Men and Women for Others

Posted by Tara Foley
March 11, 2008
University of Chicago

Tara Foley serves as a Foreign Affairs Officer in the State Department's Office of WMD and Terrorism.

Hello Dipnote readers. It's been awhile. In the past few weeks, I've been fortunate enough to visit both of my alma maters, Boston College and the University of Chicago, to speak to students there about my work for the Department. At BC, I participated in a "Women in Diplomacy Panel," and at the U of C, a career panel for students in the Committee on International Relations masters degree program. Since several Dipnote readers have asked about my background, how I found my place with the Department, and why I choose to do what I do, I thought this might be a good time to share some of my history with you. Being invited to speak at my alma maters was an honor. It was inspiring to talk with students who are so passionate about and invested in their work. It also provided me the opportunity to look back on the past few years on my life, and think about how I got here, musing about my life on Dipnote (who would've thought?). So, as Lewis Carroll says, let's begin at the beginning...

Tuesday, September 11th, 2001 was something like my fourth day of college. That's not the whole story, but it is an important piece of it. I was sitting in a Fundamentals of Politics class that morning when the planes hit the Twin Towers, completely unaware of what was going on outside of our classroom. Later, I watched the events of the morning unfold on TV, and, as many Americans, grappled with so many questions, layered over feelings of confusion and loss. As a newly independent young adult, out in the world on my own for the first time, that day, in many ways, framed the way that I looked at the world, both as an individual and as a student of political science. It caused me to look at myself, and my country, in the larger context of the world, to ask questions, and to apply myself to some of the challenges we face as a nation. I started studying Arabic, and I added a Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies minor to my Political Science major.

I was fortunate that BC, a Jesuit Catholic school, is an institution that encourages students to think about their role in the larger world. One of the school's mottos reads, "Men and women for others," and I can't think of a better way to describe my path from Chestnut Hill to Washington . My education was rooted in the values of community and public service. We were constantly encouraged to think about our place in the community – whether the immediate group of friends and family, our nation, or our global society. My experiences at Boston College demanded that I think about my role in my wider communities, what I had to offer, and how I could contribute.

Throughout my time as a student, I took every opportunity to explore new ideas and interests – study abroad in Morocco and the UK, picking up a new language, a summer internship here at the State Department, community service in Boston, and cultural immersion programs in Nicaragua and Kingston, Jamaica. Experiences like these prepared me, as well as one can be prepared, for the work I do today. After BC, I went on to receive my Masters degree in International Relations from the University of Chicago . It was, as a professor warned me it would be, "academic boot camp." It was also a wonderful opportunity to continue to ask questions and cultivate my topical expertise. After Chicago , I was offered a Presidential Management Fellowship, a program specifically for people with graduate degrees wishing to enter the federal government. And that, along with the incredible support of family and friends, is how I find myself here, at State, and blogging on Dipnote.

To call myself an American diplomat is one of the greater privileges I've experienced in my life. It truly is such a rewarding career, one that is intellectually stimulating and constantly engaging. The experiences I've outlined here are just one perspective, but I think the lives we live do inform our world view, and help determine how we interact with the larger world. At BC, we were told to consider three questions in life: 1) What do you love? 2) What are you good at? and 3) What does the world need? Where these three answers intersect, we would find our vocation. Here at the State Department, serving my country and working in the wider world of foreign affairs, I believe I've found my answer. I am fortunate for the opportunities I've had, and I'm still learning. I hope that the students I spoke with at BC and at Chicago, as well as interested readers, will consider a career in public service, and join me in the experience.

Comments

Comments

a c.
March 12, 2008

YC writes:

Sounds like you're having fun there. I have always looked for ways to contribute to the community myself, and I have yet to find a better way than an honest job in the private sector.

Have you ever watched "Africa Addio"? As for the "cultural immersion", I'm glad to see that you emerged unscathed. Kingston has undergone quite a change in the past 50 years (murder rate up by 1000%). As for the questions:

1) What do you love?

- playing "save the world" at taxpayers expense while accomplishing the opposite

2) What are you good at?

