A recent spate of mass e-mails nearly crippled the State Department’s communications and generated a terse cable—sent out to all employees, of course—threatening disciplinary action if diplomats and others don’t cut it out. The note blamed abuse of the “reply all” button for the “e-mail storm.”
Georgia announced Friday that it will withdraw all Georgian diplomats from its embassy in Moscow in protest of Russian soldiers’ presence in the country. Russia is expected to pull its own diplomats from its embassy in Tbilisi, but of course its troops will still be stationed in Georgian territory if Georgia really needs to talk.
The Taliban has taken responsibility for the bombing Monday of Afghanistan’s only five-star hotel. The luxurious Serena Hotel, in Kabul, is popular with diplomats and therefore makes for an attractive target.
America’s top envoy to Iraq: “The possibility is there” for sectarian violence to lead to civil war and all-out war in the region. A BBC reporter in Baghdad: “It gives me no pleasure today to forecast further doom and gloom here in Iraq. But, as in Iran in 1978, the facts on the street contradict the assertions of the generals, the politicians and the diplomats.”