Saturday, October 27, 2007

FSOs "Drafted" to Serve in Iraq?

As a retired Arabist FSO, I was offered a Political Development project director job in Iraq in 2004, but my health was not up to the specs and pressures of the job. This link to a Washington Post story mentions the last time that FSOs were sent en masse to a difficult post, my FSO class called the "Fighting 89th," all of whom where sent to Vietnam in 1969. I myself had been in SDS and an anti-war member of Gene McCarthy's 1968 National Staff in his unsuccessful attempt at the presidency in '68. But the Washtenaw County Sheriff, I was told, was on my tail for my VW microbus's being suspected [wrongly] of being used to sell drugs and illegal weapons. So I swallowed hard and went to DC to be sworn in as an FSO. Later, I found out that my scores were extremely high on the FSO exams and that I would have been called into a later class [only 200 of 20,000 had even PASSED the test!] But I had to split town from Ann Arbor in a jiffy!

The current situation in Iraq is bad enough, but the Foreign Service, according to friends of mine close to the game, has become a visa/travel/reporting job for the most part, peopled by affirmative-action-guideline recipients with few language or other foreign policy skills.

O tempora, O mores!

Asst. Secretary for the Middle East David Welch is still a friend, and a few other State employees remain in contact, as well as some former Arab diplomats and other foreign diplomats. But all my ex-colleagues such as April Glaspie, ruined by the cowardly craven backstabber James Baker, who fired her as a scapegoat for following his instructions, and Tom Warrick, whose two-year study of post-victory Iraq was shelved by ignorant Donald Rumsfeld and then subjected to mismanagement by the PA subsequently by L. Paul Bremer, a Europeanist toady of Henry, Herr Perfesser, Kissinger---all my Arabist friends were ignored and the subsequent disaster lies at the hands of Rumsfeld/Cheney.

I snicker when an attack on Iran is discussed, given the track record of Middle East mismanagement by this crew of second-raters and in the case of Rumsfeld, a wrong-headed moron.

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