Sunday, January 17, 2010


I heard a joke. It goes like this: “American Marines with machineguns engage and kill insurgents out in the country-side then retire to the local villages to become diplomats…” It’s not a joke so much as an ironic notion. Diplomats and soldiers are required to put their lives on the line occasionally (more often for the soldiers right now). Diplomats must always face the unknown unarmed.

Confusion on this point arises because American soldiers in WWII were occasionally referred to as “diplomats”. They weren’t diplomats. They were part of a vast effort to liberate many European countries from the tyranny of the Axis powers. There will never be parades in Iraq or Afghanistan because our soldiers are not liberators any more than they can ever be diplomats.

1 comment:

  1. So I asked Google how they would define 'diplomat' and thought their response was worth sharing:

    "Definitions of diplomat on the Web:
    -an official engaged in international negotiations.

    -a person who deals tactfully with others.

    Things that make you go, "Hmmmm..."