- coercing the taxpayer into forking over his money for said activity

3) What does the world need?

- certainly not more people who are good at 1) and 2) while also promoting "cultural immersion" at home.

Syrian P.
|
Syria
March 12, 2008

SNP in Syria writes:

Not sure if Ms Foley promoting the Jesuits or service at State. But will take the opportunity provided by this post and add to the fact that despite being secular, and in away do not believe Jesus ever existed. We hold the Jesuits with great respect and I personally thankful and appreciative of the fine education they gave me. Perhaps even more important is the instilling of the disiplined life and Civic education in me that lasted for a life time, formed the basis of my character. These assets attributed directly to the Jesuit education. Despite the fact that many of the classmates throughout the years composed of large part of Sunni Moslem in Homs, Syria, they have treated me and fellow students with the bestest of treatment. We are every appreciative and hope will have the opportunity to reciprocate in kind.

Tara
|
District Of Columbia, USA
March 18, 2008

DipNote Blogger Tara Foley writes:

@ YC -- Ouch. I'm under no illusions that I can save the world. It's just that not trying isn't good enough for me. We do good work here in the Department and throughout the government, I firmly believe that; and while we have more work to do, that's all the more reason to keep trying, isn't it? I agree that the public sector isn't the only way to contribute -- we need people in all sectors to contribute, and to think about how their work and their choices affect others. I think it takes both lines of work to keep society progressing and improving.

@ SNP in Syria -- I see we share an appreciation for the Jesuit education system! You make a great point -- It does seem that many people of various nationalities and religious backgrounds thrive under a Jesuit approach to education. Probably because many of these values are so universal... Perhaps also because the approach encourages a young person to connect their individuality/personal development with a sense of meaning and belonging in the wider community... Anyway, glad to hear you had such a positive experience!

Irene
|
Greece
March 19, 2008

Irene in Greece writes:

It's very nice to "hearing" you again Mrs Foley. Your last post was wonderful.
A real victory for the 21st century women. This is too.

I do not know who asked you about your Masters or background (in fact you have earned PhDs in your heart), you speak 3-4 languages... For sure you are a Master Mind.

And you had a no problem to make a simple ...security check in "the Kingdom"?

This is why plenty of American sayings are really philosophical. In this instance: Simplicity! Brave heart!

But, I think that you have also added 3 more serious meanings of life, contributing even more to the American philosophy:

1) What do you love? 2) What are you good at? and 3) What does the world need?

You had to face a very different culture and an extremely change of personal life, but still you had the passion and the patience to welcome a "respectful" lady that told you that "her husband is her Id..."
And still you didn't react, but you remained sober.

You write: "To call myself an American diplomat is one of the greater privileges I've experienced in my life."

I would add that it's our privilege to have you in the Global diplomacy, no matter if I am Greek.

After all, Diplomacy is a Global issue.

John
|
Greece
March 19, 2008

John in Greece writes:

@ SNP in Syria -- Do you think that this is the appropriate forum to transform it to a religious forum?

Relax.

This is a diplomacy forum.

Don't preach -- I am sure you can't teach.

By the way, Ioannis wrote something about http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/index.htm

...and your "Syrious" problems with Human Rights.

Dan
|
District Of Columbia, USA
March 19, 2008

Dan in Washington, DC writes:

Ms. Foley -- thanks for your continued provocative contributions to DipNote, and thanks for your service to the State Department, the United States and the international community.

Regarding the "men and women for other" motto, as I'm sure you know, this is Boston College's motto as it is the Jesuit's motto.

Re: YC's comments, I think this 2001 quote from President George W. Bush speaking to U.S. government employees provides a useful perspective:

"I hope you'll never take the honor of public service for granted. Some of us will serve in government for a season; others will spend an entire career here. But all of us should dedicate ourselves to great goals: We are not here to mark time, but to make progress, to achieve results, and to leave a record of excellence."

Syrian P.
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Syria
March 19, 2008

SNP in Syria writes:

Thank you John, DipNote and the State Dept. for giving us fair opportunity to voice our opinions on the post here. It is a proof that The United States is one country in this world that freedom of expression and opinion can still be granted and tolerated.

