15 December 2015

John Kirby hates "tough questions"

The Blog

US State Department spokesman John Kirby refused "tough questions" from a Russian journalist and returned several questions angrily during a press conference.

During the press conference, Kirby was asked questions by the RT (Russia Today) network’s Gayane Chichakyan, who asked if the Iraqi government should have no concern over the US refusing responsibility for settling divisions in the so-called coalition against ISIL.

  • State Dept: US leads a 60-nation coalition
  • State Dept: US not responsible for coalition members and disputes, they work bilaterally

While at the same time bragging about the size and scope of the US-led campaign against ISIL, Kirby kept saying the US does not take responsibility for the actions of these forces and they must resolve any of their own problems bilaterally. The Russian journalist's apparently too "tough" and unanswerable question was a follow-up question to that apparent contradiction in Kirby's points.

Rather than answering the question, Kirby tried to insult Chichakyan on the air and condemn the RT network for asking "difficult questions". Kirby pointed out that RT does not pose this type of question to the Russian government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), as if this indicated double standards in the network's reporting. This is despite the clear difference that Russia is not offering arrogant propositions to lead 60-nation coalitions or trying to dominate the world - behavior that at least requires RT to ask a few more challenging questions.

The questions Kirby would like RT's Gayane Chichakyan to ask of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were never mentioned. However, Russia's MFA has openly asked the State Department itself to pose any questions for it to answer. The State Department refused that opportunity, feeling it better to imagine and speculate about Russians than talk to them.

This arrogant refusal to listen to the Russians and desire to ignore them may be why the US strategy in Syria has proven such a failure while the Russian strategy is succeeding.

It does not occur to Kirby that the reason Russia is not being asked "tough questions" of the variety asked by Chichakyan is because no one has tried. Kirby instead insinuates another explanation: Russian diplomats escape tough questions by getting RT and other Russian media to screen them out. There is no evidence of that behavior by the Russians, but there is evidence of the State Department hiding from tough questions. Just look at John Kirby himself.

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