Green Room

Smart power: New Secretary of State hails nation of “Kyrzakhstan”

posted at 10:21 am on February 25, 2013 by

Just remember, this was the best choice in the pantheon of Democratic thinkers in foreign policy after Susan Rice flamed out over Benghazi.  In what appears to be a prepared speech, new Secretary of State and long-time chair/ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee praised the efforts of democracy activists in a Central Asian country that, er, doesn’t exist:

In an embarrassing slip of the tongue, Mr Kerry last week praised US diplomats working to secure “democratic institutions” in the Central Asian country, which does not exist.

The newly minted diplomat was referring to Kyrgyzstan, a poor, landlocked nation of 5.5 million, which he appeared to confuse with its resource-rich neighbour to the north, Kazakhstan.

The Telegraph in London points out just why this is so embarrassing:

Mr Kerry’s flub was all the more awkward, because Kyrgyzstan is a key ally in the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and a major recipient of US aid, which totalled $41 million (£27 million) in 2011.

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Smart Power™!

Jeff Weimer on February 25, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Sam Seaborn: In fact we were talking about the stability of former Soviet republics and their fear of Islamic extremism and I have to say that I made some very scholarly points regarding the remaining nuclear weapons in Kyrgyzstan and I have to believe…
Josh Lyman: Kazakhstan.
Sam Seaborn: Hmm?
Josh Lyman: The nuclear weapons are in Kazakhstan.
Sam Seaborn: I said Kyrgyzstan?
Josh Lyman: Yeah.
Sam Seaborn: Yeah, well, Kyrgyzstan has no nuclear weapons.
Josh Lyman: No.
Sam Seaborn: Kazakhstan’s a country four times the size of Texas and has a sizable number of former Russian missile silos.
Josh Lyman: Yeah.
Sam Seaborn: Kyrgyzstan’s on the side of a hill near China and has mostly nomads and sheep.

I couldn’t help but be reminded of The West Wing when I heard this.

vegconservative on February 25, 2013 at 10:33 AM

John Kerry is dumber .than Sarah Palin. There, I said it

alwaysfiredup on February 25, 2013 at 10:36 AM

I would expect nothing less of this idiot. He has never held a job, he is a traitor, he is a product of liberalism and fantasy. He is a typical oba-mao appointee. An absolute dumb sh*t and a total embarrassment to the country. And we have three more years of his stupidity and ineptitude to deal with. God only knows what damage he can do, either on purpose or by mistake. God save America and God save us from liberals……… Rome is burning.

ultracon on February 25, 2013 at 10:42 AM

You can’t see of those places from Foggy Bottom

BobMbx on February 25, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Kyrzakhstan is where Jenjhis Khan was from. Everyone knows that.

forest on February 25, 2013 at 11:02 AM

In Kyrzakhstan, we invent John Kerry!

BigGator5 on February 25, 2013 at 11:04 AM

But do they have Heinz ketchup there?!? That’s the $23 billion question.

Nutstuyu on February 25, 2013 at 11:07 AM

If those goofy former SSRs want respect, they need to lose some of their consonants!

KS Rex on February 25, 2013 at 11:24 AM

I hate Kerry, but those ex-Soviet “stans” are confusing as hell.

LukeinNE on February 25, 2013 at 11:35 AM

He can see it from his yacht – but he still can’t pronounce it right….

dentarthurdent on February 25, 2013 at 11:46 AM

What difference does it make?™

Brat on February 25, 2013 at 12:01 PM

…the pantheon of Democratic thinkers in {ANY} policy…”

.
This has got to be a typo; obviously there are no Democratic (Party) thinkers, just political operatives.

ExpressoBold on February 25, 2013 at 12:01 PM

John Kerry is dumber .than Sarah Palin. There, I said it

alwaysfiredup on February 25, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Lots of people are dumber than Sarah Palin. Some by a wider margin than others.

Fenris on February 25, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Do they speak Austrian?

right2bright on February 25, 2013 at 12:06 PM

I hate Kerry, but those ex-Soviet “stans” are confusing as hell.

LukeinNE on February 25, 2013 at 11:35 AM

To you and I, certainly…but not to a Secretary of State, where one is a strategic ally…

He is paid to not make those mistakes…I can’t shoot a 3 pointer either, but the guy on the NBA floor better be able to.

right2bright on February 25, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Isn’t that right next to Polaslovakia?

The Rogue Tomato on February 25, 2013 at 12:14 PM

When I was an interrogator in an Air Force survival training (mock) POW camp, we were from the Peoples’ Democratic Republic (PDR) – pretty well genericized all the commie countries at the time (early 80s). Maybe Kerry needs some kind of generic term like that for all the ‘stans so he can talk about them without being COMPLETELY wrong.
But he’d still get it wrong anyway.