The comment posted is not about religion, SNP is a secular organization. It is about the fine teaching a person receives at any Jesuit School or College anywhere in the world even in Muslim Syria. This is due to the focus on teaching and the building of the person character, his civics and the world he or she belongs to, not trashing the young person with religious doctrines and dogmas. It does make a big difference in the person, what school prepares him for life and through various stages. If you to attend Islamic Azad University, you will end up talking and thinking silly and naive just like Mahmood Ahmadinejad and Mottaki. If you to attend a Saudi Madrassa, you will end up, well, a mental case.

As to Human Right records in Syria, they are in fact the best in the world. The application of law is crude and makes it appear as a violation. These Syrians that you hear now crying foul, signing up all kind of declarations, standing in front of Syrian Embassies with microphones are in fact the ones that ceased the Syrian people lands, homes, nationalized all industries, separated families, banned students from university admission, passed all of the obscene, oppressive laws and stole all of Syria's wealth. Now that our smart president Bashar Assad and before him, his father Hafez kicked them out of power that they ceased illegally, they are complaining and protesting human rights violations. They first need to give us back what they stole and apologize for the terrible trassgression they committed against our people and Syria. The only one these thugs are fooling is the CIA money bag handler. They have no credibility whatsoever in Syria. Should they think that Syria will ever not be ruled by Bashar Assad, give them the bad news, we holds them and their grand-grand children accountable for everything.

John
|
Greece
March 19, 2008

John in Greece writes:

@ SNP in Syria -- You are welcome. (irony!)

However, I am not the SD or working for the FG (fortunately 4U).

I'm just a blogger like you.

So thank SD and DipNote only.

I have to admit that I do not understand plenty of the things you write. Either on the ground that English is not my native language, or because, I do not know the "area" you are referring to.

Nevertheless, I "suspect" that you are an "organization," as you say.

OK!

I'm just a person.

But, I see that all the time -all the time- through our blogging, you open up issues making an Anti-American propaganda.

This time you have a CIA problem? Why don't you lawsuit the guys? They will "appreciate" it! According to my knowledge, CIA does not faction outside the U.S. ..moreover, dealing with "organizations."

You have a problem with Tara because she may be a Catholic? Who cares about the Church she goes to, as long she is a real Lady?!

You always have something to say and... it's always against U.S.A.

Nobody
|
Pakistan
March 19, 2008

NB in Pakistan writes:

Ms. Tara Foley: Your "Ouch!" to YC's posting of Mar-12 is quite justified. It's nice that you reached the intersection where the three "W's" meet, many of us with walking sticks still haven't been so fortunate. I'm sure you'll be able to carry a lot of load on your young shoulders and widely educated head. Such young educated people with broad vision are the need of the day. I wish you success. Keep up the good job.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 20, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Ms Foley: 9/11 was an event that many people globally recall what they were doing at the moment they heard the news. I find some commonality in your personal reaction to it as you re-directed the focus of your energy to serve this nation and "we the people" in a time of war.

It is one thing to believe in yourself, it is another to believe you can affect change by becoming an integral part of it, and work to that goal and meet with success. Well done!

For myself, that involved finding writing to be a strength and talent I had never suspected I had in me.

I found myself the evening of Sept 11 wondering if my former brother in law was at work that morning w/ Morgan Stanley in the WTC, and trying to make sense of the comments scrolling by on CNN's chatline. Fully a third of which spoke of nuking Afghanistan the next day.

Earlier that day I had met with a good friend from Afghanistan who had over time, educated me in the history of his homeland as well as the political, being a member of the royal family. Godson of Zahir Shah to be specific.

Out of days worth of continuous discussion (which lasted many months beyond the sending of this and other letters) came to be what I can only describe as a solid effort in personal diplomacy, and an interesting case of parallel thinking at a time when no plan had been made public.

One serves as one can, with the resources available. This letter was a joint Afghan/American effort among friends in service to both our homelands.

Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 03:41:03 -0600To: secretary@state.govFrom: Eric (edited for posting)Subject: "Powell doctrine"-Exit optionsDear Mr. Secretary,

It seems logical to me when looking at the rebuilding of Germany and Japan after WW2, why we haven't been targets of terrorism by these former enemies, it may also be logical to view the rise of Hitler as a direct result of the sanctions imposed upon Germany at the end of WW1.

I agree that the war that has been declared upon us will take time, and cost much to win. I hope you will forgive my being so bold as to propose the following:

Based upon the fact that the people of Afghanistan have no self-determination of their fate, and are at the mercy of the Taliban(or who-ever controls them), and given the fact so many are abandoning the country in fear, it seems to me that this mission must be a liberation, not a reprisal, I mean by this that we perform surgery-heal the patient(Afghanistan).

In order to retain support, especially throughout the Arab world, for a sustained presence in the region, it will be necessary to address the humanitarian needs of the refugees immediately to:

  1. Show compassion in the midst of our wrath.
  2. To prevent further human suffering due to terrorist acts upon us.

I will base the following on the assumption that the military surgery undertaken will remove the cancer in a similar fashion as in WW2-unconditional surrender. (*)

Given the resulting void in government structure, and to avoid setting up what might be viewed as a "puppet" government, I propose this as an alternative:

Restore the government prior to the Soviet invasion, most of that ruling family is in exile.(although a monarchy,it held democratic ideals despite the influence of the Soviets and had no clue about the Soviet agenda until too late). I have only my gut instinct to go on,but the "northern alliance" might agree to this as it would bring the country full circle, bringing hope again and the ability to function as a distinct political entity in the UN.

In addition I believe that the whole premise by which we may safely exit the situation with the goals in hand is this:

If the average Afghan citizen can say they're better off than they were before the Taliban took over, and having the world's help rebuilding, not only will the world respect us, but we'll give them nothing to hate us for in the future.

The massive response with food, shelter, clothing to the refugees prior to any action against the Taliban or bin Laden will immediately let the world know without a doubt that we consider them victims of terrorist aggression, and that our mission is to rid them of this and restore sanity.

If we do this right, the long term prognosis will be a full recovery from a terminal illness. Afghanistan may need a decade of peace to achieve this.

The stability necessary for this can only come from the people's desire to be at peace, and a hope for the future.

(*) Unconditional surrender in this case does not require use of nuclear weapons to achieve objective, if used, all support will evaporate, and the objective(long term) is lost. I believe it's logical given the terrain, that this may have been considered, hopefully only for a fraction of a second.

(End excerpt, personal info edited )

Be well Tara, and thanks for the perspective.

Syrian P.
|
Syria
March 19, 2008

SNP in Syria writes:

One would expect that with all the known evidences now available on the internet about 911, Eric will be quite and act like the rest of the 300 million Baaaaa in America. But he rubs it in the nose and irritates people like SNP rather than repent by publishing a book telling it all as it is, the plain truth. I guess he can not, for legal reason, and wants others to expose the facts globally, that is why he keeps rubbing it in public.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 19, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I've often found in the training of a dog to be "man's best friend", that it is necessary to properly house-train the puppy. Rather than beating the pup half to death, or yelling at it till it becomes deaf, it is much more effective to rub the pup's nose in the mess it made on the carpet and put it outside till it whines to be let in for a hour or two. One measure of the intelligence the dog possesses how many times it becomes necessary to do this until the puppy learns to defecate in the great outdoors, rather than in its own home.

If SNP wishes to continue to sit on the hole in the carpet of their rhetoric and defecate on the hopes of humanity, then I should also note that as a "guest" of the Taliban, bin Laden broke all the rules, including disturbing the peace of his hosts.

