OxBlog

Sunday, January 30, 2005

# Posted 1:10 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

THE FRENCH ARE OBJECTIVELY GENEROUS, THOUGHFUL AND KIND: Check out this article about the French Navy from the Associated Press. I wonder how often the AP runs puff-pieces about other militaries. Also notice the reference to anonymous "critics" of the American armed forces whose accusations are never rebutted.

UPDATE: The only reason I came across the AP article about the French Navy was that someone forwarded it to an Oxford maillist that I'm on. Naturally, the person who forwarded it did so entirely in order to emphasize the criticism of the United States contained in the article.

Although I have long since tired of responding to every anti-American posts on certain Oxford maillists, super-stud Steev Sachs decided to defend our nation's honor. Perceptively, Steev noticed that the AP article provides some very brief quotes from Condi Rice in order to support its allegations that the US took advantage of the tsunami to strengthen it's ties to the Indonesian military.

As it turns out, the AP quoted Rice wildly out of context. According to this transcript, Dr. Rice responded to a question about public diplomacy by saying:
I do agree that the tsunami was a wonderful opportunity to show not just the U.S. government, but the heart of the American people. And I think it has paid great dividends for us.
Here's how the AP reported what she said:
Critics of the U.S. military's work in Indonesia say Washington has seized on the disaster as a pretext for advancing its strategic interests in the archipelago and improving ties with the Indonesian military.

Those ties effectively were cut in 1999 after Indonesian troops and their proxy militias killed 1,500 East Timorese after the half-island territory voted for independence in a U.N.-sponsored independence referendum.

During her recent Senate confirmation hearings, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites) said the tsunami provided a "wonderful opportunity" for the United States to reap "great dividends" in the region.
Classic, no? Rice talks about showing generosity and the AP twists her words to suggest she wants to jump in bed with murderers.

UPDATE: Steev has now provided his own fisking of the AP.
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