02/04/11-by L.S. Carbonell
Two seemingly unrelated facts: Presidents have always used ambassadorships as “pay backs” for supporters. Years ago, a senior embassy employee was arrested on espionage charges.
Unrelated? Not really. Thousands of men and women devote themselves to the important work of international diplomacy. They learn languages, customs, protocol, cultures. They learn such things as how many degrees they have to tilt their spines in a proper bow or how much hair can show with a hajib or how to eat a monkey’s brain without gagging. They learn the delicate art of diplomatic dialogue. They work their way up from go-ferring and tour guiding to second in command. Yup, second. The ambassadorships, the golden prize, the job representing our country and our government to another country goes to political supporters and personal friends of the President. If we’re lucky, the newly appointed ambassador can actually speak the language of the nation he/she is being sent to.
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