RK
|
Florida, USA
March 19, 2008

RK in Florida writes:

Dear Ms. Foley:

Thank you for posting on this blog. I appreciate how you provided a personal perspective into your working life at State. I must say that I can relate to you in that I have recently had a "calling" to enter into public service, mainly after becoming a citizen last year. I would like to somehow get involved with the Civil Service sector at the State Department. Would you be willing to share your insight on how someone on the outside (private sector) can land a position as a Foreign Affairs Officer? I feel it is something that I will love to do and help make a difference in the world, whether it is minuscule or large. I appreciate any input you would have for all of us out there looking to leap to the State Department. Thank you for your time and I look forward to your future posts.

Cheers!

John
|
Greece
March 19, 2008

John in Greece writes:

@ SNP in Syria -- What's next? Tell us more about the doggies...

After the "church preaching," now you are a Pavlov, Ivan Petrovich teaching, Russian physiologist known chiefly for his development of the concept of the conditioned reflex?

In a now-classic experiment, he trained a hungry dog to salivate at the sound of a bell, which was previously associated with the sight of food. He developed a similar conceptual approach, emphasizing the importance of conditioning, in his pioneering studies relating human behavior to the nervous system. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1904 for his work on digestive secretions.

What is bin Laden? Is "it" a dog? Or is it a dog?

Because plenty of us are sure that he is a TERRORIST.

As well as that you love... Russians. Can we call you Ivan instead of SNP?

Syrian P.
|
Syria
March 19, 2008

SNP in Syria writes:

If you only know the tremendous efforts spent to keep the peace for the host in the past 30 years. While the host handing out cash, sending emissaries and shaking hands with Saddam, Bin Ladin and the likes all over the world, sleeping with the enemies, withheld support and shunned allies and friends. Lets see when Bush walks out the door what will be left few months later. It is going to be as you said; a world that is the HOPE OF HUMANITY. ENJOY IT, LOL, ADDIOS AMIGO.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 19, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

No, I wasn't referring to bin Laden as a dog, more like the item the dog left on the carpet that some here apparently think is worth chroming to sell as a trinket of their idiocy.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 19, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

But then beyond 9/11 and all that's past, comes the question:

When battleships give way to sailboats, how does the world realize its true self? WMD-Free.

Either that or we're back to sticks and stones.

John
March 19, 2008

John writes:

U.S.A. will also remain STRONG and HEALTHY AND after the service of The Bush Administration, as it was before it.

No matter the election result.

No matter if the next President will be a black or white, a woman or a man, a pilot or a preacher (the last one is now unexpected).

And it's going to remain STRONG, because it is: UNITED.

P.S. SNP: The Bush Administration has done a GREAT, PERFECT job respecting all the Globe, but also human ideas and... (the most important) justice!

I am sure, the same way will do the next President.

So, AMIGO, Buenos notches acronyms, or we will LOL@U.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.

eddie
|
Spain
March 19, 2008

Eddie in Spain writes:

Dear Tara,

Thank you very much for your articles. Everything related to international and diplomatic issues is very well explained, especially your posts about Saudi Arabia.

Best regards from Spain

Zharkov
|
United States
March 19, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

What the world needs right now is lower cost crude oil.

In view of the economic war conducted by OPEC against the West, and the inability of the federal government to counter their economic attack, what steps has the federal government taken to reduce non-essential travel by federal officials, a reduction of frivolous missions, and restrictions on vehicular use?

Tara
|
District Of Columbia, USA
March 18, 2008

DipNote Blogger Tara Foley writes:

@ the group:

Guys can we lay off the personal attacks? Im aware of some of SNPs more, ahem, provocative posts, and I dont defend them. But in this case s/he is simply expressing appreciation for the education s/he received. Thats a good thing. I put myself out there on this post talking about some things that are pretty personal to me, and some of these responses are just distasteful. I, too, believe in Americas greatness, and there is no place I would be happier or more proud to call home, to call my country. But lets defend freedom a bit more eloquently, shall we? Lets remember that when we speak to the world (and that is what were doing here, isnt it?), we have an opportunity to showcase not only Americas strength and vigor, but her generosity, compassion, and fair-mindedness as well. Id really love to hear more of what everyone has to say about the substance of this or other posts.

