- By Marya Hannun<p> Marya Hannun is a researcher at Foreign Policy. </p>
You’ve probably noticed that the Russian republic of Chechnya has dominated the news today, as we learn more about the suspects implicated in the Boston Marathon bombing. For some, though, this has led to more confusion than clarity. On Friday, the Czech Republic began trending on Twitter as people mixed up the two locations — located 1,600 miles apart.
In addition to prompting a host of angry responses, the mix-up has now even elicited a response from the Czech ambassador to the United States, Petr Gandalovic, who seemed rather offended and posted the following statement on the embassy’s website:
As more information on the origin of the alleged perpetrators is coming to light, I am concerned to note in the social media a most unfortunate misunderstanding in this respect. The Czech Republic and Chechnya are two very different entities – the Czech Republic is a Central European country; Chechnya is a part of the Russian Federation.
As the President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman noted in his message to President Obama, the Czech Republic is an active and reliable partner of the United States in the fight against terrorism. We are determined to stand side by side with our allies in this respect, there is no doubt about that.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the only diplomatic kerfuffle to arise from the search for suspects. On Thursday, the Yemeni embassy sent out a press release demanding that MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews apologize for inquiring about whether federal investigators could determine from photo and video footage whether the suspects were of Yemeni origin:
The Embassy of Yemen was concerned and appalled this evening when MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews indirectly branded the people of Yemen as terrorists. This was an unfair comment, which the Embassy of the Republic of Yemen in Washington, D.C. strongly condemns.
The U.S. media and Twittersphere haven’t exactly done a spectacular job getting the facts straight this week. We can only hope that as the story plays out, it doesn’t spark any additional international standoffs.
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.| Passport |
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |