City of Brass

City of Brass

Obama on Letterman: Remarkable.

I rarely catch late night television, so it was a bit of a surprise to me that President Obama was on Dave Letterman’s show last night. I much prefer the Letterman format of keeping a guest around instead of shooing them away after a couple of segments, though maybe that’s the norm for Letterman too and Obama was the exception. It was a really good appearance, with some truly funny moments (the highlight being the heart-shaped potato), personal ones (Obama talking in depth about the struggle for normality for his daughters), and policy issues – Obama essentially summed up his rationale and policy objectives for the economic crisis, health care reform, and Afghanistan in the space of thirty minutes. All between commercial breaks.


There’s no transcript yet that I can see but I wanted to note that Obama made a special effort to assert that he would not send more troops to Afghaistan unless there was a compelling argument for how the additional manpower would be used for success. Like social problems, military ones can’t always be solved by simply throwing more resources at them (a lesson learnt well in Vietnam). Given my post yesterday I am really much more soothed that Obama will indeed assert his command and not be pressured by the military to send more troops. I’m not against more troops per se, but I am against sending them on an ill-defined mission and without any real strategy for success. Obama spoke clearly to that responsibility, mentioning that he has to write a letter to parents of soldiers who don’t come back, and wants to be able to tell the families that their children’s sacrifice was worth something.


All in all, I think Obama achieved more in terms of explaining his policies than he ever did during his televised formal addresses to the nation. Though it helped, as Leterman pointed out in monologue, that all Republican Congressmen has been removed from the building prior to Obama’s arrival :)

Also, I do expect we will see that heart-shaped potato in the Smithsonian. Obama, you promised.

Here’s the full video from of the Obama episode.

  • Henrietta22

    Since President Obama has stated he will have to see that sending more troops will stand for sucess in Afghanistan, I think it won’t be long before our troops will be reorganized and mostly come home. Other men in the know say it would take 30 or 40 yrs. for A. problems to be solved. There are other ways to go about this whole delimma. They say it can’t be won as it is going. Anyway Al-Quaida isn’t in A., they are in Pakistan.

Previous Posts

why don't they condemn?
Ever since 9-11, and well before it, this is the litany of accusation that ordinary Muslim Americans have had to endure: Muslims do not condemn - there is no million Muslim march against terrorism. Islam is an inherently violent ...

posted 1:47:45pm Oct. 02, 2015 | read full post »

a Republican, Muslim Mayor of St Louis?
Umar Lee is many things - a native ...

posted 1:09:57am Sep. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Abrahamic Convergence - inspiration, forgiveness, and tragedy
This week is a truly portentous one for Muslims, Jews, and Catholics. In one week, we have Yom Kippur, the Day of Arafat and Eid ul Adha, and Pope Francis' first visit to the United States. I like the term "Abrahamic Convergence" for this sort ...

posted 3:08:38pm Sep. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Anticipating Ashara: Reflections on Grief and the Remembrance of Imam Husain SA
This is a guest post by Durriya Badani. "Ek Husain na gam si va, koi gam na dikhave." ("May you know no other grief than the grief of Husain.") An exquisitely simple, yet deeply profound prayer for mumineen by Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin ...

posted 4:48:04pm Sep. 10, 2015 | read full post »

the 12th Annual Brass Crescent Awards - nominations open
It's that time of the year again! What are the Brass Crescent Awards? Created in 2004 by Shahed Amanullah and Aziz Poonawalla, they are named for the Story of the City of Brass in the Thousand and One Nights. Today, the Brass Crescent - ...

posted 5:13:45pm Aug. 21, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.