Al Kamen of the _Post_ has the breakdown on “Dennis Ross’s geographic area of responsibility”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1878/state-craft — the Persian Gulf littoral states plus Yemen — and much else besides. “Read it here”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/25/AR2009022503815.html.
For those of you keeping score at home, that’s Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Yemen. Alphabetically speaking.
You know, I enjoy a little harmless snark as much as anyone, but the students in “Robert Wood’s geography class”:http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2009/02/119782.htm are starting to get downright abusive. Just ’cause their industry is dying, whereas he’s standing up there with job security, doesn’t mean they have to be unpleasant.
I’ll spare you the video.
In related news, Secretary Clinton has “rolled out”:http://www.state.gov/video/?videoid=14090183001 Stephen Bosworth as the senior-most U.S. representative to North Korea and the Six-Party Talks. The human props you see flashing by there at the start are Sung Kim on the left and Chris Hill on the right.
Here’s one little indicator of just how peculiar the personnel selection process has been. Just a couple of weeks ago, when he was touring the region with a gaggle of other balding, sixty-something males — “the High Council of Morts”:http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/include/print.asp?newsIdx=39176 — the wires and the South Korean press were full of reports that “Bosworth would be the envoy”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1844/track-i-and-a-half-in-pyongyang. Everybody knew this, except, it seems, “Bosworth”:http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2009a/02/119861.htm:
I was there earlier this month as a member of a private delegation. At that point, I had no idea I was going to be returning so soon, nor indeed in this particular role.
That sound you hear? Anthony Zinni’s molars grinding.
And with that, it’s time to move on from these two mini-dramas. Somebody wake me when it’s “Rose Gottemoeller’s”:http://www.carnegieendowment.org/experts/index.cfm?fa=expert_view&expert_id=101 turn.