Bruce Pannier, the poor chap, has finally run out of anything to say. All that is left is white noise.
His cringeworthy rant ‘The Strangely Boring Visit Of Iran’s President To Turkmenistan,’ published by RFE/RL on 30 March 2018 takes the cake, speedily overtaking the standard Bruce Pannier ludicrousness. I really feel sorry for him.
It is difficult to discern the drift of his piece, perhaps because it doesn’t go anywhere – it sinks to the bottom right at the headline.
Here is a pro trip for Pannier and anyone else desirous of writing a political commentary: A state visit can be described as productive or non productive, a state visit, depending on its outcome, is groundbreaking or landmark, historic or ‘a new page in bilateral relations,’ just bland ‘cordial’ or any other adjective or a combination of adjectives from the vast choices available in any standard dictionary. A state visit cannot be BORING or INTERESTING simply because it is a state visit, not a reality show.
Also, here is the summary of the first chapter of 101 on state visits: A state visit (also called official visit), contrary to a working visit or any other kind of visit, is an elaborate affairs. The approximate expected outcome is fairly known even before the start of the visit.
The preparations for an official visit usually start months in advance with the exchange of expert-level delegations to streamline the agenda. The draft agenda is gradually refined with increasing level of interaction. Just before the official visit, a high level official, usually the foreign minister visits the other country to give the final shape to the agenda. The Rouhani visit was no exception. —– The foreign office of Turkmenistan told the media about the forthcoming visit at the start of this year.
The talking points between the heads of state are exchanged in advance.
The text of the documents to be signed is created with mutual consent and cooperation, also in advance.
The smallest details of the visit are conveyed to each other in advance to avoid any misunderstanding or surprises.
Moreover, a state visit is not a standalone product. It is firmly connected with yesterday, today and tomorrow. It takes the yesterday and today as the raw material to build a better or desired tomorrow. It outlines the roadmap for the next stage in bilateral relations.
As far as the outcome of the Rouhani visit is concerned, here are the links to our reports in the English and Russian languages:
Rouhani visits Turkmenistan
Президент Ирана Рухани с визитом в Туркменистане
While we are on the subject of beyond-absurd headlines, it is clear that Bruce Pannier has stiff competition from Ms. Catherine Putz of The Diplomat.
The piece of Ms Putz, published by The Diplomat on 29 March 2018, is headlined ‘What is Iran’s Interest in Maintaining Relations With Turkmenistan.’
Sure, it is a legit question.
What could possibly be Iran’s interest in ‘maintaining’ relations with Turkmenistan? ——- Iran doesn’t share its second-longest border with Turkmenistan, Iran doesn’t need the territory of Turkmenistan for access to Central Asia and China, Iran is not a partner of Turkmenistan in two major transport and transit corridors, Iran is under no sanctions and doesn’t need any friends, Iran is located just next to Mexico and doesn’t have any kind of connections or interaction with Turkmenistan.
Yes, why should Iran maintain relations with Turkmenistan at all?
If Bruce Pannier and Ms. Catherine Putz went to the same school of journalism, the subject sorely missing from its curriculum was the need to retain objectivity in the face of lovingly gathered biases and laboriously acquired perceptions.
When objectivity collapses, so does credibility. That is when such beyond-absurd headlines are born. /// nCa, 2 April 2018