Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Pet Peeve

Terrorists attacked the U.S. Embassy in Damascus earlier today. They apparently detonated a car bomb and had a shootout with local guards. All but one of the terrorists were killed in the attack.

Warning: here comes a soapbox. I am not sure if I have jumped on this soapbox here before or if I only leap up around other folks at the consulate and in my head. But what annoys me is the way the media refers to non-Americans at embassies and consulates. They make a big deal about no American diplomats being killed. And for that, I am really grateful. But they refer to one or two Syrian guards being killed. I have seen this repeatedly, and they never make it clear whether those folks are our guards or not. This matters. These are folks who probably put more at risk than we do to serve America. They run the risk of being targeted for "collaborating" with us and they have to stay here long after we leave. In fact, we can't always evacuate them in an emergency. These are colleagues and friends, and I can tell you that there are an awful lot of our FSNs who I am far closer to than some of the other Americans here.

They serve our country too. And I wish the media would make that clear. Which is not to diminish the loss of those folks in the armies of those countries in which we serve. But they are serving their country, and our local staff is serving ours. I wish the media would acknowledge that. We depend on these folks literally with our lives.

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