Via El Snarkistani over in It’s Always Sunny in Kabul:
And this took over a year? Don’t they have Macbooks at the Embassy?
So part of Crocker’s legacy at the Embassy, besides being really excited about how much money has been siphoned out of the country due to massive corruption, and making sure that the majority of Department of State staff in this country never left Kabul, is the eponymous TV studio that took over a year to complete.
Now, instead of outsourcing ridiculous television ventures, the Embassy staff can now be inept all on their own.
Oh, El Snarky, so harsh. What is El Snarkistini talking about? This one:
Paging Mr. Universe, you are needed in Kabul A-S-A-P where you can now do live television broadcasts and studio quality videos for the web in Afghanistan, a country where 4.2% of the population are internet users and where more than half never uses television. That teevee number goes up 73% in the rural areas of Afghanistan, by the way.
Whose bright idea was this? Please do tell so we can give appropriate credit!
Okay – so since Ambassador Crocker “dedicated” this ahem, Ryan C. Crocker Expeditionary Production Studio on June 24, to whom did he dedicate this to? To the best of our memory, even the late Richard Holbrooke who reportedly had his own personal archivist did not go so far as dedicate a building to himself.
Um, pardon me? You mean why can’t ambassadors name stuff after themselves in a country where money obviously is not/not a problem it’s leaking left and right?
Because. It’s bad form. And it’s muy, muy embarassaurus. I’m writing this post under my desk, you guys!
Oh, yes — wouldn’t that look like ambassadors are building a temple of their own greatness or something? But pray, what’s wrong with that? If they are in fact, great?
Well, for one thing, it reminds us of Alexander the Great who liked to found cities and name them after himself, in honour of his own achievements. By the way, last year the BBC had this interesting piece about the pitfalls of naming places after famous people. It’s a must read if you’re thinking of renaming things after yourself, too.
And then there’s El Jefe, Rafael Trujillo. In 1936 the capital city of the Dominican Republic was changed from Santo Domingo to Ciudad Trujillo. The province of San Cristobal was changed to “Trujillo”, and the nation’s highest peak, Pico Duarte, was renamed Pico Trujillo. Heck, this is a broadcast studio, it’s not like they’re naming a mountain after him.
Right you are, but huge problems with bad associations, see?
And it creates a bad precedence. Seriously. Are they going to start naming the chanceries and ambassadors’ residences with ambassadors’ names? Or new embassy compounds, or water towers? Or roads and bridges built with aid money? What?
C’mon Ms. Eileen O’Connor, Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy and US Embassy Kabul folks, youreallydon’tthinkthislooksbad?
The State Department already has a $10,000 award named after Ambassador Crocker (see Ryan C. Crocker Award for Outstanding Leadership in Expeditionary Diplomacy). I get that. But I don’t know whose brainchild is the Ryan C. Crocker Expeditionary Production Studio or how much this cost American taxpayers. And this is still a shocker. Also a production studio need folks to work there, so more 3161 employees are needed. And here I thought we’re shrinking our footprint there by 2014. Oops wait, aren’t we supposed to be there until 2024 to the Karzai’s clan endless delight? While we’re in the business of naming stuff, can we please, please name something big, a bridge, a building, the Parliament, “2014” as a reminder? Oh, we can always rename it “2024” later to celebrate the next phase of this perplexing relationship.
In any case, I fervently hope that the Ryan C. Crocker Expeditionary Production Studio‘s name is carved in stone or the next ambassador might be tempted to re-brand that new shiny thing with his/her name. Of course, who’s going to say “no” if he/she wants to replace the carved stone with a new carved stone with a new name, hmnnn?
- US ambassador to Kabul Ryan Crocker to quit (telegraph.co.uk)
- US Consulate Mazar-e-Sharif: $80 Million and Wishful Thinking Down the Drain, and Not a Brake Too Soon (diplopundit.net)
- U.S. officials: Ambassador Crocker to step down from Afghan post (security.blogs.cnn.com)
- US Embassy builds capacity of…US Embassy (photo) (findingmytribe.wordpress.com)