Thursday, January 19, 2006

Condi Rice Is Sending Diplomats Out of Europe And Into Hellish Hot Spots


Courtesy of Greenwich Meantime.com
By Elaine Meinel Supkis

My parents cheerfully flew from hot spot to hot spot. They ate really nasty food and endured some tremendously tedious trips on backs of donkeys or old jeeps or broken DC-3s or walked. But the diplomatic corps in Europe. Ah. They love civilization so why not ship them all out to Liberia or Iraq?

From Reuters:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday she will start this year to shift some U.S. diplomats from Europe to countries such as India and Lebanon to help them strengthen their democracies.
Hahaha! India! My father once stopped a mob from burning down a consulate there by telling them my mother was ill and couldn't be evacuated. Another time, a mob overturned the train my parents were on so my father decided to go off and ask a farming family if he could camp out there until the government could rescue him. And then the meeting with the Chinese red army on the border of India forty years ago!

Or the time my mother was eating at a feast in Kashmir and a rat climbed into her lap. "Eeek!" she said.

The host smiled, "Isn't he friendly? He eats here all the time!"

And cows. Moving them out of the way. Ah. Unlike Paris. I do hear, they finally have started a pooper-scooper campaign.

I have so many stories from the good old days of diplomacy...Like when there was a sudden thunderstorm in Saudi Arabia and a zillion huge, black, fat cockroaches came pouring into my mother's bedroom, covering all the walls....

Anyway, my parents always unwound in Europe before heading home. Bathrooms and privacy. Taxis that aren't held together with bubblegum, actually, NYC sounds like a hardship post, too (inside joke).
In what she has termed "transformational diplomacy," Rice outlined initially modest plans to boost the U.S. presence in the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia in a realignment that recalled a similar, albeit larger, shift at the Pentagon.
Transformational! Sort of like when a cow is hit by a taxi and becomes hamburger sort of transformation? Just in time for bin Laden's next attack, we ship out all our people to where HE lives so they will be safe? Ahem.
The shift also coincides with a new emphasis that diplomats should have a higher profile abroad to sell America's image, including its democratic values, senior State Department officials, who asked not to be named, said.
Suicide missions aren't just a Japanese specialty, are they?

Kamikaze Diplomaze! Zooom. Like, you just hop into a taxicab and race across India to tell them how great America is, oops, you just hit a cow and it was the holiest holy cow in India and now every street vendor is running towards you swinging knives and clubs! What do you do?

Kamikaze Diplomaze leaps into the mob! Arrrrgh!

Angry Chinese pelting the embassy because we bombed them "accidentally" while chasing warlords in our pay? Kamikaze Diplomaze leaps out of the top story window and into the mob yelling, "It is OK to worship war criminals at the Yakizuni Shrine! Bonzai!" Yes, dealing with really enraged mobs will be great work for those desk bound effete diplomats stationed in Europe!

And of course, the ones who get to go to Afghanistan to be blown up like the Canadian diplomats this week....And there is lovely Iraq. Great. Suicidal diplomats will be clamouring to be stationed there, it will fulfill them unlike say, Berlin or London. Bah. Booooring.

I wonder how many will be sending out resumes tomorrow? Or slitting their wrists quietly in a hotel overlooking the Seine?
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