Jewels or Skeletons
Inspiring Internet Magazines on Diplomacy
Ambassador Eilts

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Archived letters

Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007
Subject: letter to the editor

Dear Sir:

I am constantly bemused by the term that the CIA uses, and the media accepts without comment, for a portfolio of past activities of some questionability as "the family jewels."

I would have thought that most families, at least respectable ones, would more appropriately use the term "family skeletons".


Ambassador (ret) Edward Marks

Dear Sir,
I am a Turkish diplomat, still in service but not far from retirement. During exercise Flexible Leader, I met H.E. Ambassador Marks. He told me about the brilliant idea to keep the Foreign Service veterans  in diplomacy even after their retirement.  I consider your internet Magazine “American Diplomacy” is a marvelous idea which gives opportunity to younger service members to gain from retired Ambassadors experiences and share their knowledge. Of course it is also very useful for us the foreign diplomats.  Besides, not like printed magazines it is easy to write and to reach.  
I think our Turkish Ambassadors shall also give us opportunity to hear their ideas, comments and memories. Learning from your experiences I will speak and try to create a core group for an internet magazine. If you could give me some tips on how to do it  I  will be glad.
I wish you all the best .
Yours sincerely
Ali Riza Özcoskun
MFA. Turkey.

Date: Thu, 03 May 2007
Subject: Ambassador Eilts

I have just read the excellent tribute to Ambassador Hermann Eilts penned by Henry Mattox. I served under Amb. Eilts in Cairo (1974-77) through the heady days of the Kissinger shuttle diplomacy when the embassy had fewer than 20 on its staff that now numbers into the thousands. My responsibilities centered around the media that invaded Cairo any time Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was in the area.

Amb. Eilts, beyond being a consummate diplomat, had a special touch with younger officers such as myself. He brought us all into his confidence, let us all try our hand at putting together timely reporting cables and guided us into the best practices of international diplomacy including airtight reporting of complex events. Indeed his example, his integrity both personally and professionally and his innate skill marked many of us throughout our careers as Eilts-style diplomats. Several of the CAiro embassy officers became ambassadors at challenging posts and won senior appointments at home. I followed his example in joining the academic world following my retirement and continue to lecture on the Middle East.

It is useful to reflect on excellence and personal style, as friends and family did at his recent memorial service in Boston. It reminded us all that career integrity, so lacking today, is its own reward. Would that we had more of the Eilts ilk running our government today.

Thomas A. Homan
Director, International Education
College of St. Scholastica
Duluth, MN

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