The Foreign Service Journal, September 2020

10 SEPTEMBER 2020 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL Remembering Joseph Diatta I was saddened to learn of the recent death of Joseph Diatta, a former ambas- sador from Niger to the United States and a colleague at the Foreign Service Institute’s Foreign Affairs Counter Threat (FACT) course. As a facilitator with the FACT course, I had the privilege of working with Amb. Diatta for nearly five years. He demon- strated a quiet dignity, pro- vided a realistic encounter for students, and drew on his personal experiences when teaching the impor- tance of cultural sensitivity, mutual respect and active listening. Having served as ambas- sador to the United States and having been one of the chief architects of the 1995 peace agreement that reconciled the Tuareg armed rebellion in Niger, Amb. Diatta brought a unique perspective to the FACT program. In observing his interaction with students, I was struck by the importance he placed on nurturing relationships, increasing rapport and promoting com- munication. He understood, better than most, that open communication might at some point save a Foreign Service offi- cer’s life or the lives of their colleagues. Joseph Diatta will be missed. Michael Maxey USAID FSO, retired Fairfax, Virginia Endowing the Tex Harris Award In May, I sent a contribution to AFSA to help establish a permanent endow- ment for the Tex Harris Award. I had the privilege of working closely LETTERS with Tex from 1974 to 1977 in my first assignment as an FSO. I was working in the European Affairs Bureau, and Tex was on detail to the Environmental Pro- tection Agency. I also got to know his family during those years, and I am forever grateful to have shared in the generous spirit and warmheartedness that later led them to their courageous actions in Argentina. I worried about them in those years, but I was not surprised by what they felt com- pelled to do. Separately, I doubt- less would have joined AFSA anyway; but when I met Tex (on the last day of A-100 orientation), he said to me: “You’re an FSO; you have to belong to AFSA.” That settled it. I was an FSO for only five years, but I have happily been an AFSA member for more than 45 years. I hope that members of the Foreign Service community who never had the good fortune to know Tex personally will nevertheless find inspiration in him to nurture their own integrity, professional- ism and humanity. Edwina Campbell Former FSO Fort Worth, Texas Remembering the Srebrenica Massacre It has been 25 years since Bosnian Serbs murdered more than 8,000 fellow Bosnians who were Muslim. Despite all our professions since the Holocaust of “Never Again,” wanton genocidal killing of noncombatants had occurred once more in Europe. At the time of the massacre’s 10th anniversary (July 11, 2005), I was an FSO serving at U.S. Consulate General Casablanca. Not even the horrors of Abu Ghraib upset my Moroccan colleagues more than the Srebrenica massacre. While watching the Al-Arabiya news channel’s coverage of the 10th anniver- sary of the massacre, the Moroccans, noticeably upset and even enraged, asked me whether the West would ever accept them, Muslim natives of the first country to recognize the United States in 1777. After all, the Bosniacs were them- selves considered the most Westernized Muslims. Yet, subjected to the Serbs’ ethnic cleansing campaign, they were victims of the worst massacre in Europe since the end of World War II, while Sre- brenica was ostensibly under U.N. blue helmet protection. (U.N. “safe haven” must be the oxymoron of the 1990s!) My Moroccan co-workers simply could not fathom how the United States and the West, well aware of the brutal reputations of Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, could let this happen. The subsequent radicalization of some Bosniacs, like the Chechens before them, should not have surprised anyone—and certainly not members of our profes- sion—remotely aware of what was done to them by the Serbs and the Russians, respectively. Although the July-August FSJ under- standably focused on COVID-19 and the widespread public outcry in the United States and elsewhere over George Floyd’s murder and police brutality, it was disappointing that the Journal did not also feature a remembrance essay on Srebrenica and the international commu- nity’s failure to stop the Bosnian Serbs’ onslaught. After all, several FSOs, notably area