Archive for Foreign Policy

Snap Quiz

Quick question: who’s the US Ambassador to Egypt?

Wait, wait, don’t tell me…oh, I know this! Dude with the glasses and the gray suit. Gave heap big wampum (as Elizabeth Warren would say) to the Obama campaign.

Sigh. Okay, I give up. Tell me.

NOT FAIR!

This absence of a US ambassador in Cairo for the last eight months could be for several reasons. First, it could be strong evidence of tension between the two countries and hesitation by the US administration on what it should do about developments in Egypt. Second, it could confirm the reliance on defence relations as the basis of bilateral relations; there have been more than 30 phone calls between US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and his former counterpart Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, or one call every six days.

Third, it could be Washington’s desire not to be directly present inside Egypt, especially after the bad experience of Ambassador Anne Patterson that ended with her returning home in August to become US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs.

Oh yeah. Seems we read about it at the time:

Patterson was heavily criticised last summer before and after protests following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi. Some Egyptian newspapers printed headlines describing her as “Ambassador from Hell” and “The US High Commissioner to Egypt” along with “Shameless Patterson” and “White Beetle Patterson” and dozens of other inappropriate headlines. Thus, some people believe that senior US diplomats are hesitant to serve in Cairo right now.

That pitch!

Buncha sexist bastards, the Egyptians.

But why the hostility?

I am honored to be in the timeless city of Cairo, and to be hosted by two remarkable institutions. For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning; and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt’s advancement. And together, you represent the harmony between tradition and progress. I’m grateful for your hospitality, and the hospitality of the people of Egypt. And I’m also proud to carry with me the goodwill of the American people, and a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: Assalaamu alaykum. (Applause.)

They’re not applauding anymore.

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Kung Fool

Some say President Obama has been beaten up for his lunch money by Vladimir Putin. We reject that charge.

Beating him up for his lunch money is what China is doing:

China is waging political warfare against the United States as part of a strategy to drive the U.S. military out of Asia and control seas near its coasts, according to a Pentagon-sponsored study.

A defense contractor report produced for the Office of Net Assessment, the Pentagon’s think tank on future warfare, describes in detail China’s “Three Warfares” as psychological, media, and legal operations. They represent an asymmetric “military technology” that is a surrogate for conflict involving nuclear and conventional weapons.

The unclassified 566-page report warns that the U.S. government and the military lack effective tools for countering the non-kinetic warfare methods, and notes that U.S. military academies do not teach future military leaders about the Chinese use of unconventional warfare. It urges greater efforts to understand the threat and adopt steps to counter it.

“The Three Warfares is a dynamic three dimensional war-fighting process that constitutes war by other means,” said Cambridge University professor Stefan Halper, who directed the study. “It is China’s weapon of choice in the South China Sea.”

The study concludes that in the decade ahead China will employ unconventional warfare techniques on issues ranging from the Senkaku Islands dispute in northeast Asia to the disputed Paracels in the South China Sea.

For the United States, the Three Warfares seek to curtail U.S. power projection in Asia that is needed to support allies, such as Japan and South Korea, and to assure freedom of navigation by attempting to set terms for allowing U.S. access to the region.

The use of psychological, media, and legal attacks by China is part of an effort to raise “doubts about the legitimacy of the U.S. presence.”

Let us amend our assertion that China is beating up Obama for his lunch money. He’s handing it over of his own free will, saying they deserve it more than he does. Besides, China is just a “regional power”, acting “out of weakness”.

If this were a good world in which everyone could be trusted, there might be no need for the US to project its strength around the globe, But his is a world with China, Russia, Iran, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, etc. in it. There are consequences for weakness, perceived or real, but unless the Russians lob a nuke onto the 17 green at Andrews Air Base, Obama will never have to face them.

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The “U-Word”

Not eunuch, though that fits very well.

