…no, don’t get your hopes UP, this is not a famous lovers post.
On this date back in 1789, The US Department of State was formed. It was called the “Department of Foreign Affairs” back then, after all, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin were involved!
Actually, Thomas Jefferson, a Virginian, was the First Secretary of State for the United States of America.
The current Secretary of State, in case you just came out of the cave, is Hillary Clinton.
TJ was 46 years old, a widower, and a bit of a ladies man. As I said, he did a pretty good job, but he failed on his three main goals. He wanted the British to admit they had violated the rules of the Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War, abandon their military posts in the Northwest Territory, Ohio Valley, and Mississippi Valley, and pay the slave owners for slaves freed and evacuated when the war ended. He didn’t agree with his President on much, he hated the Federalists and their philosophies, and pretty much left in a huff.
But he did come roaring back as THE President a few years later.
As to Secretary Clinton, her problems have been different. American foreign policy has been a mess for most of my life time. Korea, Viet Nam, U2, The Cuban Missile Crisis, Iran Hostage Crisis, Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya.
Of course she wasn’t the SOS during most of that, but her last four years in office have been pretty well played if you take the hand she had been dealt.
I find it serendipitous that the anniversary of the State Department falls the same week as the mess in Egypt and Libya. Her speech this week was profound, clear, and should let the world know where she stands, and hopefully, where we as a nation stand.
If you haven’t heard her speech, you should.
Here’s the text:
Yesterday, our U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya was attacked. Heavily armed militants assaulted the compound and set fire to our buildings. American and Libyan security personnel battled the attackers together. Four Americans were killed. They included Sean Smith, a Foreign Service information management officer, and our Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. We are still making next of kin notifications for the other two individuals.
This is an attack that should shock the conscience of people of all faiths around the world. We condemn in the strongest terms this senseless act of violence, and we send our prayers to the families, friends, and colleagues of those we’ve lost.
All over the world, every day, America’s diplomats and development experts risk their lives in the service of our country and our values, because they believe that the United States must be a force for peace and progress in the world, that these aspirations are worth striving and sacrificing for. Alongside our men and women in uniform, they represent the best traditions of a bold and generous nation.
In the lobby of this building, the State Department, the names of those who have fallen in the line of duty are inscribed in marble. Our hearts break over each one. And now, because of this tragedy, we have new heroes to honor and more friends to mourn.
Chris Stevens fell in love with the Middle East as a young Peace Corps volunteer teaching English in Morocco. He joined the Foreign Service, learned languages, won friends for America in distant places, and made other people’s hopes his own.
She says she’s done with politics when this show is over, but who knows, TJ came roaring back, so could she! Now, if someone would just talk to her about that hair style!