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Borowitz writes: “After announcing, on Thursday, that it would seek $500 million to help ‘train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the moderate Syrian armed opposition,’ the White House today posted the following Moderate Syrian Rebel Application Form.”

President Barack. (photo: Reuters)
President Barack Obama. (photo: Reuters)

Moderate Syrian Rebel Application Form

By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

29 June 14


The article below is satire. Andy Borowitz is an American comedian and New York Times-bestselling author who satirizes the news for his column, "The Borowitz Report."

fter announcing, on Thursday, that it would seek $500 million to help “train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the moderate Syrian armed opposition,” the White House today posted the following Moderate Syrian Rebel Application Form:

Welcome to the United States’ Moderate Syrian Rebel Vetting Process. To see if you qualify for $500 million in American weapons, please choose an answer to the following questions:

As a Syrian rebel, I think the word or phrase that best describes me is:
A) Moderate
B) Very moderate
C) Crazy moderate
D) Other

I became a Syrian rebel because I believe in:
A) Truth
B) Justice
C) The American Way
D) Creating an Islamic caliphate

If I were given a highly lethal automatic weapon by the United States, I would:
A) Only kill exactly the people that the United States wanted me to kill
B) Try to kill the right people, with the caveat that I have never used an automatic weapon before
C) Kill people only after submitting them to a rigorous vetting process
D) Immediately let the weapon fall into the wrong hands

I have previously received weapons from:
A) Al Qaeda
B) The Taliban
C) North Korea
D) I did not receive weapons from any of them because after they vetted me I was deemed way too moderate

I consider ISIS:
A) An existential threat to Iraq
B) An existential threat to Syria
C) An existential threat to Iraq and Syria
D) The people who will pick up my American weapon after I drop it and run away

Complete the following sentence. “American weapons are…”
A) Always a good thing to randomly add to any international hot spot
B) Exactly what this raging civil war has been missing for the past three years
C) Best when used moderately
D) Super easy to resell online

Thank you for completing the Moderate Syrian Rebel Application Form. We will process your application in the next one to two business days. Please indicate a current mailing address where you would like your weapons to be sent. If there is no one to sign for them we will leave them outside the front door. your social media marketing partner


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+25 # RMDC 2014-06-29 19:51
This is great. I'm sure the real application form is just as insane. The "moderates" in Syria voted in the recent election and elected Bashir al Assad to be president of Syria. THe moderates in Syria want the nation's problems resolved peacefully and in a democratic manner.

It is an oxymoron to claim that a rebel who is using guns, bombs, terrorism, poison gas and the rest to violently over throw a legitimate government could ever be a moderate. Everyone other that the US mass media knows that the "rebels" in Syria are mostly not Syrians. They are an international proxy army fighting for Saudi Arabia, the US CIA, and Israel. There's nothing moderate about that.

Obama is not a moderate. He's a vicious and murderous neo-con. He has the blood of hundreds of thousands of people in Libay and Syria on his hands.
+36 # asbpab1966 2014-06-29 23:46
Compared to the Bush-Cheney-Rum sfeld-Rove-Ashf croft junta, President Obama is extremely moderate.
-7 # RMDC 2014-06-30 07:27
Moderate in his speech but not in his actions. The massacre he unleashed on Libya could not have been done by Bush/Cheney. They would have gotten too much backlash. Bush/Cheney also could not have militarized Africa the way Obama is.
-10 # MidwesTom 2014-06-30 07:32
Bush/Cheney did not give us a domestic civilian Army larger than the US Army. That is completely a product of Obama.
+20 # Texas Aggie 2014-06-30 08:24
No, the annulment of Posse Comitatis was done by the Bushies. They were the ones who allowed the military to take on domestic police work. They were the ones who set up a North American military system.
+10 # kalpal 2014-06-30 08:39
At no time and in no way did Bush/Cheney ever do anything anyone other than Halliburton and Some other corporate war profiteering entities found to be worthwhile.
+4 # CAMUS1111 2014-06-30 16:36
@MidTommy--no it's a product of your feeble mind since it is a right wing fable
+24 # Texas Aggie 2014-06-30 08:23
Excuse me, but Bush/Cheney were the ones who militarized Africa. They were the ones who initiated the process and tried to get one of the African nations to agree to be the headquarters for Africa Corps.

And since when did backlash ever matter to Cheney/Bush? What was Cheney's response to an interviewer's question about the Iraq war that the majority of Americans opposed? Remember that?

