The Foreign Service Journal, December 2023

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | DECEMBER 2023 17 caption contractor died “due to a cardiac incident during a shelter-in-place order,” according to NBC. Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said on Oct. 24 that between Oct. 17 and 24, “U.S. and coalition forces have been attacked at least 10 separate times in Iraq and three separate times in Syria via a mix of one way attack drones and rockets.” CNN reports a senior defense official as saying: “The U.S. believes that the proxies are being funded, armed, equipped and trained by Iran.” Despite the ordered departure, State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Oct. 23 that “the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the Consulate General in Erbil remain open. We remain committed to our longstanding strategic partnership with Iraq, and we’ll continue to work through our embassy and our consulate there to strengthen that partnership.” n This edition of Talking Points was compiled by Donna Scaramastra Gorman. Sam Wardell, Vice Consul at Yokohama, has been an interesting visitor at the Department relating his dexterous escape from the consular building which collapsed upon him, and then burned, during the earthquake which destroyed Yokohama and part of Tokyo on September 1, 1923. Mr. Wardell, after making a safe exit from the toppling structure into the street, was thrown to the ground three times by the billowy undulations of the earth but managed to rise and reach the shelter of a large park where, with the compact mass of refugees, he suffered from dust, smoke, cinders, heat and thirst. Mr. Wardell has gone to his home on a vacation to recover from the nervous shock and replenish his wardrobe, as he lost everything except the clothes on his back, before proceeding to his new post at Harbin. —From “Reports and Trade Letters” in the American Consular Bulletin (precursor to the FSJ) December 1923. Vice Consul Escapes Collapsed Building 100 Years Ago The U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, circa 2014. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE