• Happy Holidays from the Video Asshats at Your State Department

    December 24, 2016

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State

    So what better use of taxpayer money and time than for your State Department to make idiotic holiday videos?

    Acting like an asshat is something of a State tradition year-round, but these annual videos seek to memorialize it. The very broad theory is that these things “humanize” American foreign policy in a way drones do not, and because they get lots of “clicks,” prove those foreigners really do love us after all. Of course, lots of people slow down for gory car wrecks, too.

    A theme this year is American Embassy staff acting wacky and speaking their host country’s languages poorly, and thinking that is hilarious. Why, those goofy foreign words! Good thing everybody overseas speak English, amiright? Can anyone imagine a foreign ambassador in the United States going on YouTube and speaking sad, broken English like he’s Sasha Baron Cohen? Hah, the comedy Christmas Americanski joking time!

    Anyway, it’s social media and that’s a good thing, right?

    Those who are worried about the loss of respect for America under the coming administration should console themselves knowing there is little left to lose.



    The loquacious American ambassador in Seoul:


    Tokyo, featuring the ambassador dressed as Santa:


    And here’s the U.S. Embassy crowd in Manila (skip ahead to about 1:00 for wacky funs)


    Maybe Norway:


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    Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      Can’t wait until next year to see the look on their faces. Winter is coming.

      12/24/16 12:58 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      2

      Hopefully next year there’ll be a whole lot fewer faces around. State is one swamp I wholehearted support draining.

      12/24/16 1:00 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      3

      And these people get paid, real money,…… To do this????….
      And put it out on the net….. And have no repercussions??????

      Yep…….. It needs to be drained….

      PS…

      My wife speaks Japanese…. She says his sucks….

      M

      12/24/16 1:14 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      4

      And these people get paid, real money,…… To do this????….

      And put it out on the net….. And have no repercussions??????

      Yep…….. It needs to be drained….

      PS…
      My wife speaks Japanese…. She says his sucks….

      M

      12/24/16 1:16 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      5

      The US could save hundreds of millions of greenbacks by deactivating about 70% of their embassies. It is social welfare for foreign service types.

      12/24/16 1:17 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      6

      John,
      Agreed….. And…..

      Peter,…. And Teri…..

      I’m guessing you to understand this…. But…… Shit……

      How complicated…. And…. Inept….. Do they make things….

      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/12/24/hill-republicans-likely-to-use-same-tactic-to-repeal-obamacare-that-dems-used-to-pass-law.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxnews%2Fpolitics+%28Internal+-+Politics+-+Text%29

      M

      12/24/16 1:35 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      7

      Okay. I am officially offended by this shit. As an antidote, I think this guy stumbled onto a great idea for diplomatic outreach, quite by accident:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pwe-pA6TaZk

      By way of explanation, he suddenly quit his job back in ’05 (I think it was) to take a year to travel, feeling like he was missing out on life. Everywhere he went, he sent little email videos to his family and friends, which usually showed him doing a stupid little jig (he isn’t much of dancer, which was part of the joke) in front of some landmark in whatever country he happened to be in. His family and friends had started passing around his email videos and they eventually went viral. He discovered that people watching him doing his “dance” for his travelogue wanted to dance with him. This gave him the idea to travel some more and get locals who wanted to dance with him in the videos. He’s made a number of them now. I just really like the song with the 2012 video. [some background, and he has a website somewhere, too: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_the_Hell_is_Matt%3F%5D

      I actually think THIS is the way to get some real human interaction and understanding going on.

      12/24/16 3:22 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      8

      OMG.

      Same stupid DOS shit. Different year. I mean, who, in these countries, give a flying fuck enough to search out videos from the DOS. fuck these morons.

      12/24/16 9:57 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      9

      Merry Christmas, Everyone.

      M

      12/25/16 10:06 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      10

      While we are encouraging the gutting of State, let’s gut the useless CIA too. Read a real indictment of the CIA by exCIA analyst John Nixon’s “Debriefing the President”, who spills the fake news spread by the CIA about Saddam.

      What do we have to lose?

      Nixon says the CIA is “staffed by few analysts who know much of anything.” Expertise is the enemy at the CIA.

      12/25/16 3:06 PM | Comment Link

    • jo6pac said...

      11

      Here’s some great xamas songs in comments here.

