This morning, The Garlic takes a bold, previously-untaken step, in offering three predictions for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
1. There's likely to be a large number of your employees calling in sick on Monday
2. Expect mass resignations in the very near future
3. Buy earplugs, so you can muffle the plaintive cries of "Help Me Mr. Wizard!"
What prompts this polishing of the old crystal ball? Has the spirit of Jean Dixon cracked through a few of those cloves?
It was the news - alarming news if you happen to work for the State Department - in this mornings' Washington Post;
State Dept. To Order Diplomats To Iraq; As Many as 50 Positions Are Expected to Be Open
And it carried this ominous gem;
On Monday, 200 to 300 employees will be notified of their selection as "prime candidates" for 50 open positions in Iraq, said Harry K. Thomas, director general of the Foreign Service. Some are expected to respond by volunteering, he said. However, if an insufficient number volunteers by Nov. 12, a department panel will determine which ones will be ordered to report to the Baghdad embassy next summer.
"Ordered to report to the Baghdad embassy ..."
You mean the Baghdad embassy that been in the news lately?
The one with poor workmanship and that is running over budget and delayed?
But wait a minute, they're dangling a few carrots for you;
Those who are ordered to Baghdad as part of the new call-up will receive incentives, known as the Iraq Service Package, already offered to volunteers. It includes additional pay of about 70 percent for most mid-level officers, plus another 20 percent of basic salary to compensate for long hours. Officers are not allowed to take their families to Baghdad, but the package allows them to leave spouses and children in whatever post they transfer from for the length of their tour, or to send them back to Washington.
U.S. diplomats in Baghdad are given five "rest and relaxation" breaks during the year, including up to three of them in the United States, for a total of 60 days outside Iraq. Those completing a Baghdad tour are also given preference in choosing their next assignment."
Well, they probably did tell you, either in the interview, or when you first came to work at State, that you could end up in an exciting and exotic location.
Could be worse - you could have been assigned to the team that is pretending to be conducting diplomacy with Iran.
In any case, Buena Suerta, Baby! ... You're gonna need it.
Bonus Condi Riffs
Top Ten Cloves: Ways To Tell Your Newly Constructed Iraq Embassy Is Poorly Built
Top Ten Cloves: Things About Condoleezza Rice Becoming NFL Commissioner
New Liz Cheney Op-Ed!
Our Girl Condi Gets A Theme Song - Neocons and Lovers
If Condi says so, a lot of new State Dept. boots will be walking around in Baghdad