Monday, April 26, 2010


Gen. James Jones, Obama’s National Security Adviser, gave a speech last Wednesday before the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He started out by telling the following joke:

"A member of the Taliban was separated from his fighting party and wandered around for a few days in the desert, lost, out of food, no water. He looked on the horizon and he saw what looked like a little shack, and he walked toward that shack and as he got to it, turned out that it was a shack, a store, a little store owned by a Jewish merchant. And the Taliban warrior went up to him and said, 'I need water, get me some water.' And the merchant said, 'I'm sorry, I don't have any water, but would you like to buy a tie? We have a nice sale of ties today.'

"Whereupon the Taliban erupted into a stream of language that I can't repeat about Israel, about Jewish people, about the man himself, about his family -- and just saying 'I need water, you try to sell me ties, you people don't get it.'

"And passively, the merchant stood there until this Taliban was through with his diatribe and said, 'Well, I'm sorry but I don't have water for you and I forgive you for all of the insults you've levied against me, my family, my country, but I will help you out. If you go over that hill and walk about two miles there's a restaurant there, and they have all the water you'll need.'

"And the Taliban, instead of saying thanks, still muttering under his breath, disappears over the hill -- only to come back about an hour later and walking up to the merchant and says, 'Your brother tells me I need a tie in order to get into the restaurant.'"

Gen. Jones has since apologized by saying "I wish that I had not made this off the cuff joke at the top of my remarks, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it."

As a Jew, I am not offended by this joke. As a matter of fact, I think it’s quite funny and I suspect that I’m far from the only Jew who thinks so. But in today’s oversensitive politically correct atmosphere some people have criticized Jones for telling it. Someone told an Israeli newspaper that Jones "demonstrated a lack of sensitivity" and questioned what would happen if he told a "black joke" before a crowd of African Americans.

What does bother me is the attempt by the Obama administration to cover up Jones’ innocuous gaffe. The joke was omitted from the official White House-provided transcript of the speech. On Monday, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said nobody was trying to cover up what Jones did. "It was obviously an on-camera speech. There was no attempt to deceive." Come on Gibbs, stop trying to shit the troops!

In police work we know only too well that the consequences of covering up an act are almost always worse than the consequences of the act itself. It’s a valuable lesson that has obviously escaped the White House.

1 comment:

Centurion said...

My, aren't we all so politically correct and sensitive...

The joke was funny. It should have been left in the transcript.