I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Revolt at State

The other day we reported on the Sate Department Draft for personnel for Iraq. Well the State Department folks are not happy campers.
New Iraq policy prompts angry words at the State Department
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Calling it "a potential death sentence," several hundred diplomats expressed their resentment Wednesday over a new State Department policy that could force them to serve in Iraq or risk losing their jobs.

Some at the hourlong town hall-style meeting questioned why they were not told of the policy change directly, learning about it instead from news organizations last week.

Others pointed out the risks of such a rule, considering the dangers of a war zone, lack of security and regular rocket attacks on U.S. personnel.

One State Department worker complained she was not provided medical treatment for her post-traumatic stress disorder after she voluntarily served in Iraq.

The session was marked by angry exchanges, according to an audio recording of the meeting held at the State Department.

The sharpest comments came from Jack Croddy, a 36-year veteran of the Foreign Service.

To loud applause from his fellow workers, he asked how the State Department could protect people in Baghdad or the Iraq countryside when "incoming is coming in every day. Rockets are hitting the Green Zone."
Steve Soto sums it up pretty well:
The State Department’s diplomatic corps is unraveling under Condi’s new-shoed feet, after members of Foggy Bottom’s foreign services found out from the news media over the weekend that they were being involuntarily directed to serve in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq. Why the forced transfers? Because the professionals in State don’t want to serve in a danger zone like Iraq under the Bush political hacks.


First, Cheney destroyed the Agency. Then Alberto destroyed the Department of Justice. Now Condi and Bush’s foreign policy are destroying State. If no one but the young snot-nosed lunatic fringe are left to advocate for this country overseas, you can imagine how easy it will be to fall into the next foreign policy catastrophe.


  1. Your comments are a load of baloney and simple-minded crap.

    I am a former FSO Arabist who served in Vietnam in the early '70s and Beirut in the mid-70s, where a pistol was held to my head outside the [soon-to-be-bombed] US Embassy.

    I can almost remember when diplomats signed their reports "your humble and obedient servant" and served at the pleasure of the Secretary of State.

    The problem with lifers like Croddy lies in the incrustations of entitlements and a careerist mentality and a dumbed-down entrance exam seeking diversity rather than language skills or genuine academic qualifications.

    Just for starters......

    The whole Boomer Generation is infected with a sicko "what about me?" mentality.

    If you want to be a petty functionary, join the consular corps or USIS. Foreign Service Officers have lost more than their esprit de corps. They've lost their collective soul.

    As for diplomacy, these freaks represent a lost generation....

    And to be lectured to by a bunch of left coast loo-zers and beltway junkies is laughable.

  2. Davie's all sniffy because his heartthrob Karen Hughes bailed out of the stinking ship o' state.

  3. Anonymous12:12 AM

    Here's my humble thanks to all FSOs who understand the nature of their service to their country- and for everyone else who now realizes that being a foreign service officer means you may actually have to make sacrifices for your country- as a combat veteran, I say, WELCOME TO THE PARTY! I'll see you in Iraq!

  4. Anonymous3:39 AM

    I guarantee none of our men and women serving in uniform said, "please tear me away from my family and send me to Iraq (several times) for a year (or more) so I can be shelled with mortar rounds or attacked by roadside bombs..."

    A failure of diplomacy and leadership got us into this mess. It will take experienced State Department professionals practicing hard, gritty and yes, sometimes dangerous diplomacy to get us out.

    If those with the experience and skills we need in areas with our toughest diplomatic challenges aren't volunteering, then its time to be volun-told. If they won't go, fire them.

    The grieving families of over 3000 dead Americans who answered the call when asked (or more likely, told) have no sympathy for them.

    Nor should we.

  5. Anonymous4:35 AM

    Why are these whiny Washington Tax Burdens any different than any other American who does not like (believe in) what they do for a living? Take your French History degree and teach at one of the at-risk high schools in this country, if your not up for the task of "exporting freedom". This is just another example of the inability of the Federal Government to manage, even the most basic, problems.

  6. Anonymous5:06 AM

    What a bunch of crap! People who work at the State maybe should re-think their position.


    Questions like, "Who will raise my kids." Listen, I just returned from Iraq and proud to serve my country. I have a little girl at home with mom, I knew she was going to be fine while I was away.

    Why don't all of you who complain get new jobs!

  7. Out in the country, where Infantrymen and Marines come from, this whining from the "career professionals" who had planned on Paris or Geneva isn't exactly going to go over well. Condi is absolutely right to institute a draft, especially since her Clintonian subordinates have decided that they don't want to participate.

    U.S. Marines and U.S. Infantry don't have that choice.

    Oh, and there haven't been sustained mortar attacks on the Green Zone in months. Yes, you get rocket fire from time to time, but that's Baghdad for you.

    This is embarrassing for Rice: to have to go into a cabinet meeting with Gates, Cheney, and the President knowing that a lot of the people in her department are pussies.

  8. Anonymous7:29 AM

    Mr Croddy's comments leave me feeling disgusted. He and his cronies want the gravy from working for the federal government, but not the responsibilities that go with it. My son recently served a year in Iraq, my future son-in-law has had 2 tours there. Did they whine about it? Not on your life. Are they any less concerned about their families than Mr Croddy? Absolutely not. This is the task they were assigned and they performed it with dignity and honor. Croddy and anyone else who shares his pitiful sentiments need to do the country a service by resigning and leaving the work to people who are looking out for the good of the country, not their own selfish interests.


Be Nice