“Unfortunate”:

“The (Russian) President (Vladimir Putin) may have his version of history, but I believe that he and Russia, for what they have done, are on the wrong side of history,” Kerry said during a function at the State Department on Tuesday.

“I must say I was really struck and somewhat surprised and even disappointed by the interpretations in the facts as they were articulated by the President,” Kerry said soon after Putin’s speech in Moscow.

“But the President has made it clear that if there is this move to the full annexation, which appears to be clearly the direction that they have decided to move, it will be unfortunate

Surprised, disappointed, unfortunate—these words must surely describe what most Americans think of how far we’ve fallen in the world’s estimation. In the last five years alone.

On the positive side, this should help with illegal immigration. Who would want to join a team of such hapless losers? Head for China and Russia, my Guatemalan amigos. I’m sure there are jobs that need to be done that Crimeans just won’t do.

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Flay of Fish

This is such a complete vivisection of President Obama’s shortcomings, I almost feel sorry for him.

Not even close, actually. Enjoy!

In case you’re wondering why I’m writing about this—well, I am too. A Malaysian jetliner has vanished into thin air, while Russia has completed its seizure of Crimea and may yet invade other parts of Ukraine. Serious stuff, you might say. But the big story of last week as far as the president is concerned is his appearance alongside the star of “The Hangover” movies, the guy who last year smoked a joint live on the Bill Maher show.

Incidentally, I quote these lines from the Us Weekly report of the Seacrest interview. Us magazine is where I go for my political news these days. The online article also had a link to a photo gallery of Mr. Obama hanging out with various celebrities, like Justin Bieber. “What’s up, my dude!” the Canadian teen star says to the president of the United States. “What’s up, Biebs!” the president of the United States answers back.

Just the other day, he was photographed standing by his Oval Office desk, casually dressed in jeans, speaking to Vladimir Putin on the phone. The president had been savaged by Sarah Palin “as one who wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates.”

Retorted Mr. Obama: “The truth is, generally I look very sharp in jeans.” The sole exception, he added, “was one episode like four years ago in which I was wearing some loose jeans, mainly because I was out on the pitcher’s mound and I didn’t want to feel confined while I was pitching.”

Even now the unanswered question about Mr. Obama’s personality is whether his insouciance is a mask for ideology, ignorance, or simple indifference. When the president goes before the cameras to announce tough sanctions, and the sanctions are not only not tough but laughably weak, what’s going through his head?

Should he be wearing loose jeans more often so he can feel less confined geopolitically?

Alternatively, the president might consider rearranging his work schedule. Last year came the news that Mr. Obama was unaware of the problems plaguing his health-care website until after its rollout and that he never once had a private meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius between July 2010 and November 2013. How does something like that happen?

A cavalier foreign policy by an inattentive president that elicits the contempt of the people it intends to punish ultimately encourages their aggression as well.

The less obvious: We need a fat president. Or at least one who rarely thinks and never speaks about how he looks in jeans. And one who doesn’t spend his day testing his wits against a Hollywood stoner or bantering with Ryan Seacrest while a European ally is being pummeled by Russia. And one who would rather spend his time working than working out, even if it means putting on a few pounds. And one who can pitch from the mound and reach home plate. However confined.

Clap-clap-clap.

I’m giving this a standing ovation as I write.

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The Definition Of Insanity Is Doing The Same Thing Over And Over Again, Expecting A Different Outcome

PS – To brag a little here – notice how many pundits are now calling Barack Obama Jimmy Carter? Yesterday the NY Post. Today the Wall Street Journal. I just want to point out that we at BTL told you, repeatedly, beginning in 2008, that Barack Obama was another Jimmy Carter. The public is dumber today than in 1980, when they elected Reagan to replace the failed Jimmy Carter. We are going to elect Hillary Clinton, I think.

