8 December 2011
(Number of words: )
The December 6, 2011, press statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is an insult to the Afghan people and to the estimated 60 Hazara Shia who were massacred in dual bombing attacks in Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif. Posted on the Internet web-site of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, the statement “strongly condemns” the attacks, finds them “deplorable” and vaguely extends “condolences” but then goes on to praise “the progress of the last 10 years” and ends with standard talking points about America’s vision for Afghanistan. This bland announcement contains the same stock phrases that have been used in dozens of previous press releasese. In addition it is inappropriate to use the massacres as a vehicle to restate U.S. policy and tout “progress” (which appears sorely lacking at this point in time).
The press statement also borders on being racist. In reviewing prior Embassy announcements regarding other incidents in Afghanistan, the State Department takes a different tone when Westerners are killed or Western interests attacked:
- In Secretary Clinton’s 2010, comments regarding the death of British aid worker Linda Norgrove, Secretary Clinton issued an emotional and personal statement describing the death as “tragic” and expressing her “deepest sympathy and condolence.” She described Ms. Norgrove as an”intrepid, young woman.”
- In the Embassy’s January 28, 2011, statement regarding the attack on foreign civilians at a Kabul supermarket, the Embassy stated that the “United States condemns in the strongest possible terms” the attack.
- In the Embassy’s August 6, 2011, statement on the deaths of NATO troops in a helicopter crash in Wardak Province, the Embassy described the NATO deaths as “terrible” and “tragic.”
- In Secretary Clinton’s August 19, 2011, statement regarding the attack on the British Council building in Kabul, she stated that she “strongly condemns the vicious and cowardly attack” and she offered “heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed and injured.” She labeled the attack as “brutal.”
- In his September 12, 2011, statement on the shootings at the U.S. Embassy, Ambassador Ryan Crocker described the incident in emotional terms as a “long and difficult day” and labeled the attacks as “cowardly.
When foreigners or foreign interests are attacked, the State Department appears to draft personal, emotion and detailed statements of outrage and concern, yet when Afghans are attacked, the diplomatic comments appear to be simply cut and pasted from prior statements. There is no apparent thought utilized or care exercised. The goal is to simply put out something. This is the same careless attitude that has characterized the State Department’s entire effort in Afghanistan. It has expended aid money haphazardly and wastefully just in order to generate press releases and to generate positive statistics, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Afghans have received no benefit from the billions in squandered aid. Everything is superficial.
This reporter is an American citizen and he apologizes to the Afghan people in general and to the Hazara Shia in particular for the U.S. Secretary of State and for our Ambassador. They may officially represent the American people in Afghanistan but they do not exemplify the American people.
Note: The above photo depicts Hillary Clinton with Jon Corzine, the Chairman and CEO of MF Global Holdings. Mr. Corzine is currently under Congressional investigation for “losing” $1.2 billion in investor funds.
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