by David Casavis
The news that the rainbow flag was flying at the US Embassy in London was alarming. The first thought anyone familiar with Foreign Service Officers at the US Department of State should be, “was this done on their initiative?” A perennial problem at State has always been that Foreign Service Officers attempt to steer Foreign Policy. They don’t always support Washington.
A quick check on who is now the Ambassador to the United Kingdom reveals that he was a major fundraiser for President Obama in 2012. Other checks reveal that, though optional for each US Embassy abroad, the White House approved the flying of the Rainbow Flag at US Embassies abroad. This was a policy decision, not a move by renegade Foreign Service Officers.
This was also, at best, a misunderstanding of what Embassies are for. Aside from processing paperwork, the main themes that America projects abroad are about Free Trade, Free Enterprise, and Democracy. The Rainbow Flag announces a cause. It is not a National or Regional flag.
This is dangerous. This is a national issue – and an issue the country has not yet made up its mind about. The United States has less than five percent of the World’s population. The vast majority of the World does not place sexual practices on par with Human Rights. What the World does need is more of what America has always stood for abroad. Bringing this part of Domestic politics into the World arena will place America in jeopardy.
Consider first that the Russian Federation has taken a strong stand against it. The traditional complaint that America is decadent plays into this. It bolsters Russia as a World leader at American expense.
We should also be aware that America’s great enemy is no longer Soviet Socialism nor National Socialism The 21st Century has brought to the fore a new menace: Terrorism.
Terrorists today are often recruited by accusing America as being a ‘Satan.’ It is obvious to many discontent and willing young men that the Rainbow Flag is ‘an insult’ to God. These are not armchair theorists. They are poor and have a desire to serve God. It doesn’t take much persuasion for the Rainbow Flag on American Embassies to become a target. If American Embassy Staff were not nervous before, they should be nervous now.
Consider also the military. The more recruits the Rainbow Flag brings to the ranks of terrorists worldwide, the more forces will be arrayed against our boys and girls in uniform.
I say boys and girls because I am of an age where 18 and 19 year-olds may be capable – even fierce – but to me they are still boy-solders and girl-soldiers. Thoughtless acts abroad such as this mean more dead soldiers.
Whoever did this to pay off political debts or to launch a worldwide cause, should consider the mothers and fathers who have to bury their dead. Indeed some thought should also go to the safety of American diplomats as well.
David Casavis is a New York-based writer and an adjunct Professor in the SUNY and CUNY systems. He has visited American embassies and consulates around the world for over 20 years. He is a former contributing editor to International Business Magazine. Casavis has written article for a wide range of publications, including Area Development, SIOR Professional Reports, and the Foreign Service Journal.
David Casavis, Author of the Thomas Carroll Affairtweet