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In Praise Of Our Diplomats

Last weekend saw the thirteenth anniversary of the bombings of American embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam. The attacks, organized by Al Qaeda, killed twelve American diplomats and over two hundred Kenyans and Tanzanians.

We often offer praise to American armed forces personnel for the incredible services they perform, their bravery, poise, determination, and selflessness — they deserve it, and the death of the 30 US military personnel in Afghanistan last weekend underscores that truth.

No less praiseworthy are American diplomats, whose work also often takes place in dangerous locations. They too make great sacrifices in service of the United States and I have seen many US diplomats venture unarmed into situations of real personal danger.

Thirteen years ago twelve of our diplomats in east Africa paid the ultimate price. Fifteen years before that, seventeen Americans died in a Hezbollah attack on the American embassy in Beirut.

Duty, honor, patriotism, courage: they are to be respected wherever they are found.  These qualities are rare enough in ordinary life; they are common in the US Department of State.

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