• Let’s Easter Twitter with US Embassy Kabul

    April 20, 2014

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Afghanistan, Embassy/State

    Let’s enjoy a quick look at what the U.S. Embassy in Kabul is Tweeting. This is called “social media diplomacy” and is designed to “reach out” to “local” people in the host country and make them love America more. State is kinda shy about saying it, but given the world-wide nature of these things, there is also a sweet little domestic propaganda side to it all. And get this– you pay for all this with your Bitcoins! Have a read:



    To begin, like the U.S. Embassy said, Happy Easter to those who celebrate it. Thing is, Afghanistan is remarkably not Christian, and the purpose of social diplomacy is to “reach out,” so opening with the Christian thing might be… awkward? Many Muslims in the target area already characterize the U.S. as a Crusader at war with Islam, so there, there’s that going for us.

    Next up the Embassy reTweeted something in Spanish about the U.S. Ambassador visiting one of the Crusader bases in Herat. Apparently the base contains some Spanish troopers, so that’s the linguistic connection sure, but like Christians, there are relatively few Spanish speakers among the local Afghan population.

    And on to the domestic side of today’s social diplomacy Tweets, two cheery notes.

    The first heralds Afghan efforts to build an new “Silk Road.” The many Afghans still fighting for, with or against the Taliban and/or the U.S., never mind those whose relatives have been blown up by car bombs or drones, may not fully share the vision of progress, but one guesses the whole Silk Road thing is meant more for gullible Americans than gullible Afghans.

    The second Tweet doubles down on the good news, this time sharing the breaking story that “U.S. Foreign Policy in South Asia [is] A Vision for Prosperity and Security.” So that’s sorted. The only skeptics on that front might include the relatively few Americans who read the news, and pretty much everyone in Afghanistan.

    BONUS: Wait a tick– if the purpose of social media diplomacy is to engage with the local people, why are the Tweets all in English (and Spanish?) Maybe it is like a language tutorial, some kind of “linguistic diplomacy.” There’s also the “issue” that Internet use in Afghanistan varies from 12 percent in Kabul itself, to zero percent lots of other places. The average is about two-three percent. Subtract out of those already low percentages those who do not read English (or Spanish) and those who do not use Twitter and you’ve got a pretty small pool of targets. Anyway, those happy few Afghan web browsers are no doubt the most important people in the country and all that. Besides, you know, social media, Cuban Twitter, youth demographic, whatever.

    We are a sad and lonely people, aren’t we?



    Related Articles:




    Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

  • Recent Comments

    • jo6pac said...

      1

      “We are a sad and lonely people, aren’t we?”

      I think you should add dangerous to this but not surprised by state.

      04/20/14 6:43 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      2

      Easter greetings might almost make up for this mistake in Afghanistan a month ago, if one squints just right:

      7 March, 2014
      A NATO air raid in eastern Afghanistan has accidentally killed five Afghan soldiers, officials say.
      NATO offered its condolences for Thursday’s deaths and pledged action to avoid further mistakes, but President Hamid Karzai has often seized on botched raids to launch bitter criticism of the international military effort in Afghanistan. [...]

      http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2014/03/nato-airstrike-kills-afghan-soldiers-20143655656759571.html

      And, hey, Christian tweets in Spanish are way better than the Easter greeting we just gave Yemen:

      19 April, 2014
      U.S. assassination drone kills nearly 20 Yemenis.

      [...] The United States is the only country that operates assassination drones in Yemen as part of its official targeted-killing program in Muslim countries.[...]

      The U.S. terror drone operations reached its fifth anniversary in January having tallied up an estimated death toll of at least 2,400 people, and the massacre continues despite international criticisms.

      http://www.tehrantimes.com/component/content/article/115208

      I picked the above article since it is more accurately calls ‘em like they see ‘em; unlike the western press.

      At Christmas, Obama signed the 2014 NDAA into law, with the clause allowing him to assassinate anyone he wants around the globe still in place. Signing the coming year’s NDAA is getting to be a real holiday tradition in his household. This is the Xmas greeting I imagined he sent to the world:

      “Happy holidays from the White House
      - to you, your family and your spouse.
      In signing this law, it has come to pass
      that I now have the power to kill your ass.
      Season’s Greetings, Barack Obama.”

      04/20/14 8:09 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      3

      Embassy Kabul now represents all Christians?

      At least it is promising they speak of ‘reflection and renewal.’ One of the most profound moments of reflection during solemn week also affected the apostles who lived in profound anxiety and terror of being arrested and executed. Those hours they spent hiding in that room had to be agonizing, not knowing what could happen, whether they would survive or not.

      In the spirit of Easter, is there hope that our bureaucrats could be infused with empathy for US captives Bowe Bergdahl and Warren Weinstein and might finally feel inspired to work for their release?

      Hopefully, the sense of ‘reflection’ and ‘renewal’ Embassy Kabul can only tweet about can be translated from focus on the self and action for the two men

      04/21/14 1:57 AM | Comment Link

    • Gary Smith said...

      4

      What happened to make you so cynical Peter? Don’t you know it is Easter?

