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However, if all the sensational press (indeed, redundant and oxymoronic) succeeds in getting Blackwater booted from State's protective details (not that Green Zone goblins really need a protective detail to walk to the chow hall and back, but I digress), then expect some more CLUEs to emerge (Closeup Looks Underneath Enemy) and a few more heads to roll, all courtesy of Sayyid Jihadi. In the prayer room. With the scimitar.
Because after all, who is going to raise their children if they take a head gainer down the marble palace stairs after being unable to sleep due to the combat hell trifecta of mocha frappe doubleshots, frigid a/c, and spongy mattresses?
No shi'a, there they were...
The memos, often referred to as "snowflakes," shed light on Rumsfeld's brusque management style and on his efforts to address key challenges during his tenure as Pentagon chief.
Yet a new era in dead tree journalism...when all else fails...beat a horse thats been put out to pasture.
When I first saw the article that spawned my interest in the sending of Foreign Service officers to Iraq I felt a mixture of annoyance and amusement. It was annoying that professional Foreign Service Officers need to be directed to the largest foreign policy chance of our day. The professional association’s representative made it amusing with his excessive protesting about how Foreign Service Officers were perceived, a “he doth protests too much” sort of amusement.
Then when Consul-at-Arms responded both in comments here and his own blog, I felt a response was necessary to respond to at least one legitimate criticism of my original post and then note his other critiques lacked substance. I thought that would be the end of it.
But now I am fully irritated at the Foreign Service of the United States.
Yesterday there was a town hall in Foggy Bottom were Foreign Service Officers could ask questions regarding these directed assignments. It turned into a complete bitch session.
t's one thing if someone believes in what's going on over there and volunteers, but it's another thing to send someone over there on a forced assignment," [Jack] Crotty said. "I'm sorry, but basically that's a potential death sentence and you know it. Who will raise our children if we are dead or seriously wounded?"
"You know that at any other (country) in the world, the embassy would be closed at this point," Crotty said to loud and sustained applause from the about 300 diplomats who attended the meeting in a large State Department auditorium.
In my earlier post, I quoted Mr. Kashkett, the professional association representative as say “we are not cowards.” It seems Mr. Kashkett had not yet surveyed his constituency to find out whether a yellow streak ran through them; because Mr. Crotty and his admirers clearly are cowards.
A death sentence? From being sent to Iraq?
From March 19, 2003 through yesterday, October 31, 2007 exactly six US Government, non-military employees have been killed in Iraq. This includes Department of Defense civilians, Department of State, CIA, Commerce, and Federal Law Enforcement.
A State Department official’s chance of being killed in Iraq is almost nil. In a review of the State Department website, I was able to determine two State Department officials had been killed in Iraq. Foreign Service Officer James Mollen and Diplomatic Security Officer Edward Seitz were both killed in 2004.
In addition to being cowards and unwilling to implement the foreign policy of the United States; these diplomats cannot even do basic analysis. Of 1200 that have served here, 3 or 0.25% have been killed.
Mr. Crotty believes he needs to “believe in the specific mission” to come here? When he signed up for the Foreign Service did he think all of US Foreign Policy was being handed over to him to determine?
At the ceremony where a plaque honoring Messrs. Sietz and Mellon were unveiled, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said:
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a special day for those of us in the Civil Service and in the Foreign Service of the United States. We understand when we enter the Diplomatic Corps that diplomacy has always been a hazardous occupation. We travel to all parts of the world, in times of war and peace, in times of civil discord and in disaster. We have two plaques in this State Department entry hall, at either end of the hall, and as John said, they testify to the very tragic fact that since the founding of our country, 218 Americans have died in service to the United States. In 1780, William Palfrey, an American diplomat, was lost at sea on a diplomatic mission.
And many others since then have given their lives, have lost their lives to disease, to natural disasters and to war. We remember them today and we honor them. And we also remember and honor all Americans who serve overseas on behalf of our country, often in very difficult and dangerous circumstances as our colleagues serve today in Baghdad, in Kabul, in Bogota and in dangerous places around the world.
Mr. Crotty and his admirers should decide whether that is the sort of service they entered into, or whether they are really just enjoying an extended junior year abroad.
Serious Foreign Service Officers are needed in Baghdad to facilitate reconciliation; serious Foreign Service Officers are needed in the provinces to run the Provincial Reconstruction Teams. The biggest Foreign Policy issue of the day and the Foreign Service is AWOL.
My apologies to Consul-at-Arms, but his Foggy Bottom comrades with their tonsils at present arms aren't engendering too much sympathy from me at this point, especially in light of their latest Halloweenie boo-hooing:
Several hundred U.S. diplomats vented anger and frustration Wednesday about the State Department's decision to force foreign service officers to take jobs in Iraq, with some likening it to a "potential death sentence."
Well, every job is a "potential" death sentence -- if you happen to die while on the job. Sometimes even being Chuck E Cheese requires body armor.
"Incoming is coming in every day, rockets are hitting the Green Zone," said Jack Crotty, a senior foreign service officer who once worked as a political adviser with NATO forces.
Sure, incoming can ruin your day I suppose, but I'd really only be worried if the outgoing started coming back in.
"It's one thing if someone believes in what's going on over there and volunteers, but it's another thing to send someone over there on a forced assignment ... Who will raise our children if we are dead or seriously wounded?"
Silly government worker, global villages are for kids. Haven't you heard who's running for Nanny-in-Chief?
If my heart were capable of human emotion, it might bleed a little for these hard-knock lifers. But sadly, no.