TEHRAN. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sought yesterday to calm U.S. critics of his nation, clarifying that chants of “Death to America!” that regularly greet his speeches refer not to the United States of America, but to America, a “soft rock” trio whose biggest hit was “Horse With No Name.”
Khamenei: “Also death to ‘Bread’ and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.”
“‘America’ is the scourge of album-oriented radio,” the Ayatollah told students at Tehran State Agricultural & Terrorism College, who must subsist on used copies of American 8-track tapes and long-playing records for entertainment in their dorm rooms. “Gimme some tasty Jimmy Page riffs or give me Megadeath!”
America–the hit machine, not the constitutional democracy.
The U.S. recently agreed to lift international sanctions against Iran as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but Iran promptly violated the deal by test-firing a ballistic missile with a 1,000 mile range after Khamenei criticized the “prolonged and boring negotiations” that produced it. “I’ve got better things to do than sit around chin-wagging with John Kerry,” Khamenei said as he destroyed Israel while playing World of Warcraft with fellow supreme leaders around the Mideast. “And if he thinks I’m going to roll over and let him scratch my tummy for a James Taylor concert like the French, he’s softer than a Carole King song.”
“Come Nora–we’re off to Panama!”
The U.S. has used “soft rock” diplomacy to avoid shooting conflicts going back to the first administration of Theodore Roosevelt, when the 26th President sent popular songstress Nora Bayes to Panama in support of his pet project, an isthmus-crossing canal that Jimmy Carter would subsequently give back when he found it unsuitable for use as a water slide. Her tepid crooning of “Shine On, Harvest Moon” was later identified as the cause of “yellow fever” which killed hundreds of thousands before it was removed from a Victrola and replaced with Fats Waller’s “Your Feet’s Too Big.”
Students in attendance for the Ayatollah’s speech received his new spin on the old slogan with excitement. “Death to America–I like it even better now,” said Student Government Supreme Leader Jahlali Khalkhali. “It’s got a good beat, you can dance to it.”