The Daily Demarche
Thursday, January 13, 2005
Qualification to be a diplomat
From time to time we get e-mails from people who are considering joining the Foreign Service. Most of them want to know how to become a Foreign Service Officer. I usually tell them there are many more jobs than FSO available and direct them to the Department of State recruitment web page and offer my opinion of the employment process. Some questions, however, are so good, so piercing, so perceptive that they deserve a bigger answer. Who knows, they may benefit another reader.

So, I give you the following question from "THH H":

"Is it a requirement to be an asshole to be at your diplomatic level, or is it just useful?"

That is a great question. Most people would probably think it is a requirement, but surprisingly it's not! I have found it to be extremely useful, however. For example, let's say the Baathists in Iraq murder a busload of Christian children and their caretakers who are on their way home after being innoculated by U.S army doctors and given toys by the soldiers. Now suppose we track down those responsible. Let's say they are holed up in a mosque and decide they want to talk rather than die, and they appeal to the U.N to intercede. It's much easier if you have learned to be an asshole to simply say:

"The time for talking is over. Hope the whole Allah thing works out for them. Now, please clear the area, Mr. U.N. man. Your show, Colonel Troutman."

So "THH H", if you can learn to be an asshole (and I'd say you are well on your way!) odds are we can put you to good use. Good luck on the exam!

End of post. Unless we get a response, which we will post here. So you might as well leave a comment, "THH H."

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dé·marche 1) A course of action; a maneuver. 2) A diplomatic representation or protest 3) A statement or protest addressed by citizens to public authorities.

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