@ Dear Ms. Foley writer:

First of all, congratulations on your citizenship! I know thats an incredibly exciting and fulfilling experience for many people. I attended a citizenship swearing-in for the first time last fall, and it was really touching! Im excited to hear, too, that youre interested in a career with the State Department.

As it seems like you already know, there are two main career tracks in the Department: foreign service and civil service. Foreign service officers spend the majority of their careers working overseas at U.S. embassies around the world, but also spend some time working at the State Department headquarters here in DC. The way to become an FSO is to take the Foreign Service Exam, comprised of first a written exam and then (if you pass the written) a day-long oral exam process.

Civil service employees, such as myself, are based at the State Department headquarters here in DC the majority of the time, and often have the opportunity for business trips or temporary assignments overseas. The path to a civil service career at State is a little more varied. I am a part of the Presidential Management Fellows, which is a program I applied to when I was in graduate school (you have to be a current graduate student planning to finish your degree the year you apply). Ive had a fantastic PMF experience and would recommend it to anyone currently in, or contemplating, graduate school. Applications open in the fall each year. There are other programs you can check out, too, such as the Career Entry Program (CEP), which, to my understanding, is open to anyone with a college degree, including professionals and students. There are several other programs as well that you can research on the Departments Careers website. (PMF, CEP, and the others are listed on the website linked above.) Im not as familiar with the others, but have heard great things about them. In my personal experience, applying through one of these specialized programs is a great way to apply for the civil service track at State.

Keep in mind, too, that sometimes it takes awhile to find the right match, so consider applying elsewhere in government and elsewhere in Washington at the same time (think tanks, consulting firms, NGOs, etc.). If you dont find a spot at State right off the bat, youll gain experience in international affairs and start to learn how the Washington machine works, which will be invaluable tools once you do wind up where you want to be.

Cheers to you, and good luck

Nobody
|
Pakistan
March 19, 2008

NB in Pakistan writes:

Well said Ms. Foley! There's a lot more goodness in America than critics notice. They should open up the eye of their reasoning minds.

John
|
Greece
March 19, 2008

John in Greece writes:

@ Ms. Foley -- I agree with you concerning the philosophy of the forum ("we have an opportunity to showcase not only Americas strength and vigor, but her generosity, compassion, and fair-mindedness as well"), but this happens -- AUTOMATICALLY, since it exists.

Nevertheless, I think it's logical and healthy for you to have to face "attacking" in a blog we would all love to see it very popular.

I also agree with you concerning the "personal attacks." It's not nice to see!

But how can we blog otherwise?

No debating (exchanging "attacks," on the basis of a welcomed discussion), No Blogging. Otherwise the Blog will become a newspaper that anyone writes whatever he wants, but it won't be a Blog, and I am not sure about the unique hits per page anymore. Why someone to visit this blog instead of reading the USA Today or let's say the Washington Post? On the other hand, I understand that no one would like this blog to become a chat room. However, why don't you guys think of that too? You could also add a chat room inside the Blog. In fact, you ask a very difficult question about the platform. And you are right, concerning THE HOW THIS SHOULD BE.

Imagine if someone is reading JUST this conversation of the two of us. S/He may think that we have a personal attack. However, we have an extremely pure and healthy debate only for a GOOD purpose! And, of course, I really thank you for this, because it's not very usual for common people like me to have the chance to talk to any Diplomat. Moreover an American one.

That's why, for this chance you provide us with, the Blog is automatically PERFECT and according to my opinion, it has nothing more to prove, except to keep on existing.

Again, congratulations for your posts.

You made us talk!

Tara
|
District Of Columbia, USA
March 19, 2008

DipNote Blogger Tara Foley writes:

@ John:

Thanks for writing, and please do keep posting! I completely agree with you that the blog should be a forum for open debate, and the exchange of diverse and sometimes conflicting opinions. Thats why I like the blog too! I want to see and be a part of strong debate based on an honest examination of the issues. What I mean by personal attacks are the posts that use derogatory language targeted at a specific individual, that have nothing to do with the ideas or arguments being discussed, but are written purely to insult another person. I think that gets in the way of the real debate.

