Lives saved or preserved

James Taranto rounds up the stories on the apology ad (video below) that the practitioners of smart diplomacy in the United States Department of State have arranged to run on seven Pakistani networks. Despite the best efforts of our practitioners of smart diplomacy, yesterday’s riots in Pakistan yielded a death toll of at least 20.

Does that mean that the $70,000 reportedly spent by the United States government to broadcast the ad was wasted? Of course not. Using the required “stimulus” analytics, the ad saved thousands of lives and prevented an equal number of deaths. It would have been much, much worse.

And that’s not all! Pakistan Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Balor has told the AP that he would pay a reward of $100,000 out of his own pocket for the death of the Muhammad “filmmaker.” The AP helpfully adds: “He urged the Taliban and al Qaeda to perform the ‘sacred duty’ of helping locate and kill the filmmaker.” Why, if we hadn’t run those ads, he would have offered bounties on hundreds of Americans.

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