THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
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
Diplomacy ProgramsIn 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.
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-