- Aggie

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Callow Doofus

He’s not as witty as Mark Steyn or James Taranto, but Victor Davis Hanson can be just as withering with his critiques:

Obama, as is his wont, always had mellifluous and sophistic arguments for why we had to take every soldier out of Iraq after the successful surge; why we needed to drop missile defense with the Poles and Czechs; why we needed both a surge and simultaneous deadline to end the surge in Afghanistan; why we first issued serial deadlines to Iran to ask them to please stop proliferation, then just quit the sanctions altogether just as they started to work; why we needed to “lead from behind” in Libya; why the Muslim Brotherhood was largely secular and legitimate and then later not so much so; why we issued redlines and bragged about Putin’s “help” to eliminate WMD in Syria, and were going to bomb and then not bomb and then maybe bomb; why we kept pressuring Israel; why we cozied up to an increasingly dictatorial Turkey; why we reached out to Cuba and Venezuela; and why we sometimes embarrassed old allies like Britain, Canada, and Israel.

Amid both the deeds and the facts came the serial $1 trillion annual deficits, the surge in borrowing for redistributionist payouts, the monetary expansion and zero-interest rates, and finally the vast cuts in the military budget, all of which fleshed out the caricature of a newly isolationist and self-indulgent America, eager to talk, bluster, or threaten its way out of its traditional postwar leadership role.

Again, each incident in and of itself was of little import. None were the stuff of crises. But incrementally all these tiny tesserae began forming a mosaic, fairly or not, of the Obama administration as either weak or clueless or perhaps both.

It was kinda funny that Putin bit off Crimea only days after the Obama regime announced plans to cut the army down to pre-WWII levels.

Accordingly, Mr. Putin, in empirical fashion, after factoring in the rhetoric and the facts, has decided that it is time, in the fashion of 1979–80, to move with probable impunity. Others are, of course, watching what Obama derides as Cold War chess games. Should Iran now go full bore on its nuclear program? Should China test Japanese waters and airspace a bit more aggressively? Should North Korea try to gain new concessions from its nuclear lunacy? Should the failed Communists of Latin America try forcibly exporting their miseries to neighbors? And all are operating on the shared assumption that the American reaction will be another “outrageous,” “unacceptable,” “don’t cross this line,” or another solemn Kerry lecture about the existential threats of global warming.

For some, like the now furrow-browed Europeans who once giddily lapped up the Victory Column pabulum, there is irony. For the Baltic states, Georgians, the Persian Gulf sheikdoms, the Japanese, the Taiwanese, and the South Koreans, there is increased anxiety about regional strains of Putanism spreading to their own backyards. And among our allies such as the British, Israelis, Canadians, and Australians, there is still polite bewilderment.

This will probably end in either two ways : Either Barack Obama will have his 1980 Jimmy Carter revelatory moment as something like an “Obama Doctrine,” or we could see some pretty scary things in the next three years as regional thugs cash in their chips and begin readjusting the map in their areas of would-be influence.

As has been noted before, Obama’s inherent pusillanimity has made for some interesting alliances (see Israel and Saudi Arabia). Can’t wait to see that Georgian-Japanese-Canadian mutual security pact. While America works on healthcare.gov.

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And Here’s The Sanity Side

Obama is an embarrassment

The writer points out that even Jimmy Carter wasn’t this bad.

Leaders of other countries don’t respect President Barack Obama, said 53 percent of respondents in Gallup’s annual World Affairs poll, conducted Feb. 3-6. That only 53 percent of Americans think this is an indictment of the news media’s coverage of foreign affairs.

He would lead the world by “deed and example,” not try to “bully it into submission,” Sen. Barack Obama wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine in 2007.

In a major foreign policy speech in 2008, Mr. Obama said he would focus on “ending the war in Iraq responsibly; finishing the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban; securing all nuclear weapons and materials from terrorists and rogue states; achieving true energy security; and rebuilding our alliances to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

The key elements of his foreign policy were to be a “reset” of relations with Russia, and outreach to Muslims.

To symbolize “reset,” when they met in Geneva, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with a red plastic button modeled on the “easy button” in the Staples ads.

