DIPLOMACY BASHING….This is truly a trivial observation, but read this sentence written by Patrick Belton at OxBlog:

Putin is responding to several weeks of having Ambassador Sandy Vershbow (full disclosure: a former boss of mine, and one of the few bright gems of the Foreign Service) telling him in detail about all the economic sticks which the U.S. could apply to Russia.

Don’t worry about the substance of the sentence, just that fact that Sandy Vershbow is a “bright gem of the Foreign Service.”

Here’s my question: why do I read stuff like this so often? As near as I can tell, the world is full of people who are contemptuous of government agencies and government employees, but they always make an exception for their own friends and for people they themselves have worked for. To a man, these folks are portrayed as islands of sanity in an otherwise hellish sea of indolence and backstabbing.

It’s a remarkable coincidence, isn’t it?