Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Pre-packaged US State Dept templates


Al Jazeera blogger Imran Garda has a great post about the U.S. response when a U.S. ally is using extreme force against peaceful protestors calling for change, or when a U.S. ally is 'bombing civilians to smithereens.' Here is the template the U.S. uses to respond to U.S. allies:
“We continue to monitor the situation and are very concerned about recent events in ______. We call for restraint on both sides. We urge President/Prime Minister/King ______ to facilitate dialogue and provide concrete steps towards a peaceful resolution.”
The response varies quite a bit if the state using disproportionate force and violating international law/human rights happens to NOT be a U.S. ally:
Luckily, there’s more flexibility if you’re not dealing with an ally - there is no stock template.

Try to throw in as many colourful condemnatory adjectives as possible. Toss in a couple of reminders of International Law, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Conventions; dig up a few things about what Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have to say - and basically be honest. 
PJ Crowley
As evidence, check out a recent tweet from US State Dept Spokesperson, PJ Crowley:
#SecClinton spoke this afternoon with FM Aboul Gheit of #Egypt. She encouraged restraint and dialogue, and offered U.S. support for reforms.
Look for the US 'ally template' being used by the State Department in the near future. 


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