RT: Happy Birthday, @Raisuli, It Would be Great if You Released @Perdicaris!


I’ve been working on an article all week about Turkey’s bafflingly supine diplomatic position toward Iran. Now I read this.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s spokesman sent a birthday greeting to the president of Iran, who turned 54 this week.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley urged Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to send American hikers Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer home.

In a tweet sent Thursday on Ahmadinejad’s birthday, Crowley said, “What a gift that would be.”

Let me get this straight. Our Secretary of State has wished the president of a regime that kidnapped American citizens a happy birthday, asked him nicely to give them back, and thinks Twitter is the appropriate medium for this communication? Could this all be true?

I can’t believe I’ve been working all week on a piece arguing that Turkey doesn’t seem to grasp what it’s dealing with.

There are 14 comments.

  1. Inactive

    This is just disgusting. I love Twitter, but as a mechanism to conduct foreign policy?

    If I thought this administration had any sense of shame, I’d say they should be ashamed of themselves.

    And don’t even get me started on the birthday greeting.

    • #1
    • October 29, 2010 at 10:04 am
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  2. Member

    Now we know who put the Twit in Twitter.

    • #2
    • October 29, 2010 at 10:22 am
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  3. Inactive

    “It’s a strange, strange world we live in, Master Jack”…

    • #3
    • October 29, 2010 at 10:51 am
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  4. Member

    Don’t blame the Turks — maybe they just didn’t get the Tweet!

    • #4
    • October 29, 2010 at 11:10 am
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  5. Inactive
    • #5
    • October 29, 2010 at 11:19 am
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  6. Inactive


    So is UNESCO throwing a bone to Turkey , massaging it’s ego by throwing the stone for it ? And our State dept has piled on. Gosh it’s embarrassing to be one of the usual suspects at the UN with this new administration as it airkisses bloody despots, winks at child soldiers, and jilts Sikhs round the world. Argh.

    • #6
    • October 29, 2010 at 11:43 am
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  7. Inactive

    I guess after the “reset button” gaffe with Medvedev (something Condi would not have done–it would be nice to have a SecState who knows more than just English again), she opted for something simpler and less personable.

    • #7
    • October 30, 2010 at 1:34 am
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  8. Member

    I wonder if, apart from the sausage-making that must go into trade agreements, all diplomacy is animated by wishful thinking. It must be, one way or another, supplication. Before going to war, let’s at least ASK ’em if they’ll just GIVE us what we want! I don’t think it’s just Hillary Clinton who believes that interpolating the word “nicely” in that last statement is what separates major-league diplomacy from Triple-A diplomacy.

    I speak with all the confidence of one who has in his life met socially just one diplomat. Retired; once an American Consul in Ecuador; he’d loved the work; now that I think of it, it was he who took the picture on the right. He seemed a pro, without flair or just plain careful. Just two years later, I’d meet other diplomats, not socially but as interviewers; they flunked me, rightly; but they also urged me, pathetically, to read more Time and Newsweek. My own take on diplomacy is: you have to have something to be diplomatic about. You have to have something the other guy wants or fears.

    Well? Do we?

    • #8
    • October 30, 2010 at 1:51 am
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  9. Member

    I think the Tweets (there were 2 of them, as far as I know) were sarcastic and not earnest. PJ Crowley (I think) wasn’t actually wishing Ahmad a happy birthday, he was using that event as a means of pressing the issue of the captive Americans. At least that’s how they sounded to me.

    Having said that, the idea of Tweeting it just further cements the notion that this administration is so in over their heads and so clueless about what it takes to lead this great country, and so unserious and amateurish about the world.

    When will adults be in charge again?

    • #9
    • October 30, 2010 at 2:04 am
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  10. Member

    My favorite new-media political moment came a few months back when Hugo Chavez urged people to go after currency speculators, thusly:

    “My Twitter account is open for you to denounce them.”

    Stalin would have been proud.

    • #10
    • October 30, 2010 at 3:21 am
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  11. Inactive

    thank you mismocabeza-adt When will the adults be in charge ? h/t Ledeen = Faster please !

    • #11
    • October 30, 2010 at 5:30 am
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  12. Inactive

    it’s called Smart Diplomacy Claire.

    • #12
    • October 30, 2010 at 6:38 am
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  13. Inactive

    Happy B-Day, Ajad! Another year, huh? I know it’s got to be tough that some call you a vicious, lying, apocalyptic whackjob but hey, who among us is perfect?

    In the spirit of Oriental-Occidental (oops, East-West that is) relations we’d really appreciate it if you’d stop holding American tourists during elections. It freaks out the rubes.

    Thanks in advance,


    • #13
    • October 30, 2010 at 7:08 am
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  14. Member

    As someone said here a week or two ago, you know times are bad when reality is indistinguishable from satire.

    • #14
    • October 30, 2010 at 12:53 pm
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