Dr. Jerry Pournelle on his page “Chaos Manor”.
One story about “professionalism” in government. George H. W, Bush, Bush I, was the essence of the establishment, and believed in government professionalism and competence. The Foreign Service is the professional diplomatic establishment. When Saddam Hussein became a problem and threatened Kuwait, our Ambassador, Ms. April Glaspie, a professional, went to him and formally delivered a message, which I have read many times over – and for the life of me I can’t see that she says don’t invade Kuwait or we’ll do something about it.
Her message is diplomatic and polite, professional, and traditional. It is also ambiguous about the US position on Saddam taking Kuwait.
Would we not be better off today had we had a traditional ambassador, an old chum of the President who could speak for him and say “Saddam, old boy, you’ve been kind of our favorite over here because you resist Iran. We know Iraq was glued together out of provinces of the Turkish Empire, and maybe you have some claim to Kuwait from that, but we don’t agree. We can’t allow you to invade Kuwait, and if you do, we won’t like doing it, but we’ll come over here and throw you out. Now, let’s talk about what we can let you do, or even do for you.”
In which case, there would not have been the two Iraqi Wars costing a $Trillion or more.
Give me ‘Bumptious’ Donald Trump, give me ‘Plain Speaking’ Harry Truman, give me the ‘Ridiculous’ Ronnie Reagan.