      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/12/xmas-medley-and-open-thread.html#comments

      It will help over come stupid govt.

      12/25/16 5:08 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      12

      Yep Bauer,

      Its Trump you have to be afraid of….. Yep…. All Trump…..

      Oh….. Wait a minute….. Its not Trump doing all of this……

      http://foxnews.mobi/quickPage.html?page=22995&external=3847607.proteus.fma

      M

      12/25/16 5:49 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      13

      Merry CHristmas and Happy Hannukah and Winter Solstice, guys:)

      12/25/16 8:47 PM | Comment Link

    • Andrei said...

      14

      Well, at least this is, more or less, harmless buffoonery. Alas, the State can do harmful buffoonery too. Remeber how a certain guy named Kirby promised that “Russia will continue to send troops home in body bags, and will continue to lose resources, perhaps even aircraft” if Moscow continues its intervention in Syria?

      Now, care to make a guess about whom Russian suspect of being responsible for the loss of that Tu-154 that crashed near Sochi yesterday?

      12/26/16 4:27 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      15

      Hey Andrei,

      Oh, please do tell, who Russia thinks did it….

      I have my thoughts….. But, yes please, do tell.

      M

      12/26/16 9:23 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      16

      Mitch said…

      “Hey Andrei,

      Oh, please do tell, who Russia thinks did it….”

      Well at least John Brennan assures the world America would never do anything against our values…

      Brennen says…

      quote””And I individually believe that there are certain things that this government, our country, should not be engaged in because it is inconsistent with those precepts, those tenets of the United States of America.”unquote

      After which, a wave of raucous, gut splitting laughter circumvents the entire planet.

      During which, Brennen remembers his wife’s reaction the previous night, after promising not to come in her mouth.

      https://www.emptywheel.net/2016/12/24/john-brennan-doing-the-holiday-friday-news-dump-wrong/#comment-709306

      Meanwhile, hallelujah. It’s over. Only 364 days till we get to do it again. fuck. insert two rolling eyes smiley here.

      12/26/16 10:29 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      17

      Pitchfork,

      You can’t make that crap up….

      Kind of like the screaming about this…..

      “Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King.”

      These people really need to grow the hell up.

      M

      12/26/16 11:29 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      18

      For those still thinking a Messiah will make a second appearance Obama did offer himself as the promised savior/king this season if only he had been allowed to run for a third term. The total doofus actually believes his own inner publicist saying he could have beat Trump and that he is still very popular. That dangerous delusion is typical of narcissistic disorder sufferers. An effete, petulant, peeved loser male has gifted America eight wasted years. All those who voted for him in 2012 should be ashamed.

      12/26/16 12:34 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      19

      John,

      Agreed!

      With a note….. That would depend on Exactly WHO Obama’s lord and savior is.

      Don’t know who he thinks he is…. But…. Christian… Is not a term I would apply to him….

      Too many things say otherwise.

      M

      12/26/16 12:52 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      20

      That interview between Obama and David Axelrod has a backstory-context, though.

      Axelrod is no friend of the Clinton camp. He and the Clinton campaign camp have clashed in the past, once quite publicly in the news when Clinton claimed she would take a more aggressive approach in Syria than President Obama — an Axelrod and Move On organization nailed her on these comments.

      The President is obviously hoping to regroup his legacy but he got his rebuke in too via this interview against Clinton, albeit via her “campaign” team. Finally, we also get a story from the Post where Russia is not blamed for the loss and a glimpse into behind the scenes problems the Post rarely airs.

      The President probably would have rallied more of the African American voters if he had been competing this time instead of Clinton. Lost in the joint New York Times and Washington Post post-election “analyses” is the issue that she failed to rally key elements of the registered Democratic voters to get out and vote for her — partly because she was not viewed the best of candidates the Dems pushed forward

      II have not yet seen Axelrod’s podcast with the Pres, but good for Axelrod. Enough with the bs about the Russians. Sure they have their own PA team and version of Fusion whatever. The Post and the Times are giving the Russians too much credit and free air time for something beyond their capabilities

      12/26/16 3:58 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      21

      A delusion is a belief that is held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary. As a pathology, it is distinct from a belief based on false or incomplete information, confabulation, dogma, illusion, or other effects of perception.

