Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Reflections From Roma #15

Reflections From Roma #15
01 maggio 2019

Hello there… Rodger French here.

Even as an admittedly low-level Department of State employee, I consider it my patriotic duty to periodically alert unsuspecting readers to recent department news of a non-classified nature. It is, after all, our tax dollars paying for this and I think you have a right to know what gives with your diplomatic corps.

Therefore, behold: The newly designed, recently promulgated, and very unclassified DoS Ethos (in italicsboldface in the original), presented along with some low-level personal observations.

United States Department of State Professional Ethos 

- I am a champion of American diplomacy.

         [Champion? OK, I see where this may be interpreted as simply an extension of Secretary Mike Pompeo’s fixation with the concept of “getting our swagger back.” But, having been bombarded with fundamental Baptist teachings as a kid, I also understand that the word “champion” is commonly used to exhort the faithful; e.g., “Prayer Champion” or “Champion for Christ.”

It is worth remembering that Pompeo is a fundamentalist Christian zealot, one who believes devoutly in the Rapture, followed by the Second Coming of Christ. All of which, incidentally, is predicated upon (a) the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque (only the third holiest site in Islam) and (b) the subsequent rebuilding of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem.

Therefore, question: Is it irresponsible to speculate that the Secretary might, on any level, conflate “champion of American diplomacy” with his belief in an apocalyptic cult nightmare? I submit that it would be irresponsible not to.]

- My colleagues and I proudly serve the United States and the American people at the Department of State, America’s first executive department.

         [That, we do.]

-We support and defend the Constitution of the United States.

         [This is the only damned thing we DoS employees are SWORN BY SACRED OATH to do, and I am more than a little disheartened to see it assigned third position in this or any “Ethos.”]

-We protect the American people and promote their interests and values around the world by leading our nation’s foreign policy.

         [A worthy goal, but undermined on a daily basis by the fact that our “nation’s foreign policy” is ultimately determined by a willfully ignorant man-child who obsessively seeks information and validation from a mendacious and deeply reactionary cable news channel.]

-As a member of this team, I serve with unfailing professionalism in both my demeanor and my actions, even in the face of adversity.

         [This, we also do. Go on…]

-I act with uncompromising personal and professional integrity. I take ownership of and responsibility for my actions and decisions.

         [Acting like a grownup is laudable in a diplomat. But don’t expect any actual leadership in this area from the Champion-in-Chief, who, while “leading our nation’s foreign policy,” dissembles the way infants poop.]

-And I show unstinting respect in word and deed for my colleagues and all who serve alongside me.

         [Unstinting? OK… although if someone wears a MAGA hat to work, all bets are off. To be fair, however, that sort of uncivilized behavior simply does not happen at State.]

- Together, we are the United States Department of State.

         [Big Finish: Cue inspirational patriotic music - possibly unlicensed - and… you’re welcome.]