• Selfie Diplomacy Solves all Problems in Pakistan

    April 13, 2014

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

    You’ll be forgiven if you did not know that your Department of State in Pakistan hosted Social Media Summit 2014. A bunch of bloggers gathered under the wings of the U.S. embassy to discuss “Social Media for Social Change.” Panel sessions focused on perennial, go-to U.S. feel good topics such as youth activism, peace promotion, women’s empowerment, and entrepreneurship. Fun fact: those same topics form the “broad themes” of U.S. reconstruction efforts now in Afghanistan, and were our major goals in Iraq.

    You could have followed this dynamic event on Twitter via #SMS14. There you can see a sub-theme of the event, awkward selfies by white people, which count as diplomacy nowadays. That’s your American ambassador pictured there, “getting down” with “hip” youngsters prior to their initiation ceremony as Taliban recruits.

    The Summit’s Twitter output also includes the Tweet above, sent by the U.S. embassy in Kabul. If anyone can explain in the comments section exactly what the hell that Tweet means, I’ll feel much better about this whole thing.

    Related Articles:

    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • meloveconsullongtime said...


      I see he followed Kim Kardashian’s example here and actually took a selfie of his own ass.

      04/13/14 3:17 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      Don’t you dare spoil the last good thing on the internet by equating an ass with The Ass.

      04/13/14 3:19 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      (sighing while hanging head in utter disbelief)

      Now I know where that $6 billion went.

      04/13/14 3:24 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      “Is censorship necessary for national security or for the safety of journalists?”

      Is there a door no. 3?? Can’t make this stuff up

      Guessing it’s ‘yes day’ there – again

      04/13/14 3:31 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Tweets – the way birdbrains communicate with each other

      04/13/14 6:50 PM | Comment Link

    • Michael Murry said...


      “Ass is US.”

      04/13/14 10:33 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...


      “Is censorship necessary for national security or for the safety of journalists?”

      I might be overestimating the intelligence and writing abilities of US Consular and Embassy officers, but if I strain my brain I can imagine this might be an attempt to raise a rhetorical question – with implied criticism – directed at the practices of, say, China, because China’s government usually rationalises censorship on grounds of national security and Chinese journalists violate the government’s rules at their own personal risk.

      In other words, maybe it was a failed attempt at sarcastic wit, and the failure was that it didn’t make clear which government it was talking about.

      But maybe my speculation is too generous. What seems more likely is that it’s the 21st American equivalent of how Fourth Century barbarians – mainly Germans (cf the English) – used to make imitations of Roman coins with what numismatists call “blundered legends”: They attempted to write with the same kind of Latin letters they saw on Roman coins, but since they didn’t know how to write they inscribed imitations of letters which meant nothing at all. Such is the literacy of the American Empire’s representatives in 2014.

      04/14/14 10:33 AM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...


      BTW, just for some intelligent fun, here are two examples of what my above comment refers to:

      1. A standard coin of Emperor Constantine. On the obverse is clearly written “Constantinus Aug(ugstus) etc”, and on the reverse is “Victoriae Laetae Princ Perp”, meaning “Joyous Eternal Victory to the Prince (the Emperor, “Prince” meaning “First Citizen”.): http://www.beastcoins.com/Topical/VLPP/Coins/Trier/ConstantineI-RICVII-216-STR.jpg

      2. And here’s a typical barbarian imitation of the same time. On the front they get a few letters of his name right – although the S is backward – and the inscription on the back is just a bunch of scrawl: http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/barb2/Barb14.jpeg

      The latter was a Fourth Century equivalent of a State Department Tweet, except the ancient counterfeit coin was actually worth something.

      04/14/14 10:54 AM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...


      If Twitter existed in year 260 AD – year of the battle of Edessa (in what is now Turkey) and Samantha Power were the chief diplomat for Roman Emperor Valerian:

      Samantha Power (in her previous incarnation): King Shapur of Persia is obviously behind uprising

      Shapur of Persia: Since when is it uprising to defend own borders? Edessa not in Europe

      Samantha Power: All law abiding nations will sanction Persia

      Shapur: Rome’s only law is power, we follow same law

      Emperor Valerian: Universal values…

      Shapur: You mean the value of might makes right

      Samantha Power: Those so-called protesters in Asia Minor are armed and organised

      Shapur: And you want them to be disarmed and disorganised

      Valerian: Must I repeat that I am Emperor Valerian AUGUSTUS? Meaning VENERABLE?

      Shapur: Venerable why?

      Valerian: Leader of the civilised world!

      Samantha Power: We can see that Shapur does not share universal values.

      Shapur: Come and test your universal values in Edessa.

      …Epilogue: After Emperor Valerian was defeated at the Battle of Edessa, he was taken prisoner and King Shapur used him as a footstool…

      …and no one tweeted about it.

      04/14/14 3:41 PM | Comment Link

    Leave A Comment

    Mail (will not be published) (required)