The dissing of the president

Diss: In December, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, under fire for a corruption scandal, unleashed a media campaign to impugn U.S. Ambassador Francis Ricciardone as a member of a dark conspiracy to destabilize the government in Ankara. This is the same Mr. Erdogan whose regime Mr. Ricciardone praised for “great development in democratic structure.” It’s also the same Mr. Erdogan about whom Mr. Obama once said he had formed “bonds of trust.”

Diss: “Rather than challenging the Syrian and Iranian governments, some of our Western partners have refused to take much-needed action against them,” warned Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.K. late last year. “The foreign policy choices being made in some Western capitals risk the stability of the region and, potentially, the security of the whole Arab world. This means the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has no choice but to become more assertive in international affairs.”

This would have been a diss were it whispered in the corridor of a foreign chancellery. The ambassador published it as an op-ed in the New York Times.

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