On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama addressed a crowd gathered in Washington DC for the 50th anniversary commemoration of the civil rights rally at which Martin Luther King Jr made his famous 'I Have A Dream' speech.
No fewer than three UK editorial cartoonists used this event as the basis for a cartoon on the Syrian crisis. The above cartoon is by Dave Brown from The Independent.
Obama starts to quote the 'I have a dream' line, but changes it to 'nightmare' when he spots what looks like the ghost of Osama bin Laden giving the thumbs up on the right, meaning that he approves Obama's plan to bomb Syria.
Obama would like to bomb Syria in retaliation for the chemical attacks allegedly carried out by the Assad regime, but in doing so he might be helping the al-Qaeda elements fighting on the side of the Syrian rebels. That is his (and many other people's) nightmare.
A nightmare is a dream that is very frightening or unpleasant, and metaphorically, an experience that is very frightening and unpleasant, or very difficult to deal with. • The trip turned into a nightmare when they both got sick. A common journalistic phrase is nightmare scenario, i.e., the worst thing that could happen. • Extremism in Syria is President Obama's nightmare scenario.
• Al Qaeda's potent force in Syria (CNN)
• Syria and al-Qaeda: the enemy of our enemy could turn out to be our most dangerous enemy of all (Daily Telegraph)
• How U.S. Strikes on Syria Help al Qaeda (The Daily Beast)