Thursday, November 1, 2007

Instead of drafting all State Department employees for Iraq service …

Secretary of State Rice is planningcompelled foreign service officer duty in Iraq. And the fallout is hitting the fan at diarrhea speed:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is trying to quell a revolt among U.S. diplomats angry over moves to force foreign service officers to work in Iraq under threat of dismissal.

Rice plans to send a cable to all U.S. embassies and missions abroad explaining the decision to begin the largest diplomatic call-up since Vietnam, following a contentious “town hall meeting” at the department in which diplomats raised deep concern about being ordered to work in Iraq, the State Department said. …

The cable was drafted following the meeting and in the wake of widespread news reports highlighting the anger and frustration of many diplomats who attended and applauded loudly when one of their colleagues likened a forced tour in Iraq to a “potential death sentence.”

Several hundred foreign service officers participated in Wednesday’s town hall meeting at which several diplomats, backed by the vocal support of their colleagues there, vehemently complained about the prospect of so-called “directed assignments” to Iraq to make up for a lack of volunteers. …

"Incoming is coming in every day, rockets are hitting the Green Zone," said Jack Crotty, a senior foreign service officer who once worked as a political adviser with NATO forces.

"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," Crotty said. "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?"

Instead of drafting everybody in the foreign service, why don’t we use a combination of Lexis-Nexis for comments in the media and for campaign donations, find all the neo-cons at State, and just draft them?