Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Continuing to Mock . . .

In the spirit of making fun of our government, all elected officials, and especially the State Department, I offer this video from The Onion. Enjoy.

Nation Of Andorra Not In Africa, Shocked U.S. State Dept. Reports


Ryan said...

I love how it was all Andorra's fault. They know where they are they should have told us. Genius!

Charles North said...

Let's not forget that after the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, the State Department said that they were caught completely by surprise because they no longer thought that religion played a significant role in global politics! What???

Mark said...

Just as a point of clarification... The US does know where Andorra is. Check out the CIA World Factbook. It's there and it's not in Africa.


Concerning Iran, don't forget that was the State Department under Jimmy Carter. By the way, what's your source for the "completely by suprise" comment?

It is too easy for us to be uber-critical of policy decisions of the past. But I wonder, given the same facts, situations, and information as the leadership had then, what decision would we have made?

Should we have kept the Shaw in power? What about the civil rights violations in Iran at that time? What about the USSR and their role? What about the importance of oil to our economy at that time?

Ryan said...

Three things Mark...

1) The Andorra thing is satire.
2) It's the Shah of Iran
3) Don't mention human rights violations at all. We're not terribly concerned about those unless we have an axe to grind (see Iraq). We ignore China's HR violations because the buy tens of billions of dollars of US goods and services each year and Zimbabwe's HR violations because they have nothing we want.

Mark said...

1. Yes Ryan, I got the satire! That's what the Onion does. No solutions... no positive dialogue... no real commentary... just satire.

2. My bad on the spelling. Thanks for pointing that out! (In case you're wondering, that's sarcasm, not satire.)

3. You'll never hear me dispute our inconsistency. The point that I was driving is just how complex policy decisions like the one made about Iran in the late 70s are.

Charles North said...

This is fun - I should post hard satire more often! I understand that the late 70's were a very different time, and Jimmy Carter was probably the absolute worst president we have ever had. George Bush is the second worst - and for the same reason. They both effectively handed two of the oil-richest nations in the middle east to Shi'ite luntics who are now cozying up to each other in what looks like a renewed "greater Persia." Of course we should have left the Shah in power! I wish our biggest problem was not knowing where Andorra is!

My source on the state department being caught by surprise in 1979 is a book by Mark Juergensmeyer called "The New Cold War: Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular State" published in 1993.

Ryan said...

I posted my comment at the end of a long day. I didn't mean it to be as biting as it came across.

I just think that our government's understanding of other countries is very limited. We involve ourselves in the Middle East without any understanding of ethnic,tribal of nationalistic issues.

Mark said...

Charles... that race for 1st and 2nd just might be a photo finish!

Ryan... it's all in the spirit of political debate. Sometimes ruffling feathers forces people to really think about their positions. No harm, no foul.

I don't think we're completely ignorant in our approach. Believe me, the data gets briefed. However, I think we tend to let special interest and ideology blind us to the truth that is in front of our eyes. (I think I could draw a religious parallel here...)

Anyway, Happy Birthday to the USA.

Ryan said...

Amen. Happy 232nd Birthday America!

Charles North said...

Amid all the harsh criticism, I think it is somewhat of a compliment to say that America has so much pure ideology that we are a little naive about the power we have in the world. We just need that power in the hands of the right people. I don't believe Bush is a bad man - I just think he may have had too much of that ideological naivety to be an effective president.