“I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world,” Mr. Obama said in a much ballyhooed speech in Cairo in June, 2009.

No president has talked the talk so well, but walked the walk so badly.

Don’t you feel ashamed for him? He’s an adult. He believed this stuff.

And to quote our fearless leader, “Here’s what is true”:

The plastic button Ms. Clinton gave Mr. Lavrov was supposed to say “reset” in English and Russian. But “peregruzka” means “overcharged.” Relations went downhill from there.

To appease Russia, President Obama cancelled a ballistic missile defense treaty with Poland and the Czech Republic. But the more concessions he made, the more contempt with which he was treated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

His Russian policy has been a total failure. But it hasn’t backfired as much as has Mr. Obama’s “outreach” to Muslims:

• Iran is closer than ever to a nuclear weapon. Mr. Obama weakened economic sanctions as a gesture of goodwill, so now the mullahs have the money to finish the job.

• Saudi Arabia is so angered by Mr. Obama’s appeasement of Iran it refused a seat on the U.N. Security Council; so frightened by it the Saudis are talking quietly with the Israelis about joint military action.

• In what had been our foremost Arab ally, Egypt, the president’s dalliance with the Muslim Brotherhood has alienated both the military and the people.

• Mr. Obama waged war of dubious legality to oust Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, an evil, mean, nasty, rotten guy, but not, since 2005, a threat to the United States. (He gave up his nuclear weapons program because he was afraid what happened to Saddam Hussein might happen to him.)

In the chaotic aftermath, al-Qaida has established a stronghold there. An al-Qaida affiliate murdered U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

• Seventy percent of the 2,313 Americans killed in Afghanistan died after President Obama escalated the war. They died in vain. The Taliban is expected to take over when U.S. troops leave.

• The fighting in Iraq was over when Barack Obama took the oath of office. His inept diplomacy and premature withdrawal of all U.S. troops permitted an al-Qaida resurgence there.

• Worldwide, al-Qaida is as great a threat today as it was in 2001, the director of national intelligence told Congress last month.

• Peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians have gone nowhere, which is nothing new. But Barack Obama is the first U.S. president to lose the trust of both Israelis and Palestinians.

• More than 130,000 people have been killed in the civil war in Syria. President Obama threatened to intervene militarily on one side, then, after pressure from the Russians, in effect switched to the other, to the dismay of our European allies.

Isn’t that depressing?

Not even the hapless Jimmy Carter made so big a mess. Relations have soured even with Canada, which is tired of being jerked around on the Keystone pipeline.

It’s time the news media noticed.

It is way, way past time for the medial dolts to notice and to cover this. But they won’t. At this point, how can they? How embarrassing that they have allowed this to happen without coverage.

- Aggie

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Our Substitute-Teacher-In-Chief Pummeled With Lots Of Spitballs

Obama was elected on Hope-n-Change. Every now and then, it is instructive to see where he has lead us.

Let’s begin with his foreign policy. Obama has adopted the foreign policy of Neville Chamberlain, with similar results. The Arab Spring has turned into chaos in Egypt and Syria, with reports of approximately 140,000 deaths in Syria alone. We don’t have a grim milestone watch for Egypt or Libya. The press seems a bit bored. And it seems that Iran will soon be a nuclear power. That should help.

As Sarah Palin predicted, Russia has invaded Ukraine and Obama stands holding his limp you-know-what. (Ms. Palin didnt put it that way, I did.) At least Bill Clinton was capable of doing two things at once.

Oh and there are problems in Latin America too, it seems.

That’s all so dreary. Let’s turn to domestic matters. We now have a shiny new health care system that costs much more than predicted and delivers much less. But we love it just the same. It’s called ObamaCare.

And the economy continues to play CandyLand. Did you ever play CandyLand? Nothing ever happens and it goes on and on forever. I think that ObamaCare is somehow related to the performance of the economy, but who knows?

