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MAY 2015



nothing in particular, this unbe-

lievable credo appears:

“The challenge of statesman-

ship is to define the components

of both power and morality and

strike a balance between them.

This is not a one-time effort. It

requires constant recalibration; it

is as much an artistic and philo-

sophical as a political enterprise. It

implies a willingness to manage nuance

and to live with ambiguity. The practi-

tioners of the art must learn to put the

attainable in the service of the ultimate

and accept the element of compromise

inherent in the endeavor.”

It was this discovery that compelled

me to submit an article, “Partners in

Capital Crime,” to the online journal

American Diplomacy

in 2012. The article

is a documented account of Kissinger’s

role in forgiving Yasser Arafat’s 1973 mur-

der of the American ambassador and his

deputy in Khartoum while condemning

the Sudanese leadership for its supposed

weakness in the face of terrorism. An earlier, less detailed version of that article appeared in the June 2009 FSJ .

Leaving aside that shameless self-

promotion, I wish to thank Bob Silver-

man again for openly calling attention to

Kissinger’s sins, as well as for his vigorous

AFSA leadership, and to praise



Shawn Dorman for injecting new life and

quality into our house organ.

Alan D. Berlind

Senior FSO, retired

Bordeaux, France

Mind the Gap

I really enjoyed the articles in your

January-February issue on “Teach- ing Diplomacy Across the Divide.” I


reminded me of one case where failure to

bridge that divide had devastating conse-

quences, both in terms of countless lives

lost and the huge economic


In the summer of 2002,

prior to my posting to

Bahrain, I was enrolled

in the Foreign Service

Institute’s Arabic area

studies course. One day

Phebe Marr, an American

expert on Iraq, addressed

our class on, among many other things,

the possible consequences of our going

to war in that country. She came out

strongly against doing so. I recall her

words still, nearly 13 years later: we

would open up a Pandora’s Box, with

unforeseeable consequences, she said.

Several years after that class, when

things began to unravel in Iraq, I heard

one of the key people involved in the

decision to invade on TV saying some-

thing to the effect that “No one was tell-

ing us that this mess might be the result

of our actions.”

My reaction was this: “In fact, some-

one—perhaps one of the best-informed

experts—told you precisely that. You

chose to disregard the advice.”

Thanks again,


, for reminding us

how important it can be to “mind the

gap,” as the British say. (I love the cover

picture of the broken bridge, by the way!)

George Wilcox

FSO, retired

Tucson, Ariz.

Remembering Mary

Both my husband, Tony Allitto, and

I want to thank Bob Silverman for the

wonderful column about Mary Ryan (“A Doyenne of the Old School”) in the March Journal . As Foreign Service personnel,

we met Mary in the early 1980s in Buenos

Aires when she was there as part of an

inspection team. We became fast friends.

I worked for Mary Ryan when she was

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