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July 4th invitations to Iranian diplomats rescinded

Oh come on. Just yesterday, President Obama specifically stated that it would be up to the Iranian diplomats if they showed up to July 4th celebrations at United States embassies around the world. In about 24 hours, they change their mind.

Excluding consideration of the current developments in Iran, I can understand that maybe the State Department and the Obama administration was going to use these events to open another door towards diplomacy with Iran.

My bet is the Iranians were not going to show up, but diplomats will now need to find other plans for Independence Day.

The White House announced Wednesday that it has rescinded the invitations made to Iranian diplomats who may want to barbecue and watch fireworks to celebrate Independence Day.

“As you all know many weeks ago the administration extended an invitation to celebrate the freedom that this country enjoys. not surprisingly based on what we see in Tehran, no one has RSVP’d,” said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

“Understand that July 4th allows us to celebrate the freedom and liberty that we enjoy. I don’t think it’s surprising that no one has signed up to come given the events of the last few days. Those invitations will be no longer extended.

What changed between yesterday at 12:30 p.m. ET and today? Sweet goodness…

The Obama administration collectively wet their finger, stuck it in the air and changed their mind since they totally missed the concept.

State Department gaffe in Baghdad – Gay Pride theme party at pub

General Order 1 – as associated to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan – is designed to ensure the locals are not offended by the actions of visiting troops. Former General Norman Schwarzkopf initiated General Order 1 during Desert Shield in late 1990. It begins

Operation Desert Shield places United States Armed Forces into USCENTCOM AOR countries where Islamic law and Arabic customs prohibit or restrict certain activities which are generally permissible in western societies. Restrictions upon these activities are essential to preserving U.S. host nation relations and the combined operations of U.S. and friendly forces.

The rule remains today, and BlackFive picked up a story in the Washington Post.

Apparently they have different rules at the State Department.  This isn’t pointed at the lads and lassies on the ePRTs who are doing good work, running the hazards and sharing the suffering with the rest of us.  I’ve yet to meet a one of them I didn’t like, while I’ve met a few I genuinely admire.  But what should I read in the paper?

From Al Kamen at the Washington Post

For One Night, Baghdad Gets a Pink Zone
Change has certainly come to Baghdad. And it appears that includes the U.S. Embassy, where they are holding what the invitation says is the first-ever U.S. Embassy Gay Pride Theme Party next Friday at Baghdaddy’s, which is the embassy employee association’s pub.

“Come celebrate the start of Summer with color . . . and in costume!” the May 10 invitation says. “Dress in drag or as a gay icon. All are welcome.” The invitation was attached to what was called an “All Hands Alerts” e-mail.

An embassy spokesman said by way of explanation: “This is an event organized and sponsored by a group of employees. Given the lack of places to meet in Baghdad, the embassy allows groups to use its social facilities for events on a first-come, first-served basis.”

The invitation says, “Prizes will be awarded for two contests: Best Dressed Gay Icon and Best Lip Synch Performance.” Unclear what the prizes are, but don’t forget to “order costume supplies now in time for May 29th,” we’re told. “For more info and costume ideas, check out the next edition of The Tigris Times.”

I guess Hillary did not get the memo about insulting the host country.