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March 06, 2009

Diplomacy, Continued

What's the deal with gifts?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton opened her first extended talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov by giving him a present meant to symbolize the Obama administration’s vow to “press the reset button” on U.S.-Russia relations.

She handed a palm-sized box wrapped with a bow. Lavrov opened it and pulled out the gift: a red button on a black base with a Russian word peregruzka printed on top.

“We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?” Clinton asked.

“You got it wrong,” Lavrov said.

Instead of "reset," Lavrov said the word on the box meant “overcharge.”

Clinton and Lavrov laughed.

Hm. You work at the State Department, with thousands of native Russian speakers at your easy command.

You "worked hard" to get a fairly basic word right but got it wrong.


Unlike the Gordon Brown dis, this is just an error without much consequence.

However, it does demonstrate that none of these fucks have any idea what the hell they're doing.

Hillary could have called a native speaker of Russian, but apparently she decided to rely on, who knows, her good buddy Joe Wilson and BabbleFish.

Yes, it's a small thing... except Hillary intended it to be a big, charming, winning gesture. Which failed. Because she "worked hard" to get a word right but didn't think of making a phone call to an expert.

If they can't take the minute necessary to get the small things right, I don't see why I should have confidence they'll spend the hours and weeks necessary to get the big things right.

Thanks to anti-Harkonen Freedom Fighter Geoff.

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posted by Ace at 04:49 PM

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