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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

George P. Shultz, RIP

Read yesterday that former SecState George Shultz died 100 years old. I always liked and admired him, and was proud to have worked for him

By today's right-wing standards, of course, he was an old-fashioned globalist. By today's left-wing standards, of course, he was an old-fashioned imperialist. By my standards, he was a man of his times, and, much missed nowadays, a patriot. He was not a revolutionary when it came to government affairs. He did not question the structure of international organizations or the existence of treaties. When, for example, he took over the creaky State Department bureaucracy, he did not launch some radical restructuring or purge, he accepted it for what it was and--horrors!--made it work. He was a superb manager who knew how to pursue the mission's objectives, and get the best out of the people and the equipment he got handed. He was, after all, an old US Marine. 

He, an ardent anti-Communist, was determined to bring down the Soviet Union, which he saw as the biggest threat on the planet to the United States and the cause of freedom. He loved America, and even before the term became known, believed in a foreign policy that put "America First." I was just a lowly Pakistan desk officer, but even I knew that we were work to "roll back" the Soviets. His formidable Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Larry Eagleburger, made that clear to all of us, no matter how low our ranks. Eagleburger, btw, was famous for calling lowly peons, such as myself, directly and summoning them to his office--which he had decorated with a ceramic eagle atop a hamburger--and quizzing us mercilessly about some topic or another without our immediate superiors present; he wanted the info raw, and unrefined by the ponderous "clearance process"--unheard of in the State Department. Shultz and his team had a very visible and tangible presence in the Department. They insisted that the bureaucracy work--and it did. I never saw the Department work as well either before or after Shultz. 

Sure, perhaps, in retrospect he had a limited vision. He, as noted, was not a radical. To my chagrin, for example, he accepted the advice of the Near East Bureau on how to handle the Middle East, and went along with their nonsense about "engagement" with the Palestinians and appearing "even handed." He also accepted the UN, and only made limited efforts to reform that horrid organization. A group of us lowly dissidents wrote him a memo urging the US to get out of the UN; we never heard back. OK.  Understandable.

Despite all that, I still thought he was a great SecState who saw the US as the essential country and wanted to keep it that way.    

George Shultz, RIP.


  1. A minor nitpick - born in December, 1920, died in February, 2021 ... so, slightly OVER 100 years old.

    RIP, George

  2. Former Sec State Shultz, was one of the few important figures I had the pleasure of meeting. In a funny twist he was with a group of dignitaries including Reilly Bechtel that I was giving a briefing to. One of those dignitaries was a man named Jon Postel. Mr. Shultz seemed perplexed why I fawned over Mr. Postel a dwarfish pony tailed old hippy. However, that dwarf was crucial to the standards and foundation of the Internet, and without his work, I would not be standing there, describing how it worked to the other VIPs. I got his autograph in my copy of his book, which I cherish to this day. All while George Shultz, stood by in wonderment.

  3. Marvelous memories of George Shultz worth cherishing, and learning from, by us all, thanks for sharing them Dip, and Sal too~~~

    Last time I saw him, he rolled on stage to shake hands after a VDH Presentation, "100", we should live so long, ];}>
    On Watch~~~
    "Let's Roll"

  4. In my short and undistinguished diplomatic career, I heard Schults referred to as "good people" by lots of more senior officers.

  5. "knew that we were work to "roll back" the Soviets."

    i think 'america first' didn't used to have to be a thing... maybe it was america being the bastion of freedom against communism that conflated america with freedom everywhere... and wound up with people getting confused into thinking that america was about people outside of america?

    - reader #1482

    1. Been pondering your 'america first' reply
      for the better part of a week, - reader #1482...
      I think I've mentioned that i was raised by a Dane,
      a Mick, a Scot, & an American. Not sure if I mentioned
      all the other men and women from many nations that my Dad brought home with him to meet the family, and share a bit of
      our American lives and abundance with them. At some point I learned from him that his Kin in his old country celebrated,
      July 4th, Independence Day, as if they were actually Americans!

      I spent many boyhood summers with him, going aboard foreign flag ships and meeting the men who sailed those ships during peace and during war. What I took away from that experience was, there was little difference between US and Them. Sure they talked funny, but they tried to speak their best American words to me. I grew to respect them, whether Captain, Engineer, Mate, Crew, or even the imported Longshoreman on the docks. In my mind they were Americans, because they acted like all of the Americans I knew, respected, and loved. Another tidbit I recall was that our "Pledge of Alligience", was originally written in a universal tone which any Nation state, with a similar national sentiments, could adopt the pledge as their own, maybe thats where the 'America First' got started? At any rate, seems we've gone beyond, our abilities to keep giving of our substance, without a fair share, in return~~~

      Beyond that, I think our National Anthem also had much to do with attracting disparate, desperate, and damaged people to our welcoming and healing shores~~~ the stars & stripes, were certainly a beautiful and inspiring image and story for which many oppresed and suffering victims would, and did reach out to embrace with their hearts and minds... heck I've enjoyed kicking, bullies butt, all my life. One last thing, it just flashed by, the way American Milfors have been evaluated over the years, as men who would not defer, when challenged by circumstance or Authority! Enough to be 'America First'? Could Be, let's hope we still have "it", as "it" appears we're going to need "it"~~~
      On Watch~~~
      Stars & Stripes
      "Lets Roll"

  6. His son teaches US History at our local high school.

  7. I met him 3 times. Once on a little island in the Pacific where he had seen service with the Marines (Peleliu), then in Columbia, and once again in Honduras. The last time he saw me, he recognized me, smiled and said "You are everywhere!" Rare bird, I have always admired him.

