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SEPTEMBER 12, 2012 5:58PM

Americans To Admire, and Grieve For: Diplomats

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There is nothing more important than preserving human life to the mind of a diplomat, which can sometimes be misinterpreted as to the willingness to run risks personally and physically, if you don't think about the nature of that job. As symnols of their country, diplomats are always targets, if without their own rifles, save for their security officers in the Diplomatic Security Service, who died there too in Libya along with the Ambassador they were trying to protect.

What happened in Libya on the anniversary of 9/11 was a reminder that diplomats, and their security officers, run the same kinds of risks as soldiers in service to their country.

Diplomats are representatives of their country, and therefore a high priority target.

That is why the officers of the Diplomatic Security Service are an elite force of their own, if not a very well known one.

It was a dream of mine once to be a Foreign Service Officer, as to doing research on the topic, if that wasn't meant to be.

I thought about it a lot as to what it entails, which is a hard life in many ways.

You have to go where you are sent.

I knew a Career Officer at SAIS who was fluent in Russian.

Her language skill got her Korea instead, since so few people can do a language that hard. Her boyfriend, a lot more than that, was probably also a price, as he wasn't able to find work so easily, having prepared for Russia.

That wasn't the plan, nor for another officer I knew a lot better, who had to learn Spanish, and then there was but there the glamorous unheated trailor in Kazakhstan, and then on top of Russian Chinese, but there Jen Varrell went.

It sounds glamorous being a diplomat, but it usually is a long hard slog like any other work.

Then there's the distance from family, and living in an alien culture, the latter of which sounds nice, but is also very, very stressful on the human psyche too. If there's a riot in front of your embassy, that's a scary place to be, and I wouldn't judge too harshly, if President Morsi's statement was rather weak too.

A lot of people have been giving Morsi a lot of benefit of the doubt, because of the peace treaty, but he seems to keep sliding onto thin ice, if the diplomats may well have the best call, which is usually to remain calm, so innocent people are not killed.

And as to grief, if you read the resume of Ambassador Chris Stevens, you see such accomplishment in life; trade lawyer, War College graduate, fluent in Arabic and French, who served in Baghdad, a very, very scary place to be representing our country.

And then Libya, also a scary place he risked, and then gave his life, to try to help have something more than Gadhafi, a noble task and sacrifice, like a soldier and his security officers as well.

The diplomats I got to know at SAIS were very hard working and most importantly disciplined people.

They were very disciplined, because to learn some languages at the level necessary for diplomatic work, like Russian or Korean, or Arabic for that matter, is as hard a task as there is, bar none.

So if it's truly, truly sad that Chris Stevens isn't with us, at least his last act was to remind us of some underappreciated people, our diplomats, in his case working, and giving his life, so that the Libyan people would have a chance for something better than Muammar Gadhafi, every bit as honorable as a soldier.


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IF there is anyone better for the Libyan people than Gadhafi it sure isn't going to be someone out of the US! Don't you see what those people were telling you? Or do you believe your own lying propaganda so deeply that you don't know when your arrogant bullying of others drives them to murder?

Ya stuck yer nose in where it wasn't wanted and got it bopped. Tough titty. Get the F out of other people's sovereign nations and go home to solve YOUR OWN damn problems.

This was a really nice post reminding us about these people who serve their countries but are often forgotten or overlooked. Regardless of what some people think our governments role is, the vast majority of those in the SAIS feel their work is important and truly are trying to make a difference.
It is my understanding that Ambassador Stevens was a supporter of the rebels in Libya. That means he has blood on his hands for the overthrow of a sovereign countries leader and the resulting bloodshed that took place at the hands of US led NATO forces in an illegal war of aggression. Although it's not reported in western media, Libya is much worse off than it was under Gadhafi. Thanks to the USA. The Ambassador was no hero. He may well have been a war criminal. He was likely killed as a result of blowback from policies he supported. Namely the support of Al Qaeda, and Islamic Extremists in the civil war. Where did these protestors get rocket propelled grenades. Probably from the good 'ol US of A. If you dance with the Devil, you may go to hell.
Gadhafi wasn't a good guy, and the ambassador had protected human life in Benghazi during the revolution, if it is unfortunate that the Security Council failed to do more to broker a deal, if, that would have meant that Gadhafi would have needed even more of a gun at his head.
That's amazing to say he was a war criminal to me, since Gadafi was the one who started bombing people, if, there are risks in exporting our ideals too.
Shouls our Middle Eastern policy be "Cheap Gas, and never mind the Executuins?"
The fact is Gaddafi had a right to put down an internal armed (by the US & NATO) insurrection in Bengazi. Whether he would have killed thousands or not we will never know. What we do know is that the rebels backed by the West have killed thousands included targeted killing of black African immigrants and black Libyans just because of the color of their skin. Torture and abuse is rampant today in Libya at the hands of the rebels. Conditions are far worse now for innocent people in Libya than they were prior to our involvement and brutal murder of a foreign leader.

Under Gaddafi, he provided his people free education, housing, a large monetary stipend when couples were married, he had a state of the art water system, Libya produced most of its own food and much of its oil revenues went back to the people. He also help other African countries and was instrumental in moving Africa away from Western colonialism. He was in line for a human rights award by the UN prior to being killed. The reason he was targeted was because his country had lots of oil and he moved away from the US dollar as the currency for oil. So the US decided to back Islamic extremists, Salafists, and elements of Al Qaeda. Likely the same ones who killed the US diplomats. Stevens went to Libya specifically to support the rebels. The US violated the UN no fly zone and turned it into a war of aggression interfering in an internal civil war between 2 armed factions. A war of aggression is a war crime according to the principles of the Nuremburg Tribunal. In fact it is the highest international crime because it encompasses all other crimes. Material support of that makes you a war criminal, so by that standard, Stevens was very much a war criminal.

As to your last statement that is nearly inscrutable, our policy should not be cheap gas, never mind executions. Yet, that is precisely what it is. See Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Libya, Iran, Bahrain, the Emirates, and so on.