Page 15 - Foreign Service Journal - April 2013

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the Foreign Service journal
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April 2013
15
low, depending on your point of view)
for cultural exchanges.
In an acerbic March 4 blog post-
ing,
Washington Post
media analyst
Eric Wemple draws from Rodman’s
responses to questions from George
Stephanopoulos of ABC News as “Five
that you’re propping up the regime?
DR: Te kid’s only 28 years old.
3.
GS: Do you really believe what you
said about how they’re great leaders?
DR: I saw people respect him and his
family—that’s what I mean about that,
great leaders there.
4.
GS: [Kim Jong Un] wants a call
from President Obama?
DR: ‘I don’t want to do war’—he said
that to me.
5.
GS: What did he tell you about
America, and what did you learn about
him?
DR: He loves basketball. And I said
the same thing, I said, ‘Obama loves
basketball.’ Let’s start there.
As Wemple comments, “Never before
has a single interview on ‘Tis Week’ so
elevated the profession of diplomacy.
On the other hand, Joel Witt and
Jenny Town argue in a March 7
Foreign
Policy
blog posting (“A Very Special
Envoy”) that President Obama should
make “Dennis the Menace” his man in
Pyongyang.
Witt and Town concede that it “cer-
tainly hasn’t helped Rodman's argument
that North Korea is now threatening
to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike
against American targets in response
to new United Nations sanctions. Still,
while there is a strong element of truth
to these criticisms, Rodman may be onto
something here.”
After all, they note, the Obama’s
administration’s policy of “strategic
patience” doesn’t seem to be producing
results. Moreover, North Korean leaders
have a history of issuing ‘on-the-spot
guidance’—pronouncements that
instantly set policy. So “reaching out
directly to Kim Jong Un might not be
such a bad idea, particularly since he is
still new on the job.”
—Steven Alan Honley, Editor
n
50 Years Ago
T
he following owes its inception to a cocktail party and a record of
“The Pirates of Penzance,” and is respectfully submitted with apologies
to Mr. Gilbert
:
I am the very model of a Foreign Service ofcer:
A savant and a wit, an epicure and a philosopher;
I know old Greek and Latin, and at Saxon I’m spectacular,
I read at sight from Beowulf and speak in the vernacular.
I talk of art and music with an air aloof and critical,
And think it is in bad taste if the discussion gets political.
But if you want a savant or a wit or a philosopher,
I am the very model of a Foreign Service ofcer.
I pass the tea at parties and my manners are incredible,
I know a hundred kinds of cheese and just when each is edible.
My palate is renowned and I’ve a fair for things sartorial;
I make up splendid seating lists for fetes ambassadorial.
I know a bit of India—I’ve been there for a stop or two.
Now please don’t talk development—I think it isn’t proper to.
But if you need an epicure, a sage or a philosopher,
I am the very model of a Foreign Service ofcer.
I’ve vaguely heard of Africa—it’s somewhere south of Sicily—
And now that I have heard of it, I shall avoid it busily.
All economic theories I deprecate with suavity,
And feel administration is deplorable depravity.
Our consular afairs are still to me a thing of mystery,
And I know no diplomacy and even less of history.
Still, if you want a savant or a wit or a philosopher,
I am the very model of a Foreign Service ofcer.
—“FSO Piracy” (Letters to the Editor), by Goodwin Cooke; FSJ, April 1963.
Reasons to Tank Dennis Rodman for
Canceling Media Appearances”:
1.
GS: Were you aware of [Kim Jong
Un’s] threats against the United States?
DR: I hate the fact that he’s doing
that.
2.
GS: What about the perceptions