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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Not in the Darkest Imaginings of Graham Greene. . . .

Of course, no one ever said that the life of an international diplomat was all brandy and sex tourism, but the news from today's Times is still harrowing nonetheless.  If you prefer not to be harrowed, may I suggest you check out "Sleep Talkin' Man," this week featuring delightful pictures of sloths.  Otherwise, read on at your own risk.
"After the American troops departed in December, life became more difficult for the thousands of diplomats and contractors left behind. . . . Within days, the salad bar at the embassy dining hall ran low. Sometimes there was no sugar or Splenda for coffee. On chicken-wing night, wings were rationed at six per person." ("U.S. Planning to Slash Iraq Embassy Staff by Half")
Dear. God.

Diminished salad bars?  No sugar?  OR Splenda?  ONLY SIX CHICKEN WINGS ON CHICKEN-WING NIGHT?!?!  To what kind of barbarity are we reducing our noble diplomats?  Even Somalian refugees can expect at least eight wings each on chicken-wing night!  I'm fairly certain that such deprivation runs afoul of several clauses of the Geneva Convention.  A whole sub-section--right after the bits about waterboarding--protects the rights of those held as prisoners of war or serving in diplomatic capacities to have access to a "break room" with adequate coffee supplies; no less a figure than Henry Kissinger faces indictment before the International War Crimes Tribunal for advocating policies during the 1970s denying Half-and-Half to Vietnamese POWs.

Alert Amnesty International!  Alert the Red Cross!  Alert Wing Stop!

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