Posts Tagged ‘diplomacy’

The Nutella Affair

June 19, 2015

The Nutella Affair

Not since Louis XII seized Milan has there been such conflict between France and Italy. French Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal urged the public to stop eating Nutella, the chocolate hazelnut goo, to help prevent deforestation. Nutella is 20 percent palm oil, and palm plantations are often created by cutting down huge swaths of topical forests. Italy went into an uproar, since Nutella is made by Ferrero, the huge confectionery firm based outside Turin. Michele Anzaldi of the Camera dei Deputati was outraged by the grave e brutto slur against eccellenza italiana.

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Kid Senator Pens ‘Cheeky’ Letter to Iran; International Crisis Ensues

March 11, 2015

Kid Senator Pens 'Cheeky' Letter to Iran; International Crisis Ensues

In office for a couple of months, young freshman Senator Tom Cotton (AR-R) wrote an open letter to the leaders of Iran, saying that any nuclear agreement they sign with the current administration won’t be worth a bucket of warm spit in two years when the Tea Party takes over the White House. That’s misleading, but 46 other GOP senators signed on anyway, some of them older guys who really don’t know what they’re signing. These political pen pals are being hailed as … traitors, reckless, dumb, dangerous and irresponsible, trolls, saboteurs, and so on.

Secretaries of State past and present denounced the letter as a dangerous political stunt. Iran blew it off, but there’s been a strong, substantial public backlash in the USA. Now the GOP letter writers claim it was all a joke, that they were just being “cheeky.” After all, what’s more fun than jeopardizing a critical nuclear weapons agreement?

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See You in C-U-B-A!

December 17, 2014

See You In C-U-B-A!
“The United States and Cuba agreed on Wednesday to restore diplomatic ties that Washington severed more than 50 years ago, and President Barack Obama called for an end to the long economic embargo against its old Cold War enemy.”

— “U.S., Cuba restore ties after 50 years,” Daniel Trotta and Steve Holland, Reuters

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Romney Charm, Offensive

July 27, 2012

Romney Charm, Offensive

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney sought to demonstrate his statesmanship with a trip to the Old World, but he seems to have an odd sense of diplomacy. As a guest in the United Kingdom he opined that London’s arrangements for the 2012 Olympics were “disconcerting” and “obviously is not something which is encouraging,” and “it’s hard to know just how well” the Games will succeed.

Having arranged snowball fights at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City (population 190,000), Mr. Romney is well qualified to assess the 2012 Olympics in London (population 8,000,000). Certainly the organizer of London’s Games should have solved his logistical problems the way Mitt Romney did, by becoming a registered lobbyist and getting $1.3 Billion in earmarks from the national government. Ladies and gentlemen, that is superior business management.

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@America in Indonesia

March 7, 2011

Indonesia is the globe’s most populous Muslim nation. It is also the second-largest Facebook market, the third-largest for Twitter.  Many of the country’s teens own mobile phones. So how does the U.S. Department of State seek to win the young hearts and minds of Indonesia? It gets digital with a new cultural center.

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