    1. Nice twists of fate!
      Your muses need a shout out!
      LUNARMAN, Hip Hip~~~
      "Let's Roll"

  8. So, what do you make of Trump's secon acquittal?

    1. We're likely to get a first-ever ruling on whether an impeachment trial bars criminal prosecution under double-jeopardy... if scotus declines to allow double-jeopardy, expect at least five new appointees to the supreme court before 2022.

      - read3er #1482

    2. Brer' Kepha, using Lady Liberty's blind eyes & A~cute nose, #2 was just as predictable as #1... more stink for sure, but the political filth of the Democraps has now idelibly marked them, and their creepy ChiCom & capitalist cronies for extinction--along with their shortstring of Lin~colon RINOs! And, Good riddence to them too!

      What remains however is the smelly task, of shoveling up the prog--CRAP they've deposited all across the fruited coastal plains (sic)! Maybe, the residue will prove to be adequate fertilizer for the 2nd coming of The Donald!?

      Unfortuately tho, I don't expect that 'Sister Pence' will be able to make the cut this time... Maybe, Gov. Ron Desantis Wiil Be tapped to move into the CO-Pilot seat in 2024, and become ready, willing and able for 'Pilot in Command' after DJT shifts his pennant~~~

      On Watch~~~
      Btw, just want to hear my favorite commenter, #1482, exclaim once again, his amazement at Donald Trumps ability to rassle w/sh!theads and come up smelling like a rose~~~or something to that effect~~~
      "Let's Roll"
      ~~~da ChiComs are in the house~~~

  9. Kepha, slightly OT, and wanted to say I enjoyed your commment to the 'No Pasaran' piece:
    "The Left's ugly view of the nation’s soul: Spoiled Brats? The NYT defends the 1619 project while (and by) trivializing or outright insulting its critics, with N-word user...

    To Wit:
    Kepha said...
    Since the post mentions the Mayflower Compact, maybe we need to take a new look at the Calvinist/Puritan movement as foundational to limited government, political compact, restraint of power, and government by consent. If you read authors like Samuel Rutherford or Theodore de Beze, you see these all but elevated to the status of theological doctrine.This as due largely to a mistrust of fallen human nature rather than a sunny optimism about it (per Rousseau).

    As for the 1619 project, it ignores the very real wresltings with African slavery as a problem and racism as a problem which have marked North AMerican history since the 1600's.
    4:15 PM

    So! you really are a History Teacher! Wonderful calling!
    Had a major sports injury in my Jr.year. The school district
    sent 3 tutors 5 days a week. The mentor that got me through my convolesence and out of myself, was the History Guru, he made it come alive, and i followed along~~~ever thankful!
    And, Cheers to you, and your good work too~~~
    On Watch~~~
    "Let's Roll"

  10. "When Cupid Shot his Dart~~~"

    On this #ValentinesDay, I think of
    the brave & inspirational children at
    @TheChildrensInn... where I visited the
    past few years. Sending them love & strength,
    today & everyday. #Happy Valentines Day~~~
    Classy Lady & she knows how to kick!
    On Watch~~~
    Wishing a Happy St. Valentines Day
    to all the Dip 2.0 Mob, related & unrelated!
    That'll be the Day:
    Draw back your Bow:
    Have a Good Week~~~"Let's Roll"

  11. What a really nice tribute. Fair and even handed.

    1. Afirm, 'mp'!
      Whoever they be, these Diplomadic targets from King to the Secretariat--WLA has a kind word and honest critique for the RIP subjects he remembers so well~~~

      I'd like someday to read a Diplomadic retrospective RIP review of Larry Eagleburger's time at the State Dept. Especially, since learning that Secretary Eagleburger, was the only 'career Foreign Service Officer' to hold the office, aka Secretary of State. Till Then, maybe I can find a memorium, written by at least one of Eagleberger's namesakes~~~ or perhaps another informative tome, might be suggested by another FSO patriot?

      On Watch~~~
      "Let's Roll"

  12. My favorite George Shultz moment: during the Iran-Contra hearings, when he gave a magnificent speech about the scope of U.S. foreign policy vision.
    It went entirely unreported in the media as one of the blonde national TV reporters present gave a loud sniff and said to her friends, "Come on everyone, let's go grab a sandwich!"