Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Embassy Duty

A long time ago I was assigned to embassy duty in the middle east. It was a Muslim country and the US had a large presence there. Things have changed a lot since 1969, I'll allow. I remember asking myself on a few occasions what possessed me to get into this spot. You feel remote and you are in a different culture. You meet great friends and you meet hostile opponents. Some days get violent and you need rely on the local police and military to defend you. Your confidence develops doubts. I was in the USAF and extremely thankful for the Marines!
A Sgt. in the USAF does not meet the Ambassador nor understand nor think about our foreign service policy with that country. I did know and respect many of the leaders in our embassy and the folks that made it work.
Foreign Service Officers are committed to running and protecting the part of the US that is local to the country in which they are located. They spend their lives translating our US culture into one that makes sense to the local country. They are to a person, dedicated to the US and her image abroad. They never get enough credit till something happens like yesterday in Libya. Our heart goes out to the families that lost people in the attack.
This is not a time for political machinations. I hope everyone understands that!

1 comment:

    11:48 AM EDT
    Thank you Mr. Priebus and Speaker Gingrich and Candidate Romney for your comments and reflections and early criticisms. It's always good to wade in and criticize before anyone knows the details. Before families are notified. Before your political time has run out. I am sure our Foreign Service Officers appreciate your opinions. I hope they do, I find them wanting.
    Please fellows, don't panic, you have already cooked you own goose and this just makes you look even smaller.