The Foreign Service Journal - May 2016
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MAY 2016



Arab-Israeli affairs in the White House.

Samwent as ambassador to Israel just

as the right wing led by MenachemBegin

made its historic breakthrough, winning

the 1977 general election. His advice that

the United States would be wiser to treat

Begin with honey rather than vinegar was

par for the course for any new ambassador

facing an unprecedented new government.

And, nomatter how critical some of

Sam’s Arabist colleagues may have been,

that was probably the only viable course

given the American political scene.

Finally, I applaud Professor Tenem-

baum’s obvious affection for Sam, whom

he describes as “warm, accessible and


Those sentiments are shared by Sam’s

many friends, myself included. When

Sam volunteered as “producer” on the

Christmas play I was directing at SAIS, a

friendship with him and his loving wife,

Sallie, began that continued through the

years until his truly untimely death.

George B. Lambrakis

Senior FSO, retired

Paris, France

Evaluating Public

Diplomacy Programs

In his December Speaking Out, “Prov- ing Public Diplomacy Programs Work,”

James Rider makes very important points

about measuring outcomes and not (only)

output (i.e., process measures).

His recommendations about need-

ing to increase evaluations and carry out

some reorganization are also appropriate.

I hope someone (from the administration

and from congressional appropriations

committees) is listening and acting.

However, the evaluations described by

Rider fail to have any “controls.” Without

that there is only a before/after measure

of the action or intervention, and no com-

parison to similar areas or situations where

no intervention/action was attempted.

Take the example of testing a new drug:

one looks at the before and after in the

study population vs. a group that has been

given a placebo. One may be able to show

“improvement” of patients from use of the

drug in the study population; but is that

better than doing nothing, or using some

other existing medication?

I know that a diplomatic “intervention”

is not the same as taking a pill, and that it

is not typically feasible to have “all other

things controlled or identical” except for

the diplomatic intervention in a group.

But speaking as a specialist in the soci-

ology of organizations, the study of pro-

gram evaluation and organization change,

I believe that it should be considered.

Coralie Farlee

Organizational Sociologist

Washington, D.C.

Love As an Alibi

In 1989, when I was editor of


Foreign Service Journal

, we received the

devastating news that an FSO named Felix

Bloch was being accused of espionage. The

story broke on the July 21, 1989, broadcast

of ABC Nightly News, with JohnMcWethy

reporting from the lobby of the State

Department, foreign flags hanging in the


Within days, ABC was castigated for

offering as real photojournalism a simu-

lated video of one man handing over a

briefcase to another, both later revealed to

have been ABC News employees. Though

the network apologized for its ethical

lapse, the leaked allegation of espionage

was not similarly decried.

Instead, the American public was

regaled with hypotheticals to explain why

the FSO had spied, with “allegedly” often

dropped from the question.

One explanation dangled was disgrun-

tlement over being bypassed for promo-