• State Department Holds a Car Show in Afghanistan, Saves Democracy

    August 19, 2013

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: Afghanistan, Embassy/State

    By default, please assume every article you see here about State Department Public Diplomacy activities begins with “You just can’t make these things up.” It’ll save me a lot of typing. Thanks.

    Though indeed “You just can’t make these things up,” every once in a while something so ridiculous comes along that it refines stupid. Of all the critical issues that need attention in Afghanistan– poverty, corruption, the drug trade, cross-border war with Pakistan, the impending U.S. troop pullout/retreat/giving up because we’re tired thing, most informed people will agree that what has been missing from the conversation is that we need more car shows in Afghanistan. While there are no quick solutions to complex problems, clearly the missing piece after twelve years and a trillion dollars is a car show.

    Thus into the breach comes the brave lads and lasses of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul’s Public Affairs staff. In a very neatly-typed press release (the event was not covered by the main stream media, ‘natch), the Embassy congratulated itself heartily on the one-day event.

    Chargé d’Affaires Ambassador Tina Kaidanow said, “What you see here today is more than a car show; it is an example of how far Afghanistan has come in economic terms, and it highlights the promise of an even brighter and more prosperous future for Afghanistan if this country can continue on the road of economic reform and commercial development.”

    Because she works for the State Department, even when boldly fibbing about the idiocy of holding a car show in an active war zone, Ms. Kaidanow had to throw in the final conditional “if” clause. Well played!

    Now of course since Afghanistan is indeed still a dangerous, chaotic war zone mostly in the hands of thugs and terrorizers, the car show was actually held deep inside the walled grounds of the U.S. Embassy itself. One does wonder under such circumstances how many “Afghans,” as we call the still living local fauna, were able to attend.

    Sorry this is such a short blog post. Despite both extensive searching and an unanswered email to Embassy Kabul, I have found no notice or coverage of this historic event anywhere except the Embassy’s own press release. I was able to locate numerous reports and gory videos of the almost-daily car bombings that take place in Afghanistan, though sadly few seem to involve U.S. vehicles. It would certainly help sales if Afghans bought U.S. cars and then immediately blew them up and needed a quick replacement.

    Perhaps the Embassy will look into that marketing angle.

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