Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, October 23, 2006

Show Fernandez The Door

Is three the charm for Alberto Fernandez?

First, the director of the Office of Press and Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of Near East Affairs told Al-Jaz there is a strong possibility history will show the United States displayed "arrogance" and "stupidity" in its execution of the war in Iraq.

Then he said it was a matter of mistranslation.

Now, he has told CNN that he stands by his quote and offers up an explanation and apology:
"Upon reading the transcript of my appearance on Al-Jazeera, I realized that I seriously misspoke by using the phrase 'there has been arrogance and stupidity' by the U.S. in Iraq." ...

He was defending U.S. policy in a region where everyone dislikes the United States, he said, and was doing so in an aggressive way that was faithful to U.S. policy, and trying to put it in the best light. Fernandez said he was "not dissing U.S. policy."
I know what he's talking about. Sometimes it is better to take a strong line in defense of a strong position -- politicians do that when they say, "If you're not satisfied with me, you can vote me out." It's best to say it when you know you've done well and you've got strong support.

But Fernandez, as a press officer, should know better than to use the tactic in this situation with a medium that will carry his words thought the Arabic-speaking world. One might say it is evidence of "arrogance" and "stupidity" on his part.

He needs to be transferred immediately. He is damaged goods in an area we can have only the best of the best at work.

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