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Saturday, May 05, 2007


U.S. "diplomacy"

No doubt you've heard about the Iranian Foreign Minister "fleeing" (yes, that's the word used routinely on the TV broadcasts I heard) from the sight of a woman in a red dress at a dinner. Look, he may have honestly had his religious sensibilities offended, or he may have been looking for an excuse to get away from Condoleezza Rice (I certainly sympathize there!). But is it really appropriate for the official spokesperson of the State Department, Sean McCormack, to say this: "I am not sure which woman he was afraid of - the woman in the red dress or the Secretary of State."

I mean, that might be a mildly funny joke out of the mouth of Jon Stewart or Jay Leno. But considering that Muslims around the world are convinced in huge numbers that the U.S. is conducting a war on their religion, should an official U.S. spokesperson really be insulting their religion in public by ridiculing its view of women, even if that view is, from a Western point of view, ridiculous? Isn't that precisely the kind of behavior that's going to create even more hatred of America (if that's indeed possible)?

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