The fifth season of Showtime’s spy thriller Homeland premiered last Sunday night. Once President Obama’s favorite TV show, this episode is downright contemptuous of U.S. — read Obama’s — foreign policy as regards the Middle East and Syria in particular. For someone who refuses to utter the words “Radical Islam,” Homeland is highly unlikely to be Must See TV.
The scene that would have tipped Obama’s Palace Guard to suggest he join Michelle and the girls for an episode of Modern Family rather than watch the new Homeland involves the character Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend).
The hardened yet haunted CIA black-ops specialist is summoned before a conference table full of Intelligence brass to explain what he’s been up to in Syria the past two years. Quinn describes al-Raqqa province and U.S. airstrikes targeting Assad, ultimately aiming for al-Nusra and Islamic State… at which point, were he watching from his nice white house, the leader of the free world would probably feel the need to get up for a bowl of hot popcorn.
… Especially because things get worse as the questioning of Quinn unfolds:
‘You said a program should be renewed. I’m asking, is our strategy working?’
‘What strategy?’ counters Quinn. The questioner is taken aback.
‘Tell me what the strategy is, I’ll tell you if it’s working,’ Quinn fires at the group. Everyone exchanges glances during a long, embarrassing silence.
‘See, that right there is the problem, because they — they have a strategy,’ says Quinn. (And you can take that back to the President.)
Quinn proceeds to describe the gathering of tens of thousands of jihadis to prepare for the “End Times.” Cleaning their weapons. Performing beheadings and crucifixions, reviving slavery. “Do you think they make this shit up?” Quinn asks the group.
It’s all in the book. Their f***ing book. They read it all the time, they never stop. They’re there for one reason and one reason only: to die for the caliphate and usher in a world without infidels. That’s their strategy, and it’s been that way since the 7th century.
And Barack Obama surely wouldn’t like to hear the likes of this — Quinn’s reply when asked, “Well, then. What would you do?”
Quinn answers that he’d send 200,000 American ground troops and a contingent of doctors and elementary school teachers to the region. When informed that would never happen (would it, Mr. President?), the CIA warrior delivers his coup de grâce: “I’d hit reset… Pound Raqqa into a parking lot.”