Thursday, June 25, 2015

U.S. Embassy Bujumbura Has Got What You'd Call "Vulnerability"

To all the critics who claim that Fortress Embassies appear intimidating and unwelcoming to our foreign visitors, I say, look at that picture from U.S. Embassy Bujumbura, a safe, secure, and functional new embassy compound that opened only two years ago.

According to the WaPo story about today's incident, that old man in a blue suit who replaced the adorable Marie Harf as State Department spokesperson - what's his name again? - said that "There was never any penetration of the actual embassy compound, and none of our State Department employees were under any physical threat whatsoever.”

Okay, that's all good. But just as importantly, our foreign visitors really look like they were not the least bit unwilling to drop by despite our security architecture, don't they?

My good friends in OBO must be doing something right.

Please understand that I'm not criticizing. After all, how much protection can we reasonably expect from a simple gate? Even the best of them have a soft spot, as you might remember from Pinky's vulnerability assessment of Checkpoint 19 in The Grand Budapest Hotel:

Checkpoint 19 ain't no two-bit hoosegow. You got broad-gauge iron bars on every door, vent and window. You got 72 guards on the floor and 16 more in the towers. You got a 325-foot drop into a moat full of crocodiles. But, like the best of them, it's got a soft spot, which in this case happens to take the form of a storm-drain sewer system dating from the time of the original rock fortification way back in the Middle Ages.

Now, nobody's saying it's a stroll down a tree-lined promenade with a fine lady and a white poodle, but it's got what you'd call "vulnerability."

I'm still not criticizing, but, you know, maybe we could do something about that soft spot. Pinky, any ideas?


Anonymous said...

TSB: Is this Bujumbura a real place or
are you just messing with us? gwb
PS: I'll bet you 5 pesos the 2nd desperado
makes it across the Canadian border. gwb

TSB said...

GWB: It's real, all right. No one could invent a place that strange. Cross a border? Those guys are desperate enough to cross any border, but their problem is all the surrounding countries are just as bad.