you’ve spun yourself into immorality when…

i understand the need to put your best foot forward in politics. it doesn’t make sense to lose an argument, simply because the wrong words were chosen, or because the wrong argument was made at the wrong time. thats reasonable, and those are valid roles for media experts. but… this…?!?

…the reason the United States has been so slow in evacuating its citizens from Lebanon is that the public diplomacy (i.e., P.R.) issues raised by evacuating under Israeli assault are so complicated. Individuals within the State Department, I am told, have been reluctant to create an impression that the Israeli assault on Lebanon is as bad as it is or that civilian U.S. citizens are being threatened by U.S. ally Israel. If a conflict this severe had broken out in, say, Indonesia, the American embassy would have been shut down the next day and its personnel and families rapidly brought to safety. That’s how things normally work. (See Laura Rozen on the evacuation from Albania here.) In this case, however, the diplomatic message sent by shutting down the U.S. embassy in the face of Israeli bombing would have contradicted the U.S. government message of support for the Israeli mission against Hezbollah terrorists, which, when added to the general concern within lower-level diplomatic circles about ever creating a Fall of Saigon-style visual for the news media, have led the Americans to be slower than they could have been about getting U.S. citizens out of harm’s way.

if this thought has even crossed the minds of those in power, i’d say we have a real crisis in goverment. there is, of course, a chance that this is katrina-style failure. which is equally disturbing in my mind. either way, can someone in the media/congress look into this, its kinda important. (and a friend from college is there…)[whee – reading the comments from above, someone cites the Lavon Affair. since when did reality become a Tom Clancy novel / episode of 24? (the comment also cites the USS Liberty Incident, but i can’t make sense of that one.)]
[via shakespeare’s sister]

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