Wednesday, August 02, 2006

American diplomats

I have often traveled under the auspices of the USGovernment --- particularly what was then called the United States Information Agency. In the field these guys were great. I was in Moscow with my then-wife at a "night-club." I asked one of the USIA guys, Alan Coombs, to take our picture. We returned to our six person booth. Alan was at an inside seat. A Soviet miltary man with lots of stripes (A general?) started yelling at Alan Coombs our helper-outer. The officer leapt across the booth and grabbed the camera, saying (in Russian) that pictures couldn't be taken of Soviet military men. Coombs jumped back at him and salvaged our camera. A hero!
It's back at home that the diplomats get the reputation (often deserved) of being softball-playing stirped pants cookie-pushers, too often willing to accomodate to that mystical "world public opinion."

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