WATCH: 'Egypt's Jon Stewart' and the Real Stewart Come Up With a Plan to Fix the Middle East

Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef on what the U.S. should do to help in the Middle East: 'How about nothing!'

Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef on the 'Daily Show' with Jon Stewart, February 9th, 2015.
Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef on the 'Daily Show' with Jon Stewart, February 9th, 2015.Credit: Screen grab


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Jon Stewart: Now that we know everything we hold dear in this world is a lie, especially about the middle east, it makes you wonder. What is going on over there? Here to help us make sense of it, Egypt's foremost political satirist, former host of a now-banned TV program, Bassem Youssef. Right now, the middle east is spiraling out of control, what should America do about this?

Bassem Youssef: How about nothing?

Stewart: OK, we haven't tried that one yet.

Youssef: Yes, how do you think our region got this way in the first place? For decades America propped up a who's-who of military theocratic dictators. They gave you what you wanted: oil, airfields, oil, security arrangements, oil. And let's not forget a few torture black sites and in return, the dictators got someone their people could hate instead of them. When the garbage doesn't get picked up for a week, who do you think people blame?

Stewart: The sanitation department?

Youssef: Exactly, we blame America. So you see, everybody gets what they want. It is a win-win! Not for the people. For them, it is a lose-lose and then no garbage pickup lose.

The people? You don't want them choosing their own government. What if they elect someone America doesn't want? If you had a friend who was a manager at Best Buy, but he is always a total asshole, would you want him fired?

Stewart: I mean, if I would lose my friends and family discount-- ohhh. Oh I see, the next guy might make us pay retail. That's ok, if the people choose the wrong government, we'll help them get it right. Some boots on the ground, some advisers.

Youssef: Are you listening to yourself? Let it go! Seriously, you can't let it go. America is like a dog with a hot spot on its butt called the middle east. You think you have to keep licking it, but you are just making it worse...

[Youssef produces a plastic cone collar for dogs.]

Stewart: Are you saying? Oh no not the cone!

Youssef: America needs the cone, yes!

Stewart: Wait a minute, you're doing it too, you are blaming America! You're pretending that we are responsible for all the middle east problems. That spot on our butt was festering long before we licked it.

Youssef: Gross.

Stewart: You see, blaming the dog! The metaphor was yours. Look, America didn't create all the corruption that cripples the middle east. We didn't establish the entire patriarchy or the medieval justice systems. It was all fucked up before we even got there.

Youssef: Let it go.

Stewart: I'll ask you one more time, what should America do?

Youssef: We want you to fuck off and leave us alone.

Stewart: Done.

Youssef: But not right away. We could still use the aid money, and a few weapons, and some investments, what I'm saying is if you could fuck gradually off, that would be better for everybody.

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