And like right2bright says – he gets paid to know the difference and keep them straight. If he can’t, he doesn’t belong in the job – as if that isn’t already obvious….

dentarthurdent on February 25, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Yeah, this isn’t an outrageously big deal – except that 1) he’s paid to know this stuff, 2) he has a staff that is paid to make sure he doesn’t make that sort of mistake, and 3) we were told he was so incredibly competent.

GWB on February 25, 2013 at 12:30 PM

GWB on February 25, 2013 at 12:30 PM

If misspelling potato is national news and cause for ridicule for years then this should be grounds for termination.

Fenris on February 25, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Yeah, this isn’t an outrageously big deal – except that 1) he’s paid to know this stuff, 2) he has a staff that is paid to make sure he doesn’t make that sort of mistake, and 3) we were told he was so incredibly competent.

GWB on February 25, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Can’t wait til they have trouble again in Georgia – and Kerry talks about just runnin down there to straighten out them confederate flag wavin rednecks….

dentarthurdent on February 25, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Maybe Kerry needs some kind of generic term like that for all the ‘stans so he can talk about them without being COMPLETELY wrong.

dentarthurdent on February 25, 2013 at 12:27 PM

He could Sh_tholeistan, like a lot of the military. But, that probably wouldn’t go over well diplomatically speaking.

GWB on February 25, 2013 at 12:37 PM

If misspelling potato is national news and cause for ridicule for years then this should be grounds for termination.

Fenris on February 25, 2013 at 12:35 PM

The worst part of that being – Quayle actually got it right to begin with – and the idiot teachers are the ones who “corrected” him – to the wrong answer.

dentarthurdent on February 25, 2013 at 12:38 PM

He could Sh_tholeistan, like a lot of the military. But, that probably wouldn’t go over well diplomatically speaking.

GWB on February 25, 2013 at 12:37 PM

LOL. Ya – I’d love to hear him use that one….
More accurate than most…..

dentarthurdent on February 25, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Shame of all y’all for ignoring the low-hanging fruit.

“You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well, and if you don’t you get stuck in Iraq Kyrzakhstan.”

Halp Us!

Christien on February 25, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Halp Us!

Christien on February 25, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Nice catch. I’d forgotten about that one.

dentarthurdent on February 25, 2013 at 12:43 PM

GWB on February 25, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Or he can use “Elbonia”.

Jeff Weimer on February 25, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Or he can use “Elbonia”.

Jeff Weimer on February 25, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Well they do have a space program….
But too much water – although Kerry was a Navy heeeero – so he should be ok with Elbonia.

dentarthurdent on February 25, 2013 at 12:45 PM

*He could use Sh_tholeistan,….

GWB on February 25, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Well they do have a space program….
But too much water – although Kerry was a Navy heeeero – so he should be ok with Elbonia.

dentarthurdent on February 25, 2013 at 12:45 PM

My mistake – should be “heeeeroe” – right?

dentarthurdent on February 25, 2013 at 12:49 PM

#johnkerrynewcountries

Enjoy.

BobMbx on February 25, 2013 at 1:07 PM

In a better, more b!tchin’ world, a very nice interview with Borat would already be on Kerry’s schedule. But NOOOOOOO, we’re stuck here in Suckassstan.

Christien on February 25, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Harry Grime ‏@HarryGrime
#JohnKerryNewCountries

Asshatistan

Winner

BobMbx on February 25, 2013 at 1:19 PM

If misspelling potato is national news and cause for ridicule for years then this should be grounds for termination.

Fenris on February 25, 2013 at 12:35 PM

.
Well done!

ExpressoBold on February 25, 2013 at 2:04 PM

…you know he’s a dumbFluke!…why should anybody be shocked?

KOOLAID2 on February 25, 2013 at 2:05 PM

This Administration is nothing but a long series of Simpsons episodes and Onion articles.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/us-ambassador-to-bulungi-suspected-of-making-count,790/

JeremiahJohnson on February 25, 2013 at 2:10 PM

You mean the name of this country wasn’t seared into his memory, like Christmas in Cambodia?

Next stop, Afpakistan, or as his new boss would say, Offpockyston.

When is he planning a visit to Czechoslovakia or Yugoserbia?

Or negotiating a peace between Britain and Argentina over the Maldives?

Steve Z on February 25, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Was Khazakhstan ruled by Jenjis Khan?

TimBuk3 on February 25, 2013 at 10:38 PM

If misspelling potato is national news and cause for ridicule for years then this should be grounds for termination public beheading.

Fenris on February 25, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Anything less would be an insult to Islam./

S. D. on February 26, 2013 at 9:49 AM