American Impunity and Incompetence

Letter From Mexico

As the War on Terror drags on, it appears that immigration policy remains a constant, while its interpretation changes like spring fashions in Paris.

An Englishman once quipped that a diplomat’s job is to lie for his country.  Blunt truths aside, a diplomat’s role might also be to further his nation’s interests in—and manage relations with—his host country’s government and citizens.  This includes projecting a positive national image, handling citizen services, and facilitating commerce, dialogue, and travel.  Some among the U.S. Diplomatic Corps seem unaware of these inherent responsibilities.  Whereas the British have a long tradition of diplomacy in the Foreign Services, successive U.S. administrations have bestowed diplomatic posts for patronage—and, all too frequently, with provocative intent.  An anti-Serb is named ambassador to Greece, an ex-POW is posted to Vietnam, and women are sent as senior U.S. representatives to Islamic countries.  America does not want for enemies, and too many of them have become enemies because of her foreign policy.

My parents invited my girlfriend, Elizabeth Garci, a Mexican national, to celebrate the all-American holiday of Thanks-giving with us in Illinois.  Elizabeth, a successful commercial photographer in Mexico City, could take a week off of her hectic assignment schedule to make the journey to get to know...

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