Global Fears: Condolences from friends … and enemies?

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Global Fears & Security
Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the current Supreme Leader of Iran. Photo released for public use via Wikimedia Commons.

Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the current Supreme Leader of Iran. Photo released for public use via Wikimedia Commons.

The horrific bombings at the Boston Marathon elicited an outpouring of condolences from around the world. Leaders of the world’s great democracies responded quickly, sending messages of sympathy and support. But what does it mean when “enemies” also send condolences?

Numerous slide-show compilations display the messages from free-world leaders such as French President Francois Hollande, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and the Saudi Arabia ambassador to the U.S. also send condolences. Russian President Vladimir Putin tweeted, “Condolences to US President on the terrorist attack in Boston.”

Iranian leaders also sent condolences—sort of. Iran has long topped the list of nations considered to be enemies of the U.S., as we discussed Tuesday.

The Ayatollah Khamenei condemned the Boston attacks, but used the occasion to lash out at U.S. foreign policy. The religious leader accused the U.S. of a double standard, citing the use of drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and U.S. support of terrorists in Syria and Iraq. According to the Associated Press, he said, “Western civilization is on the verge of collapse and downfall because of contradictions, lack of logic, coercions and lack of care for human principles.”

Foreign Policy Passport (a blog by the editors of Foreign Policy) posted an article about complicated statements by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. On the one hand, a statement in English unambiguously condemns the bombings and offers condolences. On the other hand, a Facebook post in Arabic connects the Boston bombings to the destruction in Syria and Iraq, as well as other events, hinting at a potential conspiracy.

What do you make these statements?

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