BRUSSELS, Belgium, Dec. 26…Upstaged and rendered irrelevant by the rise of Barrack Obama, European leaders have formed a secret task force to find ways to tarnish his image, the Daily Event has learned.
“George Bush was an easy foil who made all our leaders look good,” said a Euro diplomat, who asked not be identified be cause he/she is not allowed to speak to the media. “But Obama is outshining us, seducing our volatile populations.”
The unit, consisting of intelligence analysts, media specialists and psychological warfare operatives, will seek to uncover scandal, create unflattering stories and exploit weaknesses in Obama’s personality. Nations that have been in political and economic conflict have agreed to forget their differences and cooperate fully.
“We are united in our understanding that Obama is a threat to the political survival of every leader in the world,” the diplomat said.
The alarm was sounded in foreign capitals last July when 200,000 screaming Germans welcomed Obama to Berlin. Flaunting piercings, strumming guitars and, most distressingly, waving American flags, the crowd massed impatiently across from the Brandenburg Gate where JFK had famously proclaimed “Ich Bin Eine Berliner,” and Ronald Reagan had challenged Russian Prime Minister Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.” Rock bands and DJ’s warmed up the crowd, local politicians, scrambled for a ray of reflected glory.
The crowd cheered as Obama called for greater cooperation in dealing with the problems of terrorism and poverty. “No nation, no matter how large and powerful can defeat these challenges alone,” he said. The collective mood was summed up by a student: “Having a black American president will be totally cool.”
In her office German Chancellor Angela Merkel watched glumly. She had tried everything to prevent Obama’s appearance, saying that it would give the impression that the German government supported his candidacy. But she had been overwhelmed by the world’s need for a new charismatic leader. On her desk were German newspapers raving about Obama. On her phone were some very worried heads of state—Sarkozy, Brown, Berlusconi, Putin, Hu Jintao, Saudi King Abdullah and Venezuelan President Chavez.
“I haven’t seen a German waving an American flag since 1989,” Putin said.
“Let’s face it, ragazzi,” said Berlusconi. “We’ve lost our whipping boy.”
For the last eight years the world has been able to hide its misdeeds behind the catastrophic policies of the Bush administration. Under Bush the US was the only country to reject the Kyoto accords. Every other nation piously criticized the US while secretly violating the agreement by engaging in meaningless carbon exchanges that actually increased the amount of pollutants in the atmosphere. Under Bush’s refusal to lift farm subsidies the other nations were able to conceal their protectionism. European Commissioner for Trade Peter Mandelson was allowed to indulge his penchant for drama, while accomplishing nothing. Bush’s invasion of Iraq became a pretext for European inactivity in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. They were able to pin the blame for their multitude of sins on his scandal-ridden, dysfunctional administration. Putin, faced by the collapse of a mismanaged, single-product economy, could accuse the US of “infecting” the financial system. French Finance Minister Lagarde could obscure the $7 billion fraud at Societe Generale by criticizing the American SEC for “failure to regulate.” Iceland could blame the US for its infatuation with risky derivatives. Germany could neatly deflect attention from its tax and banking scandals. OPEC, which had gotten wealthy on $50 a barrel oil could condemn the US because oil producers now needed $90 oil just to survive. China could appeal to its rebellious workers that the US was responsible for their sudden unemployment. It could righteously refuse to help the US out of the economic crisis it had helped to create when it purchased trillions of dollars of debt and artificially devalued its currency to fund American consumers purchase of its defective and dangerous products.
As long as Bush bullied and blundered, the other leaders could shine in comparison. But now Obama has hit the ball into their court. He has asked for their cooperation. Implicit in his appeal is the message: you must do more in this dangerous world. You must take political risks.
“It is cheaper and easier to undermine,” the Euro diplomat said.
The task force, code named Operation Smear, has been at work behind closed doors in an obscure office building in downtown Ghent for a month and a half. Sub groups were formed to work on corruption, sexual misconduct, drug abuse, association with criminals, weird hobbies, odd dietary habits, embarrassing odors, anything to promote contempt or ridicule. At their weekly meeting, group leaders admitted they were stymied.
They were admonished by their chairman. “You are the best and brightest scandal mongers, malice spinners, frame artists and disinformation specialists in the world and you cannot dig up one speck of dirt on this man?”
After a moment of abashed silence, a timid voice volunteered:
“We could say he is soft on Israel…”
The room erupted in applause.
“Yes…Yes…He’s a tool of the Jewish lobby,” someone shouted.
“That always works.”