Thursday, December 04, 2008

Bad Burlesque At State

Classy:

A Russian warship will sail through the Panama Canal this week for the first time since World War II, the navy announced Wednesday, pushing ahead with a symbolic projection of Moscow's power in a traditional U.S. zone of influence.

The destroyer Admiral Chabanenko will arrive Friday at a former U.S. naval base in Panama's Pacific port of Balboa for a six-day visit after carrying out joint maneuvers with the Venezuelan navy in the Caribbean Sea, navy spokesman Capt. Igor Dygalo said in a telephone interview. ...

U.S. officials have mocked the Russian show of force, saying that the Russian navy is a shadow of Moscow's Soviet-era fleet and suggesting that the U.S. retains far more influence in the region than Russia.

"Are they accompanied by tugboats this time?" U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack joked to reporters in Washington last week ahead of the Russian ships' arrival off Venezuela.

A flip comment by a spokesman in the sunset days of a failed administration isn't worth getting too excited about. But this is the State Department, not Hardball. Is it too much to expect at least a facade of diplomacy and professionalism? In addition to the obvious background tension, there's also a very sensitive subject in Russia called the Kursk (and, more recently, the Nerpa). So yes, bring on the one-liners about the Russian navy. I wonder how long it would take Sean McCormack or Dana Perino to find a podium and a microphone if Sergei Lavrov or an underling started cracking jokes about the quality of protective armor on U.S. military vehicles in Iraq, the safety record of the Space Shuttle program, or the communication system used by cops and firefighters in New York City during emergencies.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, don't be so hard on them. If history has shown us anything, it's that humiliating a broken yet strong and nationalistic country is a good idea.

Hankest.

12/04/2008 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Kilfarsnar said...

"Is it too much to expect at least a facade of diplomacy and professionalism?"

Yes, yes it is.

12/04/2008 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The adults show up in January, right?

12/04/2008 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it too much to expect at least a facade of diplomacy and professionalism?

In any proper banana republic, it is customary that El Jefe and his lackeys always maintain an aura of obliviousness.
-- sglover

12/04/2008 7:16 PM  
Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

I wonder how long it would take Sean McCormack or Dana Perino to find a podium and a microphone if Sergei Lavrov or an underling started cracking jokes about the quality of protective armor on U.S. military vehicles in Iraq, the safety record of the Space Shuttle program, or the communication system used by cops and firefighters in New York City during emergencies.



I know the nickname for Perino is either Dana Peroxide or Pig Missle(Don't ask!!) Anyone have one for McCormack?

12/05/2008 12:37 AM  
Anonymous Kilfarsnar said...

Ok, Jimmy. I had to do it. I googled Pig Missile. The result was less salacious than I had hoped.

How the hell can the press secretary not know what the cuban missile crisis was?!? It makes my brain hurt! It seems I am the same age as Dana Perino. I was born after the Kennedy administration had come and gone. But I know what the Cuban missile crisis was! It's only, like, you know, one of the most important events in modern US history.

More and more I am amazed at what people do not know about history, civics, and whatever else. No wonder our public discourse is so stupid! So many people don't understand how our government is supposed to function, let alone how it actually functions. How can we have a working republic if people don't even know what happened 40 years ago?

Maybe I'm blowing this out of proportion. But I really think Ray Zalinsky was right in "Tommy Boy". "What the American public doesn't know is what makes them the American public."

12/05/2008 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The US ship is adrift, with nobody at the helm, and no one at the rudder, for the next 45 days in a channel full of treacherous rocks.

We'll be all right. What could go wrong?

12/06/2008 5:09 AM  
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