U.S. Embassy Helps Americans in Burma Cyclone – The Bastards!

Steven Royster, Spokesman for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, had this to say of the tragic cyclone which has killed tens of thousands of people in Burma:

When a crisis like this strikes around the world, the Department of State’s first thought is for the safety of American citizens. As the storm brewed offshore, colleagues at the American Embassy in Rangoon issued two messages to Americans in country with advice on how to prepare for Nargis.

The Attackerman is outraged and snarks, “Don’t be surprised if that gets quoted in the next bin Laden tape.”

But, um, isn’t the first thought of the United States government supposed to be for the welfare of its own citizens? Those people our government is of, for, and by? Those people whose ancestors ordained its Constitution “in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”? Who, you know, pay for the government to begin with?

Indeed, I’m given to understand that “The mission of the U.S. Department of State is to create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community.” Notice the order?

It’s not as if we’re not offering millions in aid to the Burmese victims, with many more millions doubtless to come. (If the murdering thugs who run the place accept it, of course.) We’re pretty generous at times like this. That doesn’t mean we don’t look out for our own, first.

FILED UNDER: Natural Disasters, World Politics, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bithead says:

    It strikes me that in the aftermath of Katrina, those at the bizzarely named “think progress” were busy blaming BOOOOOSSSSSSCCCHHHH for people not getting help, there, instead of putting the blame for their not getting help sqaurely on the shoulders of the local and state governments there.

    Are we now, based on their rection to this, to assume that the state and local governments in and around NOLA are as helpless as those in Burma?

  2. Anon says:

    It’s not clear exactly what Ackerman’s point is. He could be just criticizing the blog as being tone-deaf. For example, the blog post could have been rewritten to say essentially the same thing by first emphasizing that this is a human tragedy, then going on to note that:

    “As the Department of State, our role is…”

    Imagine if it were a corporate blog. Of course, we all understand that the purpose of a business is to make money. Nonetheless, an official blog post from a drug company that reads:

    “At XYZ Inc., whenever a new disease emerges, our first thought is how we can use this opportunity to increase our profits…”

    would be considered a PR disaster.

    However, to a large degree, I do think that Ackerman is overreacting.

  3. Shouldn’t they rename themselves feelprogress? Thinking appears to takes a backseat to feeling. Outrage certainly doesn’t have much of a contribution to make to anyone actually trying to help.

  4. KJ says:

    If we follow Attackerman’s point to it’s logical conclusion… the function of the State Dept. of to assure that US citizens are provided as additional victims for disasters such as this. This may be one of the great idiot blog comments of the past year.