Mar 6, 2009

The Diplomacy of Cheese

Allow me to be the first to say it: this is embarrassing.

“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a red ‘reset button’ to symbolize improved ties. Clinton joked to Lavrov: ‘We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?’ ‘You got it wrong,’ said Lavrov, smiling as the two pushed the reset button together before dinner at a Geneva hotel. He told Clinton the word ‘Peregruzka’ meant "overcharge," to which Clinton replied: "We won't let you do that to us."

Ladies and gentlemen, we present the "Diplomacy of Cheesy Props."

Apparently this is what we can expect from our new Sec. of State, who must now renegotiate a milestone arms treaty with Lavrov, bring him around to eliminating Iran’s Israel-erasing nuclear weapons program, while simultaneously restoring confidence in allies who are nervously waiting for Washington to sell them down the river.

How do you do this? With rubber chickens and hand buzzers, apparently. What about the whoopee cushions? That will really earn you respect at the negotiating table.

(And in case you're wondering, the button should have said: perezagruzka.)

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