• Shilling for a Living: Public Diplomacy in Russia

    September 6, 2013 // 5 Comments »

    Wow, Russia.

    ‘Lot going on there, Obama attending the G-20, what with Russia taking in NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Russian support for the other side in Syria, the famous Obama-Putin sourpuss photos, why, golly, you’d figure America’s public diplomacy warriors at Embassy Moscow would be busy, busy, busy seeking out Russian hearts and minds to influence.

    Instead, those diplomatic warriors are seeking Russian stomachs to fulfill with America’s last domestically-made product, junk food. Shilling for a living, one of our best, Joseph Kruzich, is pictured to the left. He posted on his Facebook page:

    Krispy Kreme doughnuts have arrived in Moscow. We had some at the American Embassy in Moscow yesterday. Delicious!

    And oh yes, he did add the final exclamation point. Oh yes.

    Kruzich, who as a slim man makes a poor advocate for the goodness of America’s toxic junk food to the stout Russians, also apparently like potato chips. Here’s another terse Facebook post. He posted in Russian but here’s the Google version:

    Today is the birthday of potato chips! Credited with creating the popular snack is American chef George Crumb, who invented the chip this day 160 years ago. The finely chopped crisp was for a disgruntled restaurant customer at Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga Springs, who said the french fries were cut too thick.

    Nobody commented on the fact that the inventor of the potato chip was surnamed “Crumb,” so I will. Also, it is not at all certain that Crumb was even the inventor. Facts, meh, it’s social media!

    And oh yes, I did add the final exclamation point. Oh yes.

    Kruzich also seems to have a habit of reposting a lot of his boss’ stuff, but that is really just part of the overall job of a foreign service officer, so no points off for that. And to be fair, shilling for promoting American products abroad is indeed one of those things America’s diplomats are told to do, whether it is Boeing 747s or the ever-popular F-16s we sell to various thugs and dictators, for freedom.

    …or is it?

    Perhaps Kruzich is… more clever, shall we say, more cunning, than we give him credit for? While Putin plays checkers, sticking his thumb in Obama’s eye and then moving on, perhaps Kruzich is playing chess (also a Russian fave) The long game here may be to slowly choke the Russian people to death on American-infiltrated cholesterol, until, gasping with strokes and heart attacks, they realize that you just. don’t. mess. with the U.S.

    Well played young diplomat, well played.

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    Posted in Embassy/State

    Deedy Supporters Speak Out

    December 11, 2012 // 14 Comments »

    Well, to be honest, it was just one email, but it says much about the quality of law-abiding American who thinks it is perfectly righteous to gun down some smart-mouthed punk in a McDonald’s. Out of pity more than anything else, I’ll omit the sender’s email address, though quite appropriately it was sent from an AOL.com account and no doubt typed on an aging Windows 95 system. Here’s the email in its entirety:

    Gee you are certainly an objective source of information.

    It appears that you are so full of fecal material that it is flowing out of your auditory canals.

    Translation: You are so full of Sh*t that it’s coming out of your ears.

    You obviously have some sort of axe to grind.

    This is poetry. Note the attempt at sarcasm to lead off– “Gee you are certainly an objective source of information” which is hilarious because see, it isn’t really true.

    Then the body, using repetition signaled by the clever transitional device of employing the word Translation. Symbolically, this could stand in for the gap between the rough-and-tumble world of law enforcement, where gun fights in fast food restaurants are necessary, and the soft-handed world of the blogger, where the only violence visited is the occasional incorrect punctuation,

    And finally, as a jarring conclusion, the zinger of a cliche dropping some knowledge on you. See, it all meant something.

    Thank you, dear reader, for this holiday season gift. And hey officer, time to back away from the word processor. Those donuts aren’t going to eat themselves you know!

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

    Posted in Embassy/State