Career Diplomat Jack Croddy Asks 'Iraq or Sack'?
Those who continue to express or hold out hope for eventual deliverance from this illegitimate occupation of Iraq should pay attention. (And I know who some of you optimists are, lurking out there.)
If things are not rotten and rotting in the center of Mesopotamia, than why has it become necessary to draft Americans in the diplomatic service to ‘volunteer’ for service in Baghdad? I mean, it’s not that they would have to accept housing outside the cloistered Green Zone.
But the facts are there are many diplomatic positions vacant and waiting to be filled at the Taj Mahal hard-fortified permanent US embassy in Baghdad, still under construction. Many positions are due to become vacant in 2008.
Iraq postings have previously been filled on a voluntary basis. If too few volunteer, some will be forced to go to Iraq - or risk dismissal, (except those exempted for medical or personal hardship reasons). Hundreds of US diplomats have protested against a government move to force them to accept postings in war-torn Iraq. Recently, About 300 angry diplomats attended a meeting at the state department, at which one labeled the decision a "potential death sentence".
Last Friday, Harry Thomas, the Foreign Service director, notified about 250 "prime candidates" that they had been selected for one of 48 one-year postings at the embassy in Baghdad or in a Provincial Reconstruction Team elsewhere in the country. They were given 10 days to reply.
Senior diplomat Jack Croddy, who once worked as a political adviser with Nato forces, highlighted safety fears of staff who would be forced to serve in a war zone and drew a sustained applause from his colleagues:
Incoming is coming in every day, rockets are hitting the Green Zone.Volunteering for this post is non-existent, despite offers of attractive financial packages and generous leave allowances. The Baghdad embassy is considered a hardship posting due to security risks and because spouses and children must be left at home.
It's one thing if someone believes in what's going on over there and volunteers, but it's another thing to send someone over there on a forced assignment.
I'm sorry, but basically that's a potential death sentence and you know it. Who will raise our children if we are dead or seriously wounded?
You know that in at any [comparable conditions] in the world, the embassy would be closed at this point.
American diplomats have been sent on forced assignments before - some had to take postings in some African countries in the 1970s and 1980s, and in 1969 an entire class of new foreign service officers was sent to Vietnam. And that, I remind you, ended in a searing experience.
The bottom line is that State Department employees have the inside line on conditions, developments and trends which the Pentagon witholds from the main street media, Congressional junketeers and us, the American people. The grapevine is the inside line.
Americans have no future there. The Malicki government has no future beyond the writ of American military power, especially as long as it is identified with The Occupier. The Malicki government itself barely governs over the narrow confines of the Green Zone. The future government of Iraq will arise from the ashes of the militias and the tribal mullahs and be sustained by smuggling oil production.
A perfect storm approaches. Dikes should be erected before 01-20-09. Those 'in the know' don’t want to be caught in the ‘invulnerable' Green Zone. As a meteorologist, Bush has zero street creds. By word of mouth, those in the diplomatic service know which way the wind is blowing.As Bob Dylan would say, they don’t need no Weatherman.