cj#555> diplomats are Americans too


Richard Moore

Date: Fri, 2 Aug 1996
Sender: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: cj#554> re: Democracy & Capitalism

Dear Sir,

I am a new subscirber to Cyberjournal, and find your writing to express many
viewpoints that I also hold. I was wondering what you thought of the Defense
Department's decision to move U.S. troops to "more secure" locations. I have
lived overseas most of my life as the dependant of an Embassy Officer. I find
it riddiculous that the Department of Defense is moving U.S. servicemen who
signed on knowing full well the risks involved in military service,
especially service overseas, while civilians working at the Embassy, Peace
Corps, and A.I.D. are not accorded similar priveleges. I don't believe that
the military is entitled to such perks. I don't mean to suggest that the
lives of U.S. servicemen are expendable, much to the contrary. I have many
friends who serve in the military, and I would be horrified to find that
their lives were needlessly endangered. At the same time though, I find it
hard to believe that the threat to the lives of Americans working for
governmental agencies, and thus under the direct protection of the U.S.
government is any less than that which faces the military in foreign


I ask you sir, what you opinion is on the matter, because personally, I find
it deplorable that the government should forget about how dangerous life is
for American civilians who have to continue to face the threat of terrorist
attacks long after the combat troops are gone. Whether it's a result of
inter-agency disagreement or bickering, or whether it's an ovesight on the
part of the State Department and related agencies, I'm not sure. The only
thing that I am sure of is that the threat is real, and it is directed to all
Americans stationed overseas, not just the military.


I would put it plainly, that we diplomats are Americans too. We live overseas
without many of the comforts accorded our counterparts in the military. In
addition, we risk more because we are often better known and recognized than
military personnel because of our closer contacts with foreign nationals and
coverage in the local press. It may be impressive for a terrorist to kill
nineteen Americans, but it's relatively easy to kill a hundred or more with a
similar amount of explosives as was used in Saudi Arabia recently. Perhaps
the government needs to be reminded of that the next time they consider the
threat that Americans posted overseas face.

                         Mark Good


Dear Mark,

        Thanks for your contribution to cj, and I appreciate your seeking
my opinion on this matter, but I doubt if you'll find my views very helpful
to your concerns.  Personally, I don't think the people who make these
kinds of decisions care two hoots about the welfare of American personnel,
military or otherwise.  Their concerns, as I see them, would be two-fold:
(1) integrity of their imperialist bases, and (2) the management of the PR
fallout from incidents which may occur.

        Attacks against U.S. military personnel (in particular) seem to
evoke unique emotional responses in the American public.  On the one hand,
such incidents are perceived as a direct attack on the U.S. nation, and
intense sentiment is generated to strike back and "save our honor."  On the
other hand, concern for "our boys' safety" leads also to sentiment to
"bring the troops home."

        Thus pressure is generated for actions to be taken which may not be
according to the timetable of the elite.  If they want to pull out, or to
attack, they'd prefer to arrange the enabling incident themselves, as they
did by sending a lone soldier out into a known danger zone in Panama, or by
sending KAL 007 over a high-security Soviet test site during a sensitive
test, or by inviting Saddham to invade Kuwait.  When they desire a
high-profile incident, they have no problem arranging one.  But they'd
prefer not to have hand-forcing incidents occuring on someone else's


    Posted by Richard K. Moore  -  •••@••.•••  -  Wexford, Ireland
     Cyberlib:  www | ftp --> ftp://ftp.iol.ie/users/rkmoore/cyberlib