Having no tactical, strategic, or diplomatic skills whatsoever, State Department officials resort to crude and primitive bullying
This article originally appeared at Strategic Culture Foundation
The U.S. State Department under Barack Obama has become more petty and vindictive diplomatically than at any time in recent history, including during the Cold War. The actions of U.S. diplomats in pressuring heads of state and government not to attend the May 9 Victory over Nazism commemoration in Moscow, coupled with the U.S. leaning on countries to recognize Kosovo while warning them not to recognize Abkhazia or South Ossetia, is unprecedented in its vitriol.
U.S.ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, a veteran understudy of George Soros, has followed her predecessor, Susan Rice, in using the United Nations to advance America’s untactful diplomacy. Power’s most recent stunt, ordering sound engineers to turn off the microphone of the representative of North Korea during a seminar on human rights sponsored by the U.S. Mission to the U.N., was carried out while U.S.-sponsored North Korean dissidents shouted from the sidelines. It was but one of many cases of diplomacy and proper etiquette being thrown to the wind by an increasingly annoying activist State Department.
Three Balkans leaders, President Tomislav Nikolic of Serbia, Macedonian President Georgi Ivanov, and Republic Srpska Bosnia-Herzegovina co-president Milorad Dodik ignored pressure brought to bear by U.S. ambassadors accredited to their nations and announced they would be present for the May 9 ceremony in Moscow. However, Croatia’s President, Kolinda Garbar-Kitarovic, a former NATO assistant secretary, announced she was skipping the Moscow event, citing the wishes of Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics that no European Union official should be present in Moscow. Former Croatian President Stjepan Mesic criticized the decision by the Croatian president. After Montenegro President Filip Vujanovic announced his boycott of the Moscow celebration, Montenegro opposition leader Miodrag Lekic said, “the Montenegrin government has again displayed subservient inferiority.”
Prior to the decision of the Croatian, Slovenian, and Montenegrin presidents not to go to Moscow, Czech President Milos Zeman announced that the U.S. ambassador to Prague, Andrew Schapiro, would no longer be welcome at the presidential castle. Schapiro criticized Zeman’s preliminary announcement that he would attend the Victory Day ceremony in Moscow. After Schapiro brought direct pressure on the Czech government, Zeman reversed himself and announced that he would be going to Moscow but would not attend the May 9 military parade as originally planned.
The diplomatic pressure brought by U.S. ambassadors on the heads of state of nations that bore the brunt of Nazi occupation not to go to Moscow placed the United States on the same side as neo-Nazis in the Baltics, central Europe, and the Balkans who wanted no part of celebrating Russia’s victory over fascism. The leaders of Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland appeared more comfortable in celebrating the exploits of the Waffen SS Divisions of their nations who fought the Red Army. Zeman has remained steadfast in not allowing Schapiro inside the Prague Castle, the residence of the Czech President. Zeman told a Czech newspaper, “The American ambassador acted in disagreement with the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, which strictly prohibits any foreign Ambassador from intervening in the internal affairs of the host country.”
Zeman also criticized Hashim Thaci, the deputy prime minister and foreign minister of Kosovo, as a war criminal and Zeman said that he, personally, does not recognize the independence of Kosovo. The former Serbian province that was guaranteed independence by the United States, the European Union, and NATO, has become a pet project of the State Department. Not even during the Cold War, when the U.S. paid bribes to various nations to maintain their recognition of the Republic of China on Taiwan as the legitimate government of all of China, has the United States used the degree of guile and threats that it has used to pressure countries to recognize Kosovo. Money was clearly paid to the President of the small African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe in 2012 when Prime Minister Emery Trovoada announced that Sao Tome and Principe was the 98th nation to recognize Kosovo. Sao Tome President Manuel Pinto da Costa said he was never consulted by the previous prime minister on recognition of Kosovo. Furthermore, Sao Tome’s new Prime Minister, Gabriel Costa, called the recognition of Kosovo an “anomaly” because the Sao Tome and Principe parliament had never approved the action. Nevertheless, the Kosovars and Americans insist that the recognition of Kosovo is legitimate even though it was rejected by the president, prime minister, and parliament of Sao Tome and Principe. Elements of the U.S. Africa Command have become increasingly active in the oil-rich Sao Tome and Principe region.
The reverse situation exists with respect to nations that want to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. During the Cold War, the United States expressed disappointment, but little else, when its friends and allies recognized the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, East Germany, North Vietnam, and the socialist government of Cuba. The Americans did not threaten to withhold financial aid and other military assistance from nations that exercised a degree of independence from the U.S. diplomatic party line.
Today, however, the United States is poised to apply pressure on the smallest of nations that extend recognition to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Working together with its FIVE EYES intelligence partners in Australia and New Zealand, diplomatic maneuvering by such island nations as Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia were stymied by the fact that the National Security Agency and its partners in Wellington and Canberra were eavesdropping on foreign ministries in Port-Vila, Funafuti, Suva, and Honiara and pounced on these island-states hard when there was impending recognition of the two small Caucasus republics. Nevertheless, Vanuatu’s foreign minister Sato Kilman met with Abkhazia’s foreign minister in Moscow in March 2015 and announced that previous diplomatic relations established between Sukhum and Port-Vila remained valid.
When Peru and the Dominican Republic appeared close to recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the vise grips of State Department sprang into action. Peruvian President Ollanta Humala reversed himself on recognition after becoming president of Peru. Lucrative trade deals with the United States convinced Humala that his support for the independence of the two states while he was opposition leader was no longer worth it. After Dominican Republic deputies Francisco Matos and Ramon Fernandez, as well as Deputy Prime Minister José Miguel Abreu visited Abkhazia between 2010 and 2011, the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Philip Gordon, the predecessor of the foul-mouthed Victoria Nuland, threatened the Dominican Republic with retaliatory action if it recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Similar U.S. diplomatic and financial pressure was exerted on Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa and the government of the tiny Republic of San Marino.
In 1964, when France announced it was switching recognition of China from Taipei to Beijing, the U.S. State Department did not react by threatening Paris and President Charles de Gaulle. Instead, some State Department diplomats saw the move as useful considering France’s influence in Indochina and its opening of relations with China could serve as a diplomatic bridge in settling the burgeoning Indochina War. The then-Undersecretary of State for political affairs, W. Averell Harriman, and the number two at the U.S. embassy in Saigon, David Nes, did not threaten De Gaulle with American sanctions or other pressure but welcomed France’s new role as a more neutral diplomatic bargainer in Asia. Today, the spoiled brats in the State Department, including Nuland, Schapiro, and Power, would be demanding a freeze on De Gaulle’s foreign assets and a U.S. visa ban imposed on the French president. Diplomacy and tact are now as rare as hen’s teeth in the State Department.