Sorry to post twice in one day, but I just finished reading this article.
To my vexed and overwrought colleagues, I say take a deep breath and calm down. I personally dislike the whole idea of forced assignments, but we do have to do our jobs. We signed up to be worldwide available. All of us volunteered for this kind of work and we have enjoyed a pretty sweet lifestyle most of our careers.
I will not repeat what the Marines say when I bring up this subject. I tell them that most FSOs are not wimps and weenies, but I am ashamed of my crybaby colleagues. I will not share this article with them and I hope they do not see it. How could I explain this?
Calling Iraq a death sentence is just way over the top. I volunteered to come here aware of the risks but confident that I will come safely home, as do the vast majority of soldiers and Marines, who have a lot riskier jobs than we FSOs do.
I wrote a post a couple days ago where I said that perhaps everyone’s talents are not best employed in Iraq. That is still true. But I find the sentiments expressed by some colleagues in the article deeply offensive. What are they implying about me and my choice? If they do not want to come, that is okay. Personally, I would not want that sort out here with me anyway. BUT they are not worldwide available and they might consider the type of job that does not require worldwide availability.
We all know that few FSOs will REALLY be forced to come to Iraq anyway. Our system really does not work like that. This sound and fury at Foggy Bottom truly signifies nothing. Get over it! I do not think many people feel sorry for us and it is embarrassing for people with our privileges to wrap ourselves in the cloak of victimhood.
We all know that the FS will step up. Most of us want to do our duty. We should not let ourselves be judged by the fools who cry at town hall meetings.