Nahal Toosi Profile picture
Jun 2, 2020 3 tweets 1 min read Read on X
1/So guys, guess what. I just got ahold of a document that has State Dept human rights officials asking senior colleagues, NGOs and others to film short videos of themselves holding candles & talking about the inspiration of Tiananmen’s protesters.
2/The videos are supposed to be posted from June 2/June 3 (the anniversary) along with the hashtag #TiananmenVigil. An interesting campaign to remember an extraordinary event that China’s government has tried to wipe out of history. But given what’s happening in the U.S....
3/Well, to be honest, I’m betting the State Department will move forward with it. Sec. Pompeo really does not like the Chinese Communist Party and won’t care about charges of hypocrisy. (Also will say there’s no equivalence.)

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More from @nahaltoosi

Jun 1, 2023
1/It took me a while to unravel what I could about this unusual diplomatic incident & there remain mysteries. Like what did South Africa really do with that Russian ship? I know some people will have strong reactions. I want to add one thing via Twitter……
2/This was cut from the story but I think it’s interesting: Brigety is thought of as a guy who follows the rules BUT he has at times used the platform afforded to him to make a strong public statement. He was the first Black vice chancellor of the University of the South…
3/His family home was reportedly vandalized — possibly due to racist motives. So in 2021 he gave a big speech at the school basically calling for a reckoning. Story below.…
Read 4 tweets
Nov 11, 2022
1/NEW: President Biden says he’s all about diplomacy. I wondered, how engaged is he with world leaders? So I analyzed one simple measure: His phone calls to global counterparts. I was genuinely shocked by the numbers. Here’s the full breakdown:…
2/Some of what I learned? The entire continent of Africa has had fewer Biden calls than some single countries in Europe and the Middle East. The Western Hemisphere numbers seem ok, until you realize a bunch are calls to Canada. And so much more...
3/Look, I get it. There’s a war in Europe. (But there’s also one in Ethiopia.) And phone calls alone aren’t the full measure of a president’s engagement. But they’re often the easiest, fastest way to reach people Biden would otherwise never see.
Read 4 tweets
Oct 23, 2022
1/MY LATEST: I’ve spent recent months exploring a question that’s often ignored in Washington: Is US diplomacy strong enough to take on China?

My verdict: America is not up to the task.…
2/Even though both political parties agree that China is a critical challenge, that hasn’t translated into serious new resources for diplomacy – not even the kind that focuses on commercial and trade issues, China’s top diplomatic priority.
3/Instead, partisan sniping derails efforts to strengthen US diplomacy, funding for diplomacy has been flat for a decade, and the US can’t even fill ambassadorships. The Pentagon, meanwhile, gets tens of billions more every year.
Read 9 tweets
Sep 5, 2022
1/NEW: I just spoke to John Sullivan, who recently left his position as the U.S. ambassador to Russia. He told me the reason for his sudden departure: His wife Grace Rodriguez was very ill with cancer. She died today.
2/Sullivan and Rodriguez had been married 34 years. She’d fought cancer before, and they thought they had more time. But things took a sudden turn for the worse this past week, he told me.
3/Sullivan had not expected to stay as ambassador much longer, knowing his wife’s health was not great. But he stressed that his decision to leave faster than expected had nothing to do with his feelings about Putin’s war or Biden admin policy. It was about his wife.
Read 4 tweets
Feb 9, 2022
1/There’s a lot of understandable angst in DC about whether the U.S. should rejoin what will be a weaker Iran nuclear deal. But I also have to wonder why Iran’s Islamist regime would want to rejoin. Think about it:
2/Even the original version of the deal (aka the JCPOA), which was in effect for 2 years, didn’t do an amazing amount for Iran’s economy. Many sanctions were lifted, true. But, for reasons including Iran’s own management/legal failures, plenty of foreign companies stayed away.
3/Already, anti-deal orgs are warning businesses against investing in Iran should the JCPOA be restored. If the Biden admin is seen as encouraging those biz to invest in Iran, that will invite political criticism, so I doubt they’ll really do it. The US domestic politics...
Read 10 tweets
Feb 8, 2022
1/I have many thoughts on this report. One: it’s striking to see US military officials blame State/WH for not reacting fast enough to the fall of a gov’t caused by the collapse of an army trained by, heavily dependent on, & abandoned by … the US military.…
2/Yes, I know it was POTUS’ call to leave. But why did the US pull out so fast, including contractors that were so critical to Afghan army functions? Why did we make that army so dependent on our military? Moving on...
3/Did State & the White House screw up? No doubt in many ways. But for anyone to blame one agency or group for the failures of Afghanistan is overly simplistic & fails to grasp how complicated/interdependent the USG machinery is, & how hard it is to shift things.
Read 14 tweets

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