Thursday, July 05, 2007

Condi's little Embassy problem

How classic is this?

The WaPo reports today that our diplomats at the US Embassy in the "heavily fortified" Green Zone in Iraq have had the audacity to complain about construction blunders and their personal safety.

Imagine that!

"A toughly worded cable sent from the embassy to State Department headquarters on May 29 highlights a cascade of building and safety blunders in a new facility to house the security guards protecting the embassy. The guards' base, which remains unopened today, is just a small part of a $592 million project to build the largest U.S. embassy in the world. . .The first signs of trouble, according to the cable, emerged when the kitchen staff tried to cook the inaugural meal in the new guard base on May 15. Some appliances did not work. Workers began to get electric shocks. Then a burning smell enveloped the kitchen as the wiring began to melt."

Hmmm . . . Sounds like good ol' KBR doing their usual great job.

James L. Golden, the managing director of the Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO), says stop your whining you little babies:

Quit writing cables out in the open and, by the way, "None of the issues raised in the cable has merit. . . It appears [the embassy] and KBR simply do not want to operate the camp for other reasons."

It's all your fault. We gave you some damn flak jackets, so just suck it up. Duck and cover!

Foggy Bottom is already having enough trouble filling its diplomatic posts in Iraq, the WaPo reported back on the 21st of June that soon the "Agency will be forced to order its employees to serve in Iraq."

Apparently, Condi sent out another public cable saying that no positions would be filled any where else in the world until the Baghdad Embassy was filled.

She wrote:

"It is my fervent hope that we will continue to see sufficient numbers of Foreign Service and Civil Service employees volunteering for Iraq service, but we must be prepared to meet our requirements in any eventuality."

Fervent hope or desperate hope? Funny wording there.

Ray Crockett, the new Ambassador (i.e. sucker), wrote to Rice recently, shortly after getting stuck with the job: "Simply put, we cannot do the nation's most important work if we do not have the Department's best people."

Try protecting them first and then maybe they'll want to work there. They're diplomats for Christ sake, not cannon fodder.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, given the fact that the DOD people have to go there, there is no excuse for State Department people, who actually get to serve behind the Green Zone wall, not to be showing up.

It's not like any of the freaking diplos have to actually go out and walk point, now, do they? That's what Rice is saying between the lines. It's damned embarrassing that some of the people in her division aren't showing up, even though she's gotten real increases in funding for State year after year.

Try going out and selling the excuses in this blog post of yours to the line infantry, okay? Not only do they show up, but they reenlist again and again.

10:35 AM  
Blogger bushmeister0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:59 AM  
Blogger bushmeister0 said...

Hey smart guy, the "DoD" people have secure bases where they're protected from indirect fire. The Foggy Bottom types don't. Many of them are living in Katrina trailors!

Al Kamen reported in the WaPo a while back:

"Embassy employees, now living in trailers with no overhead protection, are getting increasingly jittery over mortar and rocket attacks.

New guidelines tell them to wear helmets and flak jackets when walking in the open. But some employees, sleeping in those tin-can trailers, apparently would actually like to take off the helmets and jackets while they're in bed."

Now, why the hell would someone who has trained their whole lives to be diplomats want to take an assignment that involves no diplomacy, but lots of ducking and covering?

And the last time I checked, our Foreign Service folks don't go through basic training, so they're not exactly equipt to defend themselves.

That's sort of the nature of the beast. If diplomats were walking around with M-16s, they would be soldiers, not diplomats.

Believe it or not, guns don't solve all problems.

If Benjamin Franklin had been a soldier instead of the greatest diplomat this country ever had, we never would have gotten all that money from the French to help us win the Revolutionary War.

And remember, it was De Grassy's French fleet that beat the British at Yorktown, not the brilliant generalship of George Washington.

And by the way Condi may have "gotten real increases in funding for State year after year," but the State Department's overall budget is only about 5 billion dollars a year, compared to the pentagon's, which is around half a trillion.

1:39 PM  

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