Dakota, the cable channels had their cheesecake, and the mullahs had their leverage.
So, while we welcome home Laura Ling and Euna Lee, we should take a moment to reflect upon how easy it is make the United States roll over through the tactic of targetted imprisonment of our citizens. Our hottest citizens.