Search Results for thailand

Remembering Thailand’s King and the Transition to Democracy

Bhumibol Adulyadej, also known as Rama IX, was the ninth monarch of Thailand and the longest-serving head of state in the world at the time of his death in October 2016. Beloved by his people, he was also a friend of the United States. Ambassador David Lambertson recalled his experiences with King Bhumibol and other […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, East Asia and Pacific
Thailand’s Bloodless Coups d’état

When a country undergoes internal conflict and something as dramatic as a coup d’etat, the results can often lead to a dizzying shift in policies as well as an abrupt change in those who are in charge. In Thailand, the situation is different. The country has gone through 12 coups since 1932 (not counting a […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, East Asia and Pacific, Human Rights, Military Tagged , |
The Queen of Thailand Deep in the Heart of Texas

There are many hallmarks of a good diplomat — the ability to understand foreign cultures, communications skills, flexibility, the ability to think on one’s feet. One usually thinks of such skills being used in negotiations on peace accords or bilateral treaties and not with what amounts to a high-level sales trip to Nieman Marcus. However, […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, East Asia and Pacific, Foreign Service, Humorous, Public Diplomacy Tagged , , , |
“Am I Going to Watch a U.S. Senator Get Shot?”—Observing the Fall of the Marcos Regime in the Philippines

Senator John Kerry bravely pushed aside armed hostile Philippine military personnel and policemen, rushing into the barricaded church in front of him. Inside, a group of Filipino election officials were huddled in fear. Ignoring the chaos outside, Senator Kerry questioned the officials about the Philippine presidential elections that had taken place two days before. Over […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
A Georgian Spring Amidst Autumn: The Rose Revolution from a U.S. Perspective

Revolutions are always exciting times for U.S. Foreign Service personnel, and the November 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia was no different. Denny Robertson served as a USAID (United States Agency for International Development) election observer. When President Shevardnadze’s government allegedly rigged a parliamentary election, Robertson saw first-hand how Georgians took to the streets and protested […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Fake Eyeglasses and an Elaborate Ruse: Escaping Iran During the 1979 Hostage Crisis

With forged passport in hand, Kathleen Stafford donned fake eyeglasses and pulled her long hair back. If this plan worked, she would finally be free. Kathleen, a foreign service spouse, had been in hiding for the past three months. On November 4, 1979, Islamist revolutionaries attacked the U.S. embassy in Tehran. Smoke billowed from the […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
South Korea’s 1987 “Tear Gas Festival:” The Path to Democratic Elections

South Korea was in a haze in 1987—both literally and figuratively. After years of de facto military dictatorship, the populace was demanding greater political freedom.  The path to more democracy was marked by massive protests and the pervasive haze of tear gas. For weeks, police clashed each night with up to three million people crowding […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Embassies: “An Artifact of an Earlier Age?”

Do embassies still matter?  Donna Oglesby, a senior official at the United States Information Agency (before it was incorporated into the State Department), argues that globalization and the communications revolution make embassies and field officers more important than ever.   Donna Oglesby served 26 years in the Foreign Service, with a focus on Latin America. […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Duty and Danger: An American Diplomat’s Service in Iraq on the Eve of 1991 Gulf War

American diplomat Stephen Thibeault watched as an airplane departed Iraq in 1990, carrying Rev. Jesse Jackson and American hostages liberated in the tense days following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait — and before the U.S. launched Operation Desert Storm, the United Nations campaign that ultimately routed Saddam Hussein’s forces.  Thibeault was tempted to fly away with […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
When a Newly-Elected President Putin Welcomed USAID’s Advice

President Putin once welcomed USAID’s assistance (at least for a time). Carol Peasley served as USAID’s mission director in Moscow from 1999-2003. This tumultuous period witnessed the fall of Boris Yeltsin and the emergence of Vladimir Putin as a tough-minded leader frequently at odds with the United States. But it was not always that way. Peasley […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Cold War, Russia/Soviet Union Tagged , , , |