      Or…….

      http://topstories.foxnews.mobi/quickPage.html?page=17224&external=3847969.proteus.fma

      M

      12/26/16 4:33 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      22

      Mitch -perhaps the real history of these past eight years will be written by honest historians eventually.
      Obama will be seen as a deeply sinister guy who cleverly concealed that reality to the populace. Hillary we already know was damaged. Obama’s hope and change bullshit should have been evident a month after he was sworn in. It was a clever campaign slogan that suckered even cynics like me. I did not vote for him in 2012. Anyone who did- I repeat_ needs to be serious penance. Are you out there on this blog listening? Obama gave no hope and change to even his own purported tribe of black people. He sent his children to Sidwell Friends school (I sent mine to Friends School Haverford where my son was a classmate of Mark Mazvinsky). My son is currently the RSO in Helsinki. The majority of blacks in DC didn’t have that option. They sent their kids to dysfunctional public schools in DC. Obama was a total fake going back to perhaps high school.

      12/26/16 6:28 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      23

      Only 364 days to shop !

      12/26/16 8:06 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      24

      Pitch, hope your getting ready!

      12/26/16 8:06 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      25

      Drain/2017… Happy New Year

      12/26/16 8:07 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      26

      Hey John,

      I doubt anyone will ever correct the record on Obama. Ever.
      I’ve seen, as I’m sure you and everyone else who is not really high,
      That anyone who says anything against him is a racist.
      Same thing with Hillary. Say anything against her. Your a sexist or some such stupid shit.

      Not allowed to disagree anymore. Individuals now have to be grouped for a reason, of course the reason is applied by whoever we don’t agree with.

      Just insane.

      I absolutely agree. A lot of people have some serious penance.

      And…. It was/is not just the blacks that do/did not have options other than crappy public schools.

      The schools sucked when I was a kid…. Now…. Damn…. Talk about a lot worse.

      All part of the plan, as near as I can tell. Make the population stupid…. They will belive anything…. And…. Easier to divide them.

      Question….. RSO ?????

      M

      12/26/16 8:08 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      27

      My Bro was asst. to the Pres. of the U.N. years ago for a year. The U.N. WTO, world bank,IMF are letters for the people? CIA NSA FBI ETC. makes you feel safe? Kill your TV . Happy New Year.

      12/26/16 8:22 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      28

      I want to go out tonight. Where is The Global Engagement Center?! O Oh No

      12/26/16 8:28 PM | Comment Link

    • PD Officer said...

      29

      I’ve always thought these sorts of videos are not truly intended for outside audiences. They exist because PD sections in the field need to the prove that they are “doing their jobs.” These go up on the website and and the box gets checked – it really doesn’t matter that no friends were made and no one was influenced.

      If I was being generous, I would say that these are just harmless fun, a chance to inject a little levity into the serious work of international relationship building. We’re I being less generous, I might note that these videos took real time and real resources to create – time and resources that might have been better spent on something else.

      But hey, the Ambassador was thrilled and Main State is off my back so who cares?

      12/27/16 2:25 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      30

      I tend to agree with you, this are mostly for internal use but escape into the wild. They are the kind of thing you might play at the embassy holiday party for laffs. But the problem is the world is watching, and America’s sense of levity (and hey, it’s mostly white Americans, their loyal brown sherpa locals, and all Christian Christmas imagery) runs into reality. Hah hah, look how funny they are! Boom, another drone strike somewhere.

      12/27/16 10:06 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      31

      Obama’s probably CIA. For what that’s worth.
      ——-

      Hey, here’s a story I missed this year…turns out our Air Force has been using Ritalin and other drugs – all addictive – to help drone operators maintain their focus while they work. (Ritalin and such drugs have the opposite effect on adults than they do on children. In children, Ritalin depresses; in adults, it’s a stimulant. College kids use Ritalin to help them stay up and study all night. Doctors aren’t really sure how these drugs work in the brain, but they prescribe them anyway because they have a desired effect.) The AF decided that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to have their pilots and drone operators substance-addicted, so they are now using electrical stimulation of the brain. They are fucking zapping electrical currents through the brains of the drone pilots (at least the ones who are stupid enough to volunteer for the process) because it “works better than coffee”. I fucking bet it does.

      As a brain tumor survivor, I have to say that anyone who PURPOSEFULLY lets someone fuck around with his brain just as an experiment, in an effort to help keep him “alert and focused” while he fucking ASSASSINATES strangers across the planet is pretty fucked up to start with. I can’t believe we are engaging in this sort of experiment and I can’t believe we have idiots so devoted to the cause that they are willing to let someone fry their brains to perform their “duties”.

