Foreign Service officers like Jack Crotty (sp?) speaking out against forced assignments to Iraq certainly has the brave armchair chickenhawks of FOXNews Sunday in a tizzy. I mean, how dare these diplomats--some of whom have given decades in service to their country--feel at all hesitant about going to Iraq? After all, embassies are the safest place in the world, at least that must be what it seems like for Brit Hume, all nice and cozy in his studio.
Only among the people at Foggy Bottom would an assignment to a dangerous place be considered "forcing them." The fact of the matter, I think, is the key part of Mr. Crotty's statement when he began talking was about it would be one thing if people who supported what's going on over there to be asked to go. Clearly, a big portion, a big part of the State Department staff, diplomats, FSOs and the rest do not support the policy and do not think they should be obligated therefore to carry it out, which is contrary to their oath. Is there a more important diplomatic assignment in the world right now than Iraq? Obviously not. This is the most sensitive, the most difficult, the most challenging and I think the most important assignment you could have. And for someone like that guy, speaking obviously for many, to stand up and caterwaul about it the way he did, I think he's arguably a very great disgrace and a black mark on the Foreign Service in general.
Gotta love that authoritarian mindset that ignores all the people saying that this might be a mistake and refuses to concede--in the face of one wrong prediction after another--that he might not have it right. By the way, that oath that FSOs take? You tell me if there's any obligation there:
I, [state your name.] do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. That I take this obligation freely and without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. That I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me, God.
The former Wonkette, Ana Marie Cox concedes that there's no duty to follow orders in the FSO oath as there is in the military oath, but then goes ahead and takes a page from Brit and suggests an ignobility on the part of these diplomats. Luckily, in the comments, someone who actually knows what he's talking about (and for the record, Ana, that would NOT be Brit or his buddy Bill Kristol) sets her straight.