Wednesday :: Oct 31, 2007

Wrecking Foggy Bottom


by Steve

The State Department’s diplomatic corps is unraveling under Condi’s new-shoed feet, after members of Foggy Bottom’s foreign services found out from the news media over the weekend that they were being involuntarily directed to serve in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq. Why the forced transfers? Because the professionals in State don’t want to serve in a danger zone like Iraq under the Bush political hacks.

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."
In a contentious hour-long "town hall meeting" called to explain the step, these workers peppered the official who signed the order with often hostile complaints about the largest diplomatic call-up since Vietnam. Announced last week, it will require some diplomats — under threat of dismissal — to serve at the embassy in Baghdad and in so-called Provincial Reconstruction Teams in outlying provinces.

Wow, and we demand the Iraqis demonstrate political reconciliation?

Many expressed serious concern about the ethics of sending diplomats against their will to serve in a war zone, where the embassy staff is largely confined to the so-called "Green Zone," and the safety outside the area is uncertain while a review of the department's use of private security contractors to protect its staff is under way.
"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.
Employees directly confronted Foreign Service Director General Harry Thomas, who approved the move to so-called "directed assignments" late last Friday to make up for a lack of volunteers to go to Iraq.
"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," 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?"

Note the political opposition within the diplomatic corps to the Iraq disaster.

"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.

First, Cheney destroyed the Agency. Then Alberto destroyed the Department of Justice. Now Condi and Bush’s foreign policy are destroying State. If no one but the young snot-nosed lunatic fringe are left to advocate for this country overseas, you can imagine how easy it will be to fall into the next foreign policy catastrophe.

Steve :: 2:26 PM :: Comments (10) :: Digg It!