And what else is there? What am I missing here? Oh yeah. We hired a stoner, apparently, to be the President. He recently gave a talk in which he said that he “got high a lot” instead of doing school work, but that he got many, many chances to improve. This confirms what I suspected. Obama went to an elite private school in Hawaii, and from there to an ok school in California, Occidental College. People who work very hard at those elite private schools usually end up going to elite colleges. I’m not trying to be snotty here; that’s just a fact. Obama somehow then managed to go to Columbia and then to Harvard Law. The public has never seen his transcripts so we don’t know what his grades were in High School or what he studied at either Occidental or Columbia. But we can guess. Those of you who have kids in high school, or had them in high school, just imagine your son or daughter getting the ride this man has gotten. We elected him, fair and square. We deserve this because elections have consequences. But it is shocking to consider the power in the hands of such an incompetent.

- Aggie

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Hey Israel, Do You Mind?

Yes, Israel. Mind very much:

CBS News reports that Obama administration officials want an end to the targeted killings, believed by many to be the work of Mossad, in order to give diplomatic negotiations with Iran a chance to succeed.

The United States is reportedly pressuring Israel to stop assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists, a number of whom have been mysteriously killed in a campaign thought to be carried out by Mossad.

According to CBS News, Obama administration officials have communicated to Israeli intelligence their wish for a cessation of the targeting of scientists in order to allow diplomatic negotiations aimed at rolling back Iran’s nuclear program to take their course.

While Israel has never officially acknowledged that it was behind the killings, it is widely believed that Mossad agents carried out the hits in an effort to slow down Iran’s nuclear development as well as to deter the country’s top scientific minds from cooperating with the government’s clandestine weapons program.

If Israel is behind the mysterious spontaneous combustion of Iranian scientists (were they behind the the same epidemic of drummers in Spinal Tap?), why shouldn’t the Obama regime use that to its advantage? Why give it up before negotiations begin?

What this most arrogant of administrations termed “smart power” is really just stooge power. They have been played for saps by blowhards and dictators over and over for five years. One of these days, someone’s going to get hurt.

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The Next Foreign Policy Success Will Be Obama’s First

Syria a humanitarian nightmare; Egypt back to a military dictatorship (thank God); Iran as resistant and recalcitrant as ever: what’s a “transformational president” to do if the others won’t transform?

The recent positions by the White House officials on certain issues are “not acceptable,” said Mohammad Hassan Asafari, who sits on Iran’s Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, on Thursday.

“They should remember that Iran’s missile issues are not part of the negotiations in the Geneva agreement and are by no means negotiable; and the P5+1 [group] (the five parties to the nuclear talks with Iran) cannot launch such a scenario,” he said.

Earlier, Wendy Sherman, the US top nuclear negotiator at the talks with Iran, said during a Senate hearing last week that the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program would be addressed as part of a comprehensive nuclear deal.

However, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said on Sunday that Tehran had no intention of discussing its ballistic missile program with major powers.

“The subject of the talks with the P5+1 group is only the nuclear issue; and we will not discuss any other issues,” he said, adding that the country’s defense issues “are not negotiable and are our red line.”

“Red line” as it is commonly meant, non-negotiable, a deal breaker? Or “red line” as Obama means it, a policy as easily cast off as a dirty sock? Something tells me Iran means what it says it more than Obama ever did.

Thank goodness these fiascos don’t actually hurt anybody. Just good for a laugh, right Syria?

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Dipsomanic Immunity

A minor story, perhaps, given the chaos, mayhem, and catastrophe we have to cover, but no less enjoyable:

Recently, a colleague of mine from the Foreign Service told me about a former U.S. ambassador to Sweden who, some years ago, had passed out in the snow, too drunk to get up. He had been partying hard during an outing in the countryside. Fortunately, an embassy officer found him in time to save his life. America’s boozy man in Stockholm was a non-career political appointee—no surprise. The fellow who saved him was a professional diplomat. And the roles the two men played that night is emblematic of a familiar routine.

