Thursday, November 01, 2007

Bush Administration Reinstates Draft

wikipedia: Fall of Saigon

For Foreign Service Officers, that is. State Department Foreign Service Officers are being informed that because of a shortage of diplomats at the US Embassy in Baghdad, they are being ordered to go to Iraq. Of course, this means living in the Green Zone which is shelled daily by the Iraqis who want us out of their country. Essentially, they are being asked to live in the place where George Bush is afraid to go; his last few visits have been in secret to other parts of the country. And some of them must have in mind the way the embassy emptied at the end of our last imperial war.

At a town hall meeting in the department's main auditorium attended by hundreds of Foreign Service officers, some of them criticized fundamental aspects of State's personnel policies in Iraq. They took issue with the size of the embassy -- the biggest in U.S. history -- and the inadequate training they received before being sent to serve in a war zone. One woman said she returned from a tour in Basra with post-traumatic stress disorder only to find that the State Department would not authorize medical treatment.

Yesterday's internal dissension came amid rising public doubts about diplomatic progress in Iraq and congressional inquiries into the department's spending on the embassy and its management of private security contractors. Some participants 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 in Iraq is "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.

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

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