Sir, I think the real Borat here is me. It takes special “skill” to insult an entire country with only four words. I should have realized that certain types of journalists might take those comments and run with the opportunity to spin, yet I simply had no idea that apparently huge amounts of Lithuanians are reading my work.
Apparently Michael Yon has come face to face with the term “cultural disconnect.” I got caught in this myself once, sending correspondence to a minor cultural minister in Moscow… the equivalent to a minor college dean in the US. What I missed at the time is that, in Moscow’s hierarchy-conscious society, such a position made her a “Grande Dame” in full-on 19th-century style. (And yes, “Herr Doktor Professor” is still taken seriously and gets friday night reservations easier in some parts of Austria, too.)
Fortunately, the guy I was working for had, oh, a LOT of experience with Russians, and was able to smooth it over without TOO many feathers being ruffled.