Monday, April 10, 2006

The State Department

There is an interesting article by Robert Novak at Townhall today on the State Department. Robert Novak asks who is in charge of the state department; the answer is, that it isn't Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice, and perhaps it should be.

Than again with Novak it's hard to be sure. Obviously much of the Republican party sees the State Department in a negative light. They seem to prefer finding military solutions to problems, on the theory that such solutions are more likely to be permanent. But Novak has been more realistic than this in the past.

The article concerns R. Nicholas Burns who is a Democrat and yet has some influence over the Secretary of State. He has argued that we should join the United Nations Human Rights Council (recently created) despite the fact that our Ambassador to the United Nations had voted against it. He didn't get his way, but he might at some time in the future.

I imagine being a career State Department foreign service specialist right now must be a lot like being a chemist in a chemistry department being run by alchemist. Like your bosses come around and tell you to figure out the best way to turn lead into gold, and you patiently explain how it's impossible to turn lead into gold. So they make nasty comments to the press about you betraying their vision of turning lead into gold. Then when they are finally forced to recognize that you can't turn lead into gold, they come around very enthusiastic about spinning straw into gold.

Or to put it another way, I can understand how Mr. Burns might be a bit frusterated with his current situation.

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