Monday, February 14, 2005

Diplomatic Incident

I missed this story when it happened. (Hat tip: Silent Running) Condoleezza Rice visited Belgium last week, and an altercation between a USA Diplomatic Security agent and the Head of Protocol at the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in which Mijnheer Ambassadeur assaulted the DS guy and got away with it, was shown on Belgian TV. Think back to the incident in Chile last year, and you get the picture, sort of. Now the inside scoop. Someone claiming to be the agent involved has posted his version of events.
I initially just blew him off. Remember, I never met this guy. I don't know who he is. The press is where I want them so I could care less. I am not getting paid to negotiate press access on the Tarmac when the Secretary of State is coming down the ladder. Remember that was done days ago. All I have to do is delay this guy long enough for her to get in the limo and I am done. No harm, no embarrassment. Now he starts pushing me. This is where a Secret Service agent would have put him on the ground. I however understand that this guy is probably someone important so I warn him. One more time and he's gone. It's all on tape. Watch it again if you missed that part. In the US I would have arrested him. In Belgium apparently it's ok to assault someone and have it shown on TV. And we Americans are supposed to be the violent ones? [...] It wasn't till after I got back that I found out who he was. Interesting, I thought. So that was Belgium's highest-ranking diplomat. Odd way to conduct diplomacy, pushing and shouting, nicht war? But who am I? I am nobody.

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