      But wait, there’s more (isn’t there always?): you can buy kits to fucking electrocute your own brain cells on the open market. They are sold as “brain stimulation kits” and are unregulated. I can just imagine the parents who will use this torture device on their kiddies, thinking it will produce optimum brain activity.

      Fucked up world.

      Here are a couple of articles about this shit:

      https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/nov/07/us-military-successfully-tests-electrical-brain-stimulation-to-enhance-staff-skills

      http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/11/08/drone-operators-brains-may-be-zapped-electricity-improve-performance

      http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnsys.2013.00076/full

      12/27/16 5:22 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      32

      The military concedes it doesn’t know if ES is safe in the long run. Given its track record with Agent Orange, it’s safe to say none of these drone operators will be long term VFW members.

      12/27/16 6:57 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      33

      Teri,

      Agreed ,

      But…. Take a long look at how this world treated the mentality ill, developmently disabled, etc…as few as 20 years ago…. And still does…

      Forced drug and surgical therapy… Isolation, abuse…. Experimentation ….

      We, as a species….. Are not far removed from Dr. Mengele.

      Now we just hide it inside of “language”.

      Kind of like….

      “the arbitrary, unlawful, unsanctioned, depravitation of life ”
      ( read that in a report once)

      That’s also known as ….. Murder.

      M

      12/27/16 8:13 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      34

      teri said:

      “I can’t believe we are engaging in this sort of experiment and I can’t believe we have idiots so devoted to the cause that they are willing to let someone fry their brains to perform their “duties”.”

      I can. Electing President Summer Squash is living proof.

      Speaking of fried brains…
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/27/alt-right-donald-trump-white-supremacy-backlash

      12/27/16 8:47 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      35

      Mitch said…

      “Kind of like….

      “the arbitrary, unlawful, unsanctioned, depravitation of life ”
      ( read that in a report once)

      That’s also known as ….. Murder.”

      Speaking of murder, holy shit. I’m glad I don’t live in Chicago. The Gov should declare Marshal Law there.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/12/26/40-shot-chicago-over-weekend/95860972/

      fuck. I’m normally an advocate of the 2nd Amendment, but that place is out of fucking control. I mean.. it’s literally a war zone. Gang war that is. As for these gangs, Congress should pass a law declaring “gangs” terrorist organizations. Cause that is exactly what they are.

      12/27/16 8:54 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      36

      Pitch,

      The NRA would find you very unpatriotic.

      12/27/16 10:24 AM | Comment Link

    • Andrei said...

      37

      Mitch,

      Well at first a lot of people sincerely believed that the US was somehow responsible for the crash. Right now the official line is that it was either a pilot error or a malfunction of some sort, but I dunno.

      12/27/16 11:09 AM | Comment Link

    • Andrei said...

      38

      bloodypitchfork,

      Regarding what Brennan said, I think that depends on what exactly he means by the ‘United States of America’ – the nation as a whole or a relatively small clique of decision makers currently in charge of it? You know, ” I am the State” and all that jazz.

      12/27/16 11:14 AM | Comment Link

    • PD Officer said...

      39

      My point is that PD is supposed to have an outward focus, not inward. I probably should have made myself a little clearer. Anything focused on the internal audience is a waste of precious resources and good officers should know that.

      The officers who made these things are just checking a box and ingratiating themselves with their superiors. The good news for them is that these videos will probably get them promoted. Meanwhile, real work went undone so these. Hold be made.

      12/27/16 5:45 PM | Comment Link

    • Siviyo said...

      40

      Umm… Japan’s had almost five million views in less than one week on YouTube alone. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7xuXlpvWw1I

      12/27/16 10:51 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      41

      Um, car wrecks are fun, Dancing with the Stars pulls in millions of viewers, but does any of that further US interests? Impact is what matters, not quantity of “hits.”

      I think the broader questions include what are those American interests potentially served by such videos? To those foreigners “like us?” Like us how and toward what end? Liking us isn’t a bad thing per se, but I guess the issue is, so what.

      One other question would be why other nations, no, every nation, is not pumping out these videos. If they are such a good idea, why doesn’t everyone do it?

      12/28/16 9:25 AM | Comment Link

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