Yesterday, President Barack Obama sent a message to the United States Senate declaring that a national emergency that began 14 years ago is still a national emergency. An “emergency” is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as:
1. an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action
2. an urgent need for assistance or relief
It must be pretty serious, this emergency, right? But then, if this emergency calls for immediate action to meet an urgent need, how can it have been going on for 14 years?
Below is President Obama’s message to the Senate about the national emergency. I’ve taken out the identifying information about this particular supposed national emergency in order to make a challenge for you: Can you, without peeking at the Congressional Record, tell me what this emergency is? If it’s a real national emergency, most people ought to know about it – right?
“The circumstances that led to the declaration on October 21, 1995, of a national emergency have not been resolved. The actions of significant _______ centered in _______ continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States and to cause an extreme level of violence, corruption, and harm in the United States and abroad. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to maintain economic pressure on significant _______ centered in ______ by blocking their property and interests in property that are in the United States or within the possession or control of United States persons and by depriving them of access to the U.S. market and financial system.”
What’s your guess?