0 # sfintersect 2014-06-30 10:53
Sorry Texas Aggie, I meat this to be a response to kalpal, unless you were being sarcastic...che ck your history please
+10 # Stilldreamin1 2014-06-29 22:27
Like Crazy Eddie- our policies are innnnSane!
+53 # ganymede 2014-06-29 22:48
Funniest Borowitz in a long time. This is how the biggest blunder in the past 100-150 years is ending. It would be great absurdist theatre except that at least one million people have been killed or wounded, mostly very innocent people, as well as our having squandered 3-4 trillion dollars. Bush's name will go down in infamy as the person who deliberately and needlessly exploded the Middle East for money and power. What is it going to take to begin holding hearings with Bush/Cheney and the whole treasonous neocon crew.
+17 # DaveM 2014-06-29 23:32
Love it! I suspect that the "vetting process" consists of asking: "you won't shoot me with this, will you?" while handing over a weapon or several. If the "applicant" replies in the negative or shakes his head, he is given as much military hardware as he can carry and sent on his way.

What exactly is a "moderate rebel" anyway? Do they leave calling cards before they rebel? Drink tea with their pinkies extended? Use paintball guns? I just want to know for my own satisfaction: what should one expect from a "moderate revolution"?
+34 # asbpab1966 2014-06-29 23:48
Yes, like the weapons we handed over to the "moderates" in Afghanistan when they were fighting the Soviet Union.
+9 # vicnada 2014-06-30 07:32
Osama Bin Moderate?
+10 # reo100 2014-06-30 06:13
What exactly is a "moderate rebel" anyway?

What an excellent point DaveM.!
Afterall, as an American Citizen (who pays for these weapons) you would certainly want to follow the law (as written in the NDAA). God forbid you inadvertently rub elbows with the" wrong" type since that would "qualify" you to be shot and killed by a drone.
+4 # poetmarinerray 2014-06-30 05:57
Obama's $500 Million Dollar Plan to 'train and equip "moderate" Syrian rebel forces against Assad is mild,but shortsighted. It is the 'Reader's Digest Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes' way to arm rebels and track the 'bad guys'. Just fill out the application with proper name and home address and one of our representatives will be coming to you soon to deliver your "prize" -"arms" or "death by drone"?
0 # poetmarinerray 2014-06-30 06:45
Quoting poetmarinerray:
Obama's $500 Million Dollar Plan to 'train and equip "moderate" Syrian rebel forces against Assad is mild,but shortsighted. It is the 'Reader's Digest Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes' way to arm rebels and track the 'bad guys'. Just fill out the application with proper name and home address and one of our representatives will be coming to you soon to deliver your "prize" -"arms" or "death by drone"?

However, Obama's moderate 'training &weapons plan to help the Syrian rebels might be made to work with some tweaking. Will training the rebels for warfare really deepen U S military involvement in the Syrian civil war? It depends. Will we be sending military trainers over to Syria or will the rebels be training in the U S --kind of like foreign-exchang e for soldier-student s?I'd like to see these Syrian opposition groups trained in more things then how to kill . Why not train them in government administration, engineering, sustainable farming, ecological economics, and renewable energy plant construction so that they can return home to help build a 21st century national infrastructure for their own people? It could be one way for Obama to get around Republicans blocking more money for student loans , schools and job creation at home. We all know how warfare -queen dependents that Republicans have become so they might finally approve of this education/jobs funding plan.
+4 # Bruce Gruber 2014-06-30 07:15
The NRA's gunrunner and marketing support focus/study group has apparently shifted emphasis from 'big enemy USA govt citizen security focus' to 'arm foreign enemy rebel combatants and defend people who love our freedom USA govt buy our arms and give them to foreign freedom fighters groups' ... AGAIN.

Perhaps Texas vigilante/survi valist/Gestapo/ carriers had a diminishing effect on testosterone laden shows and sales. Marketing strategies are so demanding on the frail imaginings and thin morals of the dividend seeking class.
+2 # Dhimmi 2014-06-30 11:53

I'd like to fill out this form. But you seem to have provided only a list of the questions.

I can't find an editable copy. And I can't find a SUBMIT button.

Please advise!
0 # geraldom 2014-06-30 12:46
I find it amazing that the Obama administration is openly supporting an agenda to overthrow a sovereign nation, Syria, which is illegal by international law, by arming rebel groups fighting against its government and no world legal authority is rising up and condemning it or threatening Obama and the United States with legal action at the U.N. or the World Court.

It's against international law to attempt to overthrow a government of a sovereign nation, even if it is through indirect means as had occurred in Ukraine by the United States, no matter how much one may dislike that particular nation.

And, out of all of the major western nations, it is the United States that has done it innumerable times in the past and continues to do it now and into the future.

And, with some few exceptions where the U.S. was literally forced to send in its military to accomplish this nefarious task as happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. was able to accomplish this international crime indirectly by succeeding in doing it via coup d'etats as occurred in many of the Latin American countries and in Iran in the early 1950s and lately in Ukraine, and it has yet to be held accountable by the U.N. or the World Court in the Hague.
+4 # jdd 2014-06-30 13:37
What's truly amazing is that as Obama proposes $500 million to arm the Syrian rebels, which is to say Al-Qaeda - ISIS, not a single congressman, Republican or Democrat, stands up to object. Such cowardice.
+3 # hwmcadoo 2014-07-01 07:22
Satire? Sounds more like the truth.

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