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View Diary: Saudi women barred from voting (110 comments)

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  •  How about (none)
    "Listen there Kingy boy. Either you let women vote and stop roughing them up or I, John Kerry, when I become president of the United States will appoint Michael Moore as ambasador to Saudi Arabia!"

    "I'll do it! I really will!"

    "Never believe anything until it's officially denied."

    by Manix on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:41:27 PM PDT

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    •  nice idea, but (none)
      besides the fact that the Seante would never approve, you cannot appoint an ambassador that a company will not accept.

      Those that can, do. Those that can do more, TEACH!

      by teacherken on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 10:52:26 PM PDT

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      •  Interesting. (none)
        you cannot appoint an ambassador that a company will not accept.

        Does this mean that a foreign nation must accept or approve the US ambassodor to their nation? Is it like a veto?

        "Never believe anything until it's officially denied."

        by Manix on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 03:34:51 AM PDT

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        •  Of course it does (none)
          Consider the Golden Rule.  Wouldn't you want to send home a foreign ambassador who was completely unacceptable to you?  Other countries have the same right.  It's their country, after all.  

          Sending home the ambassador is usually a nuclear option accompanied by withdrawing your own, and it's usually called "breaking off diplomatic relations", but there's no reason you couldn't send away their ambassador, while laeaving yours in place and assuring them that another, more acceptable ambassador would be welcome.  

          I don't want to have a go at you, but this blind spot strikes me as similar to the one where Americans are shocked at other countries imposing a trade tariff (and feel justified in forcing open a foreign country's market) while taking their own trade tariffs for granted.  

          •  Well (none)
            I'm aware that some nations sometimes expell foreign diplomats working from embassies and will even order foreign missions closed.

            This usually occurs when there are allegations of spying. What's weird in this respect is that governments will honor diplomatic immunity for foreign embassy employees even up to the point of ignoring murders, theft etc. (I've read about many instances of this kind of thing).

            I can't recall, however, a US ambasador appointee being rejected by a foreign Govt. I'm not saying they can't, it's just that I've never heard of it.

            Let's say President Kerry (knock on wood) appointed Michael Moore as ambasador to Saudi. Well we have an embassy there already. What would the Saudis do? Stop him at the airport and deport him?

            I just don't see Saudi saying "Mr. President, we veto Mr. Moore's appointment and will not recognize him as ambassador. You must pick someone else who we like".

            Do you know of any precedents where such a thing has occured? I like geeky political topics and I find this one interesting.

            Thanks for your input.

            "Never believe anything until it's officially denied."

            by Manix on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 03:42:34 PM PDT

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            •  If they hated him that much they wouldn't give him (none)
              a visa in the first place, I expect, so yes, deportation, if they're crazy enough to send an unwanted ambassador in the first place.  

              Craig Unger, author of House of Bush, House of Saud, a friend of Moore's and the source for much of the Saudi material in F911, is an example of an American who has been refused a visa to enter Saudi Arabia several times.  He was visiting Britain at the same time as a Saudi embassy cultural outreach event was going on, so one of our TV stations took him along to meet the ambassador on camera.  

              The ambassador said Unger would never have written such horrible things about his wonderful country if he had visited and seen it for himself.  Unger reasonably pointed out that he'd love to visit, and has tried to, but they won't let him in!  :-)

              Anyway, back to the "unwanted ambassador" scenario: I can't think of an occasion when anyone has actually tried to send an ambassador the host country doesn't want.  What would be the point of being so obnoxious?  Embassies are all about keeping good relations going, so sending a non-ambassadorial ambassador seems pointless.  

              Also, I believe you have the connection between spying and expulsion backward.  In most cases, they don't expel the ambassador because the embassy has been spying, they accuse the embassy of spying because so they have an excuse to kick out the ambassador.  

              (incidentally, they don't need an excuse to do it, they just want an excuse so they don't look like dicks doing it.  Since the world knows they're just making up accusations, it's not clear why they don't look like dicks anyway, but diplomacy is a funny old game that way)

              •  OK (none)
                the ambasador is supposed to be the "good will emissary" to another country. That would exclude Michale Moore then.

                "Never believe anything until it's officially denied."

                by Manix on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 08:21:57 PM PDT

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