      04/21/14 7:15 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      5

      Adding to the 20 Yemenis we killed on Saturday, further drone strikes on Sunday (Easter) killed at least 25 more. We have assassinated nearly 50 people in Yemen over one weekend.

      I guess this is what Obama was doing in Saudi Arabia; promising to step up the drone killings to keep the Saud border free of irritants. Because, as we all know, we merely seek to help our ally Saudi Arabia protect its freedoms and democracy. (Snort.)

      See here:

      http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/04/21/359446/about-50-killed-in-yemen-drone-strikes/

      or:

      http://www.businessinsider.com/r-new-air-strikes-kill-25-al-qaeda-militants-in-yemen-2014-20

      04/21/14 10:26 AM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      6

      Taking up Kyzl’s good and acute point, “Embassy Kabul now represents all Christians?”:

      My first reaction to that “Christian” tweet about “reflection and renewal” was, “Oh, how WEAK!”

      Kyzl is right. And not only does that tweet NOT represent all Christians – let alone the USA – well, IF I were the US Ambasador in Afghanistan and got drunk enough to TWEET about Christianity, then MY way of doing it would be to tweet:

      “Personally I believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead on Easter Sunday! I urge all Muslims to consider this and convert.” (And then I’d tweet to the Protestants to convert to the true Church, too!)

      That would be more authentic.

      But seriously, MOST Muslims would respect THAT more than any psychotherapeutic twaddle about “reflection and renewal”. Most Muslims have at least some basic, chivalrous respect for serious Christians who take their faith in God seriously.
      But if “Christianity” is represented with bureaucratic faux “sensitivity” as something about “reflection and renewal”, then what’s the point of mentioning it at all?

      In Karen Blixen’s book “Out of Africa”, she wrote of how her lover, the Englishman Denys Finch-Hatton, was respected by the Kenyan Muslims because he knew the Bible so well and often cited from it from memory. Muslims respect faith, but they DON’T respect equating God with vapid “reflection”.

      04/21/14 11:30 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      7

      What happened to make me so cynical? Please review my older blog posts for the details.

      04/21/14 12:09 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      8

      quote”What happened to make you so cynical Peter?”unquote

      Easy. In the hopes of converting young Iraqi children to Christianity by hosting city sized Easter egg hunts, the US State Department spent a year and $15 million to build huge chicken and egg producing facilities around Iraq. Problem was.. Peter discovered and foiled a CIA plot to inject the eggs with mind altering LSD as an experiment behavior modification in the hopes of turning the children into an army of remote controlled robot spies.
      Hence the cynical title of his book..We Meant Well..how I helped lose the battle for the MINDS and Hearts of the Iraqi people.

      04/21/14 12:43 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      9

      “What happened to make me so cynical? Please review my older blog posts for the details.”

      Hm, older blog posts about…torture, lies, a cruel empire extrajudicially murdering people in the Middle East, religious hypocrisy, and a minority of honest people yearning for truth and justice while the government harasses them…

      …sounds like the New Testament! ;-)

      04/21/14 12:45 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      10

      quote”Adding to the 20 Yemenis we killed on Saturday, further drone strikes on Sunday (Easter) killed at least 25 more.”unquote

      On Easter. right. If anyone had any doubt before, this should provide undeniable living proof our President Kill List Obama is a fucking certifiable sadistic psychopathic murderer.

      04/21/14 12:55 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      11

      melov said:
      quote“Personally I believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead on Easter Sunday! I urge all Muslims to consider this and convert.” (And then I’d tweet to the Protestants to convert to the true Church, too!)

      Yes, and then you too can do this..

      http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/d56cb4768f464cf68dfe6094b622c5980fd71c10/c=246-0-2760-1884&r=x513&c=680×510/local/-/media/USATODAY/USATODAY/2014/04/18//1397840634000-AFP-529058586.jpg

      My tongue in cheek of course.

      04/21/14 2:17 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      12

      Hm. Um, pitch, I have a lot of respect for you and I agree with around 95 percent of what you write on this blog. But when you wrote, “tongue in cheek” to tell me I should have some nails hammered into my feet as in that photo…

      …really, you were just being a dick. Because the Catholic Church in which you know I believe, says suffering is an absolute evil.

      Thus, even if “tongue in cheek”, when you suggested that I have nails hammered into my feet, it was evil for you to suggest that. Even when you claim the license of “tongue in cheek”…

      …and in MY defense against your “tongue in cheek” suggestion that I have nails hammered into my feet, I remind you that I have never advocated torture.

      So it’s very simple, pitch. I have never advocated torture – not for ANYone! – therefore you’re out of line when you suggest I should have nails hammered into my feet. And my being an openly professed Catholic doesn’t give you license to do so, not even if it’s “tongue in cheek”.

      Come on, pitch, you’re a better man than that.

      04/21/14 5:18 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      13

      Gentlemen, no fighting in the war room please!

      Our focus here is on government thuggery and aggressive mockery of those thugs. Let us return now to our regularly scheduled programming.

      04/21/14 5:44 PM | Comment Link

    Leave A Comment

    Mail (will not be published) (required)

Switch to our mobile site