Sunday, January 29, 2006

Professional BS artists

In the unlikely position I find myself in, here in Georgia -- immersed in international relations, with absolutely no training or education -- it's surreal to me how important tiny nuances of meaning are. Witness this press statement:
Sean McCormack, State Department spokesman
Press Statement of January 27, 2006

The United States welcomes reports that the repairs to the Mozdok-Tbilisi pipeline in southern Russia are on course to restore gas to Georgia and Armenia in the coming days. Most of the citizens of Georgia have been without gas, and many without electricity, following explosions on January 22. The United States applauds the resilience of the people of Georgia during this crisis, as they and their neighbors in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia endure severe winter weather and the threat of energy shortages. We commend Azerbaijan's efforts to supply some gas to Georgia. The United States has been in close contact with concerned governments on the importance of restoring the flow of Russian gas and electricity to those in need.

What this statement is really saying is, "We are extremely angry at Russia, we do not believe it acted in good faith in this crisis, to the point that we are considering shifting our long-term strategic relationship with Russia." How does it say this? By commending everyone's role except Russia's.

I don't think this kind of hair-splitting is how I want to spend a career.

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