That was the thought I had earlier this week when word came that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had approved nominations of President Barack Obama’s latest batch of ambassadorial picks—including a couple of first-time diplomats whose cringeworthy performances during their testimony suggested they’ll need to rely heavily on their Foreign Service staff to keep from embarrassing the United States.

When hotel magnate George Tsunis, Obama’s nominee for Oslo, met with the Senate last month, he made clear that he didn’t know that Norway was a constitutional monarchy and wrongly stated that one of the ruling coalition political parties was a hate-spewing “fringe element.” Another of the president’s picks, Colleen Bell, who is headed to Budapest, could not answer questions about the United States’ strategic interests in Hungary. But could the president really expect that she’d be an expert on the region? Her previous gig was as a producer for the TV soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. She stumbled through responses to Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) like, well, a soap opera star, expounding on world peace. When the whole awkward exchange concluded, the senator grinned. “I have no more questions for this incredibly highly qualified group of nominees,” McCain said sarcastically.

For the purposes of comparison, Norway’s ambassador to the Washington is a 31-year Foreign Ministry veteran. Hungary’s ambassador is an economist who worked at the International Monetary Fund for 27 years.

Obama’s bundler’s and hacks are hardly the first of their kind to put on the striped pants and waistcoats of the diplomatic service. But they are clearly no better. It looks like his extended hand of friendship is expecting its palm to be greased.

The reason a hotelier and a television producer, for instance, might be appealing choices is blindingly obvious: money. Bell raised $2,101,635 for President Obama’s re-election efforts. Tsunis, who flipped his affiliation from Republican to Democrat in 2009, embraced his new party with gusto, raising $988,550 for the president’s 2012 bid.

Among the ambassadors serving in 10 of the choicest cities in Europe and the Caribbean, the average amount raised per posting in the last election was $1.79 million, according to the Guardian newspaper. And the cost for a plush post in a city like Rome, Paris, Stockholm or Canberra seems to be going up. The Guardian reported that appointees to these embassies raised a total of $5 million in 2012, up from $3.3 million in 2008, $1.3 million in 2004 and $800,000 in 2000.

We were expecting so much more from Obama—at least for the Paris posting. He’s selling himself cheap.

Another champ:

And then there’s the recent case of Cynthia Stroum, Obama’s pick to serve in Luxembourg—a Rhode Island-sized NATO ally that has always been a convenient spot to stick political friends and donors. Over the years, real estate moguls, socialites and car salesmen have all washed up in the Ardennes. Stroum, a wealthy Seattle investor, was dispatched there in 2009 after raising half a million bucks to put Obama in the White House (or, $1 for every citizen of Luxembourg). She abruptly resigned in early 2011 after a blistering report from the State Department’s inspector general noted that her embassy “has underperformed for the entirety of the current ambassador’s tenure.” The ambassador’s managerial style, the report claimed, engendered personality conflicts and the embassy was fraught with verbal abuse and questionable expenditures on travel and booze. “At present, due to internal problems, [the embassy] plays no significant role in policy advocacy or reporting,” the report noted, “though developments in Luxembourg are certainly of interest to Washington clients and other U.S. missions in the NATO and EU communities.” So terrorized was Stroum’s small staff that the inspector general recommended the State Department dispatch medical personnel to examine the stress levels of embassy employees. It noted at least four quit or sought transfers to jobs in Iraq and Afghanistan during her tenure, rare moves for diplomats ensconced in cushy European postings.

Let’s keep it real: developments in Luxembourg are barely of interest to Luxembourgers; of none to anyone else in the entire galaxy. But that our career diplomats sought refuge in Iraq and Afghanistan rather than work for the bundling bitch, Stroum, is very enlightening.

Why bring up this amusing but ancient history?

Because Obama is about to top—or bottom—himself:

Obama bundler and nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to Argentina Noah Mamet has never been to Argentina, he revealed at his confirmation hearing Thursday.

