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Envoys Resist Forced Iraq Duty; Top State Dept. Officials Face Angry Questions

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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-01-07 12:15 AM
Original message
Envoys Resist Forced Iraq Duty; Top State Dept. Officials Face Angry Questions
Edited on Thu Nov-01-07 12:18 AM by BurtWorm
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...


By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 1, 2007; Page A01

Uneasy U.S. diplomats yesterday criticized senior State Department officials over a decision to order some of them to take assignments at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad or risk losing their jobs.

At a town hall meeting in the department's main auditorium attended by hundreds of diplomats, some of them challenged the new policy in unusually blunt terms. They also took issue with the size of the embassy -- the biggest in U.S. history -- and the lack of training they received before being sent to serve in a war zone. One woman said she returned from a tour in Basra, Iraq, with post-traumatic stress disorder only to find that the State Department would not authorize medical treatment.

Some asked how diplomacy could be practiced when the embassy itself, inside the fortified Green Zone, is under frequent fire and officials can travel outside only under heavy guard. Service there was "a potential death sentence," said one man who identified himself as a 46-year Foreign Service veteran. "Any other embassy in the world would be closed by now," he said to sustained applause.

Harry K. Thomas Jr., the director general of the Foreign Service, who called the meeting, responded curtly. "Okay, thanks for your comment," he said, declaring the town hall meeting over.

In notices e-mailed to Foreign Service officers around the world late Friday night, Thomas wrote that State had decided to begin "directed assignments" to fill an anticipated shortfall of 48 diplomats in Iraq next summer. Separate e-mail letters were sent to about 250 officers selected as qualified for the posts. If enough of them did not volunteer, the letters said, some would be ordered to serve there.

...
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Blackhatjack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-01-07 02:01 AM
Response to Original message
1. Sounds Like A DRAFT of Diplomats To Go To Iraq And Be Shot At....
Not quite why they took the foreign civil service exam.

That Embassy is going to be the death of many Americans, you can count on it.

It is not mobile. It is not going anywhere. And the attacks on it are getting more accurate.

Maybe it is time some of those Diplomats started telling what they know....
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BeHereNow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-01-07 02:59 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. What they know is that they would be fish in a barrel.
Edited on Thu Nov-01-07 03:00 AM by BeHereNow
Just like our soldiers, who DON'T have the opportunity to debate that fact...
The very fact that none of the diplomats are volunteering to serve there
is all the evidence we need to know it is PAST time to bring
the troops home.

BHN
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-01-07 03:18 AM
Response to Original message
3. When DIPLOMATS say "F@ck, no!" that should be a red flag.
Good for them.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-01-07 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
4. kick
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