Let Us Not Be Quiet

Revisiting Remarque before peace eludes My copy of All Quiet on the Western Front is a tattered thing. The cover, already coming apart in brittle pieces, fell off entirely as I read. It was appropriate to the fate of narrator Paul Baumer to see that cover come away. It is the father of all modern war … Continue reading Let Us Not Be Quiet

Foreign Service Readings

Continuing a short list of blogs and independent websites offering an insider's view of U.S. diplomacy steeped in experience. Not  officialdom. I previously posted this Foreign Service blog list. https://diplopundit.net Opinionated and often edgy, DiploPundit has no official connection to the U.S. Department of State. It wades into leadership issues, Foreign Service realities, international current events, and other developments in the … Continue reading Foreign Service Readings

Marine Security Guards at 70

The Marine Security Guard program this week celebrated 70 years protecting U.S. diplomatic missions around the world. Happy Fourth of July to the Ambassadors in Blue. Two books covering their service, one non-fiction, the other fiction: Greg Matos’ Shattered Glass—The Story of a Marine Embassy Guard... recounts the December 2004 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. … Continue reading Marine Security Guards at 70

Diplomatic Security

This trailer from the film America's Diplomats shows how our diplomatic security personnel train for the worst case scenario---from protests and threats to bombings and outright assaults on our missions overseas. Their storied bureau turned 100 this year. https://youtu.be/-QTzTP9vZRk Learn more about the daily grind of our DS personnel in Two Pumps for the Body … Continue reading Diplomatic Security

Peter Van Buren–We Meant Well

Van Buren's book stands shoulder-to-shoulder with many other great war books. The food is bad and the environment gritty. The Colonel’s in charge; body armor's strapped on; everybody piles into helos or Humvees to leave base. A young soldier, comrade torn by hot shrapnel, ignores the bloody gristle staining his cheek to stop the damn bleeding. … Continue reading Peter Van Buren–We Meant Well

The Departed–Ten Years After

The opening column in this month’s Foreign Service Journal is a timely and moving reminder of friends and colleagues killed ten years ago in a terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia. American Foreign Service Association President Robert J. Silverman writes: The Foreign Service has taken more deaths in the line of duty, on a percentage basis, than has … Continue reading The Departed–Ten Years After

My Thoughts on Uranus

I'll admit it---I'm a bureaucrat. A federal bureaucrat. I'm not some fancy ad-man in a pinstripe suit on Madison Avenue. Still, I know a thing or two about language. And when I see lousy wordplay in advertising, it bothers me. Take this insurance ad, targeted at the dreary, browbeaten federal workforce (it's on a bus stop … Continue reading My Thoughts on Uranus