More tales from Washington

It’s remarkable and heartening that there are still courageous, intelligent people in our government after years of the disastrous, shameful Bush administration. Foreign Policy recently solicited comments from within the State Department on the reluctance of Foreign Service Officers to go to Baghdad. It elicited some amazing replies. From Foreign Policy’s blog:

We are called to serve in Iraq in totally unprecedented numbers, and the public should know why. We do. It is because those numbers are artificially inflated, with no justification or reasoning apparent for anyone to see. The requirement for vast numbers of diplomatic officers and specialists is based on the continuation of an ad hoc series of incoherent plans, not on a clear, articulated purpose. This demand for ever-increasing numbers of diplomats is evidently based on a political desire to demonstrate State’s institutional support for an occupation with no articulation of what these numbers will accomplish.

What is most disgraceful about this state of affairs is that the Foreign Service and the rest of the State Department gave this administration an excellent, well-researched and solid set of plans for the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq, shortly before the invasion. Our work and participation was explicitly and dramatically rejected by the Secretary of Defense and the White House, particularly including then-National Security Advisor Rice… Now the very actors who refused to hear the inconvenient counsel of the nation’s diplomatic service blame that service for their own mess.

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