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Rick Robinson: First Draft of President's Speech on Syria

This column is written by Northern Kentucky author Rick Robinson and first appeared in Rare.

Presidential speech writing is an art form. Many drafts are circulated between the various writers before a final version is finally given to the most important person in the room – the guy operating the teleprompter.

Via a high ranking source in the White House, I have obtained the first draft of President Obama’s nationally televised speech on Syria. Despite the fact that I will now be the subject of an NSA investigation, I am sharing that draft with the world.


SEPTEMBER 10, 2013


(note to self – check image in mirror before speech to make sure Nobel Peace Prize not showing under shirt) 

Good evening my fellow Americans.

Earlier today I made an executive decision that makes what I am about to say irrelevant.  But since tonight’s episode of NCIS – Los Angeles is a repeat, I’ve decided to go ahead with a disjointed address hoping to confuse you long enough to forget that tomorrow is the first anniversary of the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi.

And, what the hell, I already booked the room.

The facts are simple. Syria’s brutal dictator Bashar Assad is bad. And I don’t mean that in the slang kind of way I so often use when I’m trying to relate to college students. Assad is bad in an old school Webster’s Dictionary kind of way.

Because of that, a year ago the citizens of the world held a gun to my head and forced me to draw a red line. I wanted a magenta line which is kind of between purple and red. For that matter, fuchsia probably would have worked too. But, no, the world insisted the line be red.

And it was a good thing. My red line was so simple, even members of the United Nations Security Council could understand its simple meaning – if you’re going to massacre your own people, it must be done with conventional weapons.

Guns, bombs and rudimentary roadside devices are fine in the commission of genocide, but the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated in a civilized society.

Just ask the rebels in Rwanda.

And I let it be well known at the time that anyone crossing my red line – I mean the world’s red line – would cause me to pre-empt regularly scheduled television programming to make a series of really, really super serious speeches.

I tried to get my Secretary of State John Kerry to make a couple of really super serious speeches, but everybody thought he was just sad. I called him up after the last one and said, “Hey John, why the long face?”

So I had to take the matter of really super serious speeches into my own hands. My words of scorn have been far more than simple pinpricks. They have been real words that can all be found on the internet.

And my words have all been aimed directly at President Assad. We know he watched TV, and our intelligence community assures me that his close advisors do as well. Further, we have reason to believe the Tonight Show with Jay Leno gets very high ratings in Syria. And, the NSA told me in a private briefing that Assad himself may, in fact, have Direct TV.

Still, I knew that would not be enough.

With the solid backing of dozens, if not hundreds, of French men and women, I stood ready to keep giving really super serious speeches until President Assad gave in.

Now, however, the time for really super serious speeches is over. It’s time for inaction. And rather than taking unilateral inaction, tonight I am calling on Congress to stand with me in doing nothing.

Instead, I am sending John Kerry to negotiate with the leaders of Russia for a settlement based upon a premise of further inaction I find unacceptable. Secretary Kerry will let all involved know I stand ready to give more really super serious speeches.

By the way, in case you missed tonight’s episode on NCSI – Los Angeles, they make it look like the homeless surfer guy did it. But, it was really the ex-husband’s mistress.

Good night. And may God bless America.

Rick Robinson is an awarding winning author. His latest political thriller Writ of Mandamus is available on Amazon.

Photo: President Obama addresses nation about Syria on Wednesday/provided