Photo of the Week: Behind the Scenes Before Negotiations Begin

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
September 2, 2010
Ambassador Marshall at the White House

More photos: U.S. Department of State's Flickr photostream | State@Work

When the cameras roll, they show the faces everyone knows. But for every major White House or State Department event, dozens -- sometimes hundreds -- of other people are at work out of camera range, making preparations and doing their best to ensure everything will run according to plan and to schedule. In this Photo of the Week, which comes to us from the White House, Ambassador Capricia Marshall, Chief of Protocol, waits for the arrival of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt on the South Portico of the White House. The Office of the Chief of Protocol fosters an environment for successful diplomacy by ensuring that appropriate hospitality is extended to foreign missions and their visiting leaders.

A major focus this week has been on the Middle East, with both White House and State Department meetings to relaunch direct negotiations among the United States, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority in pursuit of a final settlement and a just peace, with two states living side-by-side.

Comments

Comments

OysterCracker
|
United States
September 2, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

I'm wondering what that red carpet costs? We don't need all the pomp and circumstance. Lose the red carpet and set up educational accounts for American kids. Imagine what a trip to Europe would mean to an inner city child? I seriously doubt any Head's of State look down and regale at the flooring material they're walking on.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 3, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@OC,

My guess is that it's probably been paid for decades ago and has paid for itself by saving the labor costs of removing scuff marks off the floor tiles over the years. And because they only roll it out on special occasions that it's not that hard to keep it looking like new.

Anyway, as for pomp and such, I suppose if the Admin. really wants to go "green" they could just as well get the gardener to roll out the sod, and let the dignitaries and world leaders wiggle their toes in the grass on the way in the door... (chuckle).

You never know, they might regale at that bit of wiggle room...on the way into tough negotiations...

I suppose they could compromise and go with red astro-turf, but I think that would cheapen the experience.

Just a thought.

OysterCracker
|
United States
September 3, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

@Eric,
The plastic turf idea is carcinogenic and not very green but I really like your sod idea. They should also be planting green gardens on all government buildings. That would help heat traps during Washington summers. Adding a few umbrellas and comfy chairs and a few hammocks would also serve as a nice respite for stressed out government managers and their unfortunate employees.

R. B.
September 3, 2010

DipNote Bloggers reply:

@O.C. in the U.S.A. - We like this idea. :-)
Seriously, though, "green diplomacy" is something the Department's been pursuing. Check out http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2009a/04/122064.htm. Since its launch in those remarks, the "Greening Diplomacy Initiative" has been hard at work. Actually, an update on their activities would make a good DipNote entry. Watch this space!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 5, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Dipnote Bloggers;

Look, whatever it takes to ground folks in reality to achieve peace, do it!...and maybe barefoot IS the way to go...so carry on you'all and let the good sod roll...(chuckle).

It's recyclable anyway.

And hey, when you have "snowmaggeddon" you roll out the green stuff and get a little added traction on the walkways without using rock salt, it'll be good for at least an hour before it's frozen stiff and it becomes a permafrosted installation.

I'm glad you liked this idea, I thought it would be a novel treat for State's honored guests.

Put a grin on their face, a spring in their step, and grass between their toes.

I believe it is important to allow the child within to emerge, just in case they've forgotten how to enjoy the simple things in life.

For at least 20 or thirty steps or so they can feel like they are outstanding in their field.

See I know how crazy an idea it was to suggest to roll out sod to greet folks nopn traditionally, that's why the ":-)" as the humor of it sunk home...just remember my insanity has good purpose...(lol!)

Have a nice weekend,

EJ

OysterCracker
|
United States
September 6, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

@Eric,
Good one. That made me laugh. Another great idea I like is promoting the child within. If adults could get back to those early feelings, maybe there would be hope for some needed tranquility in the world.
How funny that you and I can finally agree on something. Diplomacy the Dipnote way!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 7, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Well OC, you're starting to understand why I keep saying "Attitude is everything".

When I started out on this blog I had three methods to use to bring change to the nature of diplomacy as it is practiced today.

A) That I was bound by my responsibilities as a citizen to bust the rampant urban myth that this ( or any other ) government doesn't give a damn what the citizen thinks. The only way to do that is to be successful at inspiring people to think, as a job description.

B) To change the nature of the global conversation.

C) To give the Dipnote staff and the Dept. of State good reason to earn their paychecks and laugh all the way to the bank to cash my crazy ideas in. It helps if it's "readable".
(I'm still trying to spell my way out of a paper bag in the process...LOL! "typo # 6741 is in the process of creation by unintended consequence)

Why would I bother? What ulterior motive (personal or political) might I have? Why here, why now? And why keep it up?

Folks need all the good help they can get.

In "the war of the sane vs. the insane" we must strive to be unbound by linear thinking or "group think" for this isn't an intellectual excercise, it's physical therapy.

Rolling out the sod is simply a jesture in aknowledgement.

(chuckle)

OysterCracker
|
United States
September 10, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

@Eric,
About linear thinking, I agree but usually innovation is stifled by corruption. In America, we are only limited by our imaginations. If we could get a grip on the stifling graft. Imagine what our future could be? The pay off to this party or that party, this special interest or that special interest is destroying our great nation. We need to do what's right for the American public and thst's not something you can put in a bank.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 10, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I disagree, inovation is only stifled by a lack of imagination and fear of the unknown and what's possible.

If I was of the mind I couldn't make a difference, would I ever?

Would you? Would anyone?

The answer to that is a big flat NO.

I hear a lot of negativity these days, and I feel awash in the uncertainty...but it hasn't stifled my creativity, or the need to bust through to the other side.

Just don't be late in your getting there...

OysterCracker
|
United States
September 10, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

Discussing corruption is positive because it means one is striving for change that affects the whole not just the part. We're all in this together so we all need to do our part in helping our country. That's the beauty of the American people. We've always rolled up our shirt sleeves and got busy when the chips were down. Many people unfairly prospered and profited on Americans belief of a strong society. It's morally wrong to take advantage of people's willingness to help. There are many parasites in our government that have fed off the good intentions and stupidity of Americans. Maybe Obama has attempted to change
this situation. Capitalism isn't a bad system if you could take out the greed and special interest element of it. Has it only worked because banks could always socialize their losses? I think collectively we could come up with a better system that is good for all Americans. Where the American people own the central bank and all issues are put to a collective vote. Maybe it would be Social/Moral/Collective Capitalism where greed,ego and evilness are shunned. Imagine what we could have accomplished if this were so. We've done great things at the expense of others. There is something better for the American people. We can find it without all of the Congressional drama we're subjected to on a daily basis...Americans want simple things. We need to find the people who can deliver it to us in an honest, un-egotistical way.

.

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