It’s my impression that American embassies around the world have become very unfriendly places. I’m ignorant: maybe they always were. Or maybe they aren’t really that bad now. But I have heard one horror story after another for several years now, without any counter-balancing stories of pride.
We have been turning the embassies into fortresses, because we have a growing number of very angry and violent enemies. Step one building a new embassy: dig a moat. For real. But that’s not the whole explanation.
Embassies are set up to maintain government to government communication; they aren’t tourist agencies. But that’s not the whole explanation.
We are rejecting visa applications at a very high rate, and maybe that sets a tone. Take a look at some websites giving advice to people from India who want to visit America; they are preparing for very unpleasant encounters. But I don’t really understand.
Everyone in Washington is piling on now, attacking that dreadful Clinton woman. She responded breezily yesterday, and started her presentation on silly secrets by bragging about her work in Beijing. Wow. 20 years ago, she went to Beijing, and did zip about forced abortion. Pro-lifers and HONEST pro-choicers both oppose forced abortion in China: it is arguably the worst human rights abuse of the century. Previous administrations, both Democratic and Republican, had sputtered and fussed about Tibet and forced abortion and other human rights problems; but the Clintons let it slide. So it was mind-boggling yesterday! When she explained why she violated State Dept policy on e-mails, and why she chose to be secretive about her leadership of our foreign policy, she started by directing everyone’s attention to her debacle in Beijing! I do not understand that lady! I’m sorely tempted, then, to blame the shift in America’s face abroad – from the occasional ugly American to the universal deliberate governmental-policy repulsive snotty American – on her. I think she was a complete disaster, not just on the abortion issue but also on immigration. I think she’s getting a free ride, after another shocking bomb crater. But I admit promptly: I really don’t know (yet).
First, am I right? I have scattered anecdotes, no more. Are our embassies repulsive and snotty? If so, then a second question: why?