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'All The Work I Did Was Worthless . . .' (Updated)
ity the fools
U.S. diplomats are returning from Iraq with the [allegedly - ed] same debilitating, stress-related symptoms that have afflicted many U.S. troops, prompting the State Department to order a mental health survey of 1,400 employees who have completed assignments there . . . State Department employees in Iraq seldom leave the capital's heavily fortified Green Zone . . . Diplomats might be suffering PTSD to the same extent as troops, says Joseph Boscarino, an expert on war-related mental problems at the Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pa.
e don't make light of the dangers of Iraq or the courage of those there. The idea, however, that those State Department and other USG personnel hunkered down in the Green Zone share the same levels of stress and trauma of the men and women serving in the meat grinder in the rest of the country is ridiculous. Of course, Cher Condi's bogus AgitProp scheme of sending Foreign Service officers outside the Green Zone in Condi's Provisional Reconstruction Teams is lunacy
. It's no wonder Condi and Karen Hughes can't find the volunteers for that farcical assignment other than the young, ambitious and perhaps naive new FSOs. Even then, not without lavish bonuses and other incentives.
, Condi Rice
Great artwork - Fallujah can be stressfull, from what we've heard. But you know columnists and bloggers get stressed too. Being called a “chickenhawk” is dispiriting and it's related to this:
H/T Harvey Mansfield
Barbara Slavin (unintentionally) didn't do those State employees any favors when she quoted them. No doubt, Harry O'Hara has a tougher time than he wus sounding quotes would indicate - He was actually in the Green Zone, in a country that just has close to a million dead, 2 million refugees internally, and 2 million external refugees. But that quote makes him sound like he's whining - instead of thanking his lucky stars compared to the soldiers and Marines Bush has offered up like paschal lambs tied to a pack of lies.
We don't mean to sound dismissive of O'Hara - Quite the contrary - In fact, we suspect that he was not quoted properly or that some key backround material was left out. We just meant to say the way Slavin phrased his quotes made him sould less than he likely is. No doubt - he had a hellish time and it we know that it must be tough for committed FSOs to serve a policy that they know was dishonest and against America's interest. Powell's the only one who gets to cash in for carrying out a policy that he privately eyebrowed against to Tom Friedman.
Thanks for the nice words about the artwork. Sometimes, a post comes from the art and sometimes the other way around.
For those who know the Stiftung, our relationship to and respect for the Foreign Service as an institution is probably fairly well known. Baghdad is pretty much a 24 hour Mad Max movie and there is no question the emotional stress on anyone dumped there is non-trivial. We do think, however, it is simply indefensible to equate any of the civilians' burden within the Green Zone to the troops and NGOs who are actually out in the reality's horrors.
The PRT concept is pure Agitprop for Cher Condi to claim she too is “surging” — a cynical imposition of deadly risk on the Foreign Service. This trauma stress thing is another dig at her from the Foreign Service via their association. Yet claiming to equate their suffering with the troops is an obscenity.
On a different note, here's the Slate update on the Black trial:
“For years the Kurds were my favorite lost cause. I do not mean this at all cynically.”
~Marty Paretz 5-01-07
“But I have no doubt that the anti-Bush pile-on will treat Tenet as a hero.”
~Marty Peretz 4-26-07
NB - Sorry Marty for the typo misspel of Peretz in the quote above.
I think the point of the article is that there is so much stress that it effects everyone who is near it. O'Hara would not compare his experience with that of a foot soldier doing daily patrols. Nor would a thoughtful soldier compare HIS situation to that of a five year old Iraqi kid wondering if the militias are going to break in and shoot his family in their beds.
Everyone has it bad there.
An update. Just because. Hope everyone had a good week.
“Firebase Feith, sir?”
“Yeah - rhymes with, er, uh ...”
“Uh no, ahhh...”
“You don't know, do you?”
“Uh, all I know is that he is why we are here.”
“Was he in charge of the lies?”
“Yeah - something like that.”
“Ahkmed don't latte, SIR!”
“Hadji don't surf either, SIR!”
“They surf the web”
“Yeah, in Arabic - what use is that, SIR?”
“Ok, let's order up some Turkish coffee.”
“How about some mint tea? Joe Wilson is expected any day now. SIR.”
“Some hippie from Sante Fe with a cute amazing spy wife, SIR!”
“Sante Fe, Yes! - Sir”
“Ok, set up the panini machine and invite the best people from Fallujah's gallery scene.”
“Ok, SIR! Done, SIR!”
“Oh, and the fighten' poets of Fallujah - basically rappers in the regional demotic might be ...”
“SIR, I have a question.”
“What if I am beheaded or killed?”
“Good question - Uh Patraeus wrote a pamphlet, let me go thru my binder...”
“All of my life, developing credentials to cover my field of work, and now Iím up against a guy named Vinny in an efficiency apartment in the Bronx who hasnít left the efficiency apartment in two years.”
NYU Lecture, April 2007
ďIf weíre all watching cats flushing toilets, what arenít we reading? What great writer are we missing? What great story are we ignoring? This is societal, itís cultural, I canít change it. We should maybe pause to think about it. Because like everybody else, I can burn an hour on YouTube or Perez Hilton without breaking a sweat. And what have I just not paid attention to that 10 years ago I wouldíve just consumed?"
NYU Lecture, April 2007
(modern sage warns