John
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Greece
March 20, 2008

John in Greece writes:

You are absolutely right and very clear Ms. Foley!!!

Your "intervention" suggestion armors the quality of the Blog.

I am looking forward to read more posts from you in the near future.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 22, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Dear Tara,
@ SNP in Syria -- SNP in Syria writes:

"One would expect that with all the known evidences now available on the internet about 911, Eric will be quite and act like the rest of the 300 million Baaaaa in America. But he rubs it in the nose and irritates people like SNP rather than repent by publishing a book telling it all as it is, the plain truth. I guess he can not, for legal reason, and wants others to expose the facts globally, that is why he keeps rubbing it in public"

I'm sorry if you find my response to this personal attack to be in poor taste, but I for one cannot offer benefit of the doubt after several months of witnessing a consistent pattern of interaction directed at many forum members that speak in solidarity with U.S. policy, personal attacks on individual's character in violation of the rules of discussion over a long period.

And while animal rights activists of the four legged and two legged variety may understand my response, I'd appreciate it if more moderation of discussion were going on so I don't feel the need to take an internet bully head on with my somewhat unique brand of American humor.

Thank you very much.

...DipNote Bloggers write:

@ Eric in New Mexico -- We hear you Eric. We expressed similar sentiments to SNP yesterday. The strength of any forum is its mutual respect for its participants and its ability to adhere to the topics at hand ...as outlined in DipNote's comment policy.

wang40
|
Taiwan
March 23, 2008

Wang in Taiwan writes:

The world person wants peace the life

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 23, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

"The strength of any forum is its mutual respect for its participants and its ability to adhere to the topics at hand ."

-Dipnote Bloggers

Indeed, and a good debate is found in it's strength to go out on a limb of the particular, yet remaining relevant to the issue at hand.

So then where was I before being so rudely interrupted by insult? Ah yes, I believe I was attempting to inspire those wishing to make a difference in the world that a government that serves the people actually depends on them to interact with it, inspire its policies, and promote a coherent vision for a nation's future.

So then if I am now speaking to the world as Tara suggested, I would simply suggest to billions of individuals out there to be the best you can be....a think tank of one.

Not to be lemmings following blind ideology over oblivion's cliff, for I believe the human species to be better than that.

Celebrate global diversity as a strength of mankind rather than soak the ground with each other's blood because of ethnicity or for an interpretation of God.

I cannot tread lightly by any means, nor can I be anything but honest in my assessment of the subject, too much is at stake. Every living thing on this planet to be exact.

Anyone who has witnessed the birth of one's child can tell you that yes indeed you create your own reality, the question is what do we wish to create for ourselves as reality on this planet, now and for our children's and their children's future? Not just in my country, but the world as a whole, as an international vision.

Inherently, change is viewed with suspicion, as a threat to culture and ways of tradition and ethical belief systems. As it applies to developing countries in this nuclear age, the post-cold war aftermath presents a vast paradox that present no easy solutions, and has culminated in the reality of the war on terrorism as it exists today.

The solution involves individuals standing up and giving voice to their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, creating the public happiness of having a say in one's future.

We in America share a concept, united we stand, divided we fall. 9/11 has forced the world to grasp this concept, ready or not, globalization is at hand.

We have an opportunity to showcase not only America's strength and vigor, her generosity, compassion, and fair-mindedness, but here on this blog, the world has the opportunity to showcase itself as being capable of all this and more than the sum of its parts in the process.

Whoever said, "There are no Philosophers in Foreign Affairs.", I'd like to thank for inspiring me to become one....(chuckle).

Nobody
|
Pakistan
March 24, 2008

NB in Pakistan writes:

Ms. Foley:

Happy Easter to you and all bloggers.

And yes, Eric in New Mexico is definitely a very good writer. I can sincerely say that I really enjoy his postings.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 26, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Wang in Taiwan - Wang in Taiwan writes:

"The world person wants peace the life"

Wang's got it right.

And he's a far better writer than me in my opinion NB, but thanks!

I mean let's face it, he's nailed the human condition down to seven words.

That's Pulizer material if you ask me.

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