Apart from my rascal sons and one of my grandsons, there is my honey, who was a star at our local congregation yesterday. He did an hour-long public issue forum presentation on "A Day in the Life of a Diplomat" which was funny, and serious, informative and droll. He began by talking about how every young diplomat goes out and buys a very expensive attache case which is then used a) to take lunch to work and b) to bring duty-free booze from the comissary home.
His most serious point, however, has been the eradication and elimination of "diplomatic immunity". Oh, it exists in stupid ways, like the Americans in London refusing to pay traffic charges (the Congestion Charge) and irritating the hell out of Londoners who all do have to pay it. But the real diplomatic immunity, that is, where every country guaranteed every other country's diplomats their physical safety regardless of how fraught negotiations, or even warfare, might be ... well, that appears to be long gone.
It seemed to begin with the sacking of the US Embassy in Pakistan (long forgotten now by most folk) - the first egregious violation of the Congress of Vienna. Countries around the world should have protested ... but did nothing. Nowadays it is very sobering to visit our State Department regularly. There is a huge wall of marble plaques carrying the names of diplomats who died serving their country -- you can see from the dates it used to be a name every long once in a while. Nowadays, the dustcloth on the floor is never gone, because another name is always and ever being engraved.
I make no comment about politics, numbers of Iraqi dead etc. etc. here, simply want to notice and honor all those now falling with the collapse of the Congress of Vienna as well as the Geneva Conventions.
And to praise my honey for his fine job on Sunday, and for 30 years for this country.