“I haven’t had the opportunity yet to be there,” he said. “I’ve traveled pretty extensively around the world, but I haven’t yet had a chance.”

Mamet bundled $500,000 for Obama and the Democratic Party, and he’s not the only friend of the administration to recently reveal little in-depth knowledge of his new country.

But he looks forward to starting a dialogue:

On Friday, a State Department spokesperson couldn’t answer whether Manet could speak Spanish. Asked, she answered, “I don’t have his personal biography in front of me.”

Isn’t this the same guy who said “[I]nstead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English, they’ll learn English, you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish.”

Do I care that Obama is sending rich fools to foreign hell-holes? I do not. Given its recent behavior, Argentina deserves a fatuous fop like whatshisname. I’d send Charlie Sheen to France if I were president (except that his behavior would be unremarkable over there). But can we remove the cardboard halo from above Obama’s head now? And replace it with a sign that says “ATM: Deposits Only”?

PS: Given who’s running things, I suppose we shouldn’t be upset at the tawdriness of the State Department.


That’s funny, you don’t look Luxembourgan.

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No Way to Treat a Lady

If you’re going to conduct a body cavity search, you should at least buy her dinner first:

An Indian diplomat said U.S. authorities subjected her to a strip search, cavity search and DNA swabbing following her arrest on visa charges in New York City, despite her “incessant assertions of immunity.”

Devyani Khobragade, India’s deputy consul general in New York, was arrested Thursday outside of her daughter’s Manhattan school on charges that she lied on a visa application about how much she paid her housekeeper, an Indian national.

Khobragade’s father, Ttam Khobragade, was outraged, saying Tuesday that his daughter had “not done anything to be treated like that. What was done was absolutely atrocious.”

The case has sparked widespread outrage in India and infuriated the New Delhi government, which revoked privileges for U.S. diplomats to protest the woman’s treatment. It has cast a pall over India-U.S. relations, which have cooled in recent years despite a 2008 nuclear deal that was hailed as a high point in the nations’ ties.

On Wednesday, dozens of people protested outside the U.S. Embassy, saying Khobragade’s treatment was an insult to all Indian women.

In an email published in India media on Wednesday, Khobragade said she was treated like a common criminal.

“I broke down many times as the indignities of repeated handcuffing, stripping and cavity searches, swabbing, in a holdup with common criminals and drug addicts were all being imposed upon me despite my incessant assertions of immunity,” she wrote.

An Indian official with direct knowledge of the case confirmed to The Associated Press that the email was authentic. The official, who spoke anonymously because of the sensitivity of the case, said India’s priority now is to get the woman returned home.

“India’s top demand right now is: Return our diplomat,” he said, adding that Khobragade, who was released on $250,000 bail, would have to report to police in New York every week.

Khobragade’s case has touched a nerve in India, where the fear of public humiliation resonates strongly and heavy-handed treatment by the police is normally reserved for the poor. For an educated, middle-class woman to face public arrest and a strip search is almost unimaginable, except in the most brutal crimes.

Prosecutors say Khobragade claimed on visa application documents she paid her Indian maid $4,500 per month, but that she actually paid her less than $3 per hour. Khobragade has pleaded not guilty and plans to challenge the arrest on grounds of diplomatic immunity.

Brennan reported that a major sticking point between the U.S. and India is whether Khobragade — a junior diplomat — should even be considered immune to prosecution.

Marie Harf, U.S. State Department deputy spokeswoman, said Khobragade does not have full diplomatic immunity. Instead, she has consular immunity from the jurisdiction of U.S. courts only with respect to acts performed in the exercise of consular functions.

You know what the media would have made of this had it happened under Bush. Dear God, the misogyny, insensitivity, the cruelty!

Interesting how our relationship with India has “cooled” since Obama took office. I guess they don’t see the aura:

That’s no way to treat a person of color.

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