Ambassador Greenfield’s GUMBO DIPLOMACY

Distinguished author Richard Haas’ best seller, “The World in Disarray,” finds in highest expression at the close of the Keystone Cop’s four-year global conflict resolution. Another Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated two weeks ago. This assassination will disrupt the peace process in the Middle East and will certainly destabilize the region. VP Honorable Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Tony Blinken and that meteoric black woman diplomat from Louisiana, Linda Thomas-Greenfield will have to put the world back together after four years of incompetence.

African nations are at war. Ethiopia has never been subjugated, but the Tigray and Orono ethnic groups are slaughtering each other. In Mozambique, marauding bands are massacring innocent noncombatants. The largest nation in the world, the Sudan, stops the ethnic hostilities. Nigeria, Niger and Somalia are facing unrelenting insurgencies from religious fanatics. Nigeria has turned a blind eye to human rights violations. In Asia, there is a hot war between Azerbaijan and Armenia.  This is snapshot of an unstable international order in an America first world.

I ask my readers to remember that Africa is a continent, not a country. There is a desert in Africa the size of the continental United States. There are only about 1,500 ethnic groups in Africa. The 20th largest economy in the world is in Africa-Republic of South Africa. I was forced to divert and counter perceptions and misinformation about “The Motherland” because the mainstream news media is Euro-centric in the reporting of news.

Through the diplomatic brilliance of John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and their boss, President Barack Obama, a treaty with verifiable controls was negotiated with Iran to prevent the enrichment of uranium for nuclear weapons. The stable genius cancelled this treaty to the dismay of most of our key allies.  Now we are facing a balance of terror in the Middle East although the Biden Administration will reinitiate the treaty, especially if the Democrats win the two senate seats up for play in Georgia on January 5, 2021.

Thomas-Greenfield touted her unique approach to diplomacy as a former ambassador, calling it “Gumbo diplomacy.”

“In my 35 years in the foreign service across four continents, I put a Cajun spin on it,” she said. “I called it Gumbo Diplomacy. Wherever I was posted around the world I would invite people of different backgrounds and beliefs to help me make a rue and chop onions for the Holy Trinity and make homemade gumbo. It was my way of breaking down barriers, connecting with people and starting to see each other on a human level, a bit of lagniappe is what we say in Louisiana.”

THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Good afternoon. Mr. President-Elect, Madam Vice President-Elect, I am humbled and honored by the trust that you have placed in me to become a member of your cabinet as ambassador to the United Nations. In the years that I have worked in government, I am always struck by how only in America would be where we are today, where life can be hard and cruel but there’s hope in the struggle, there is promise in our dreams where you learn to believe in yourself and that anything is possible.

Like both of you, I learned from my family. Mr. President-Elect, I’d like to thank you for those generous words that you said about me, my parents had very little back in Louisiana where I grew up, but they gave me and my siblings everything they had, and I know how proud they would be of this day. On this day, I am also missing my mentor, Ambassador Ed Perkins, who was also from Louisiana, and served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. He told me constantly, Linda, don’t undersell yourself and he would always do everything possible to lift me up.

He passed away last week but I know he is here with us today and on this day, I am thinking about the American people, my fellow career diplomats and public servants around the world. I want to say to you America is back, multilateralism is back, diplomacy is back. Mr. President-Elect I have often heard you say how all politics is personal and that is how you build relationships of trust and bridge disagreements and find common ground.

And in my 35 years in the foreign service across four continents, wherever I was posted, I would invite people of different backgrounds and beliefs to help me make  gumbo. It was my way of breaking down barriers, connecting with people and starting to see each other on a human level, a bit of lagniappe is what we say in Louisiana.

That is the charge in front of us today. The challenges we face; a global pandemic, a global economy, a global climate change crisis, mass migration and extreme poverty, and social justice are unrelenting and interconnected, but they are not unresolvable if America is leading the way. Thank you.

Some of us already know about the Holy Trinity; onions, bell peppers and garlic.

The secret is in the rue.

The cook is the truth.

She can bring peace.


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