by | Apr 24, 2023


ZURICH, 23 APRIL—Am I the only American to travel overseas and feel embarrassed by the conduct of the diplomats Washington sends abroad to speak for our republic? It is pretty strange to find yourself, an ordinary citizen, apologizing for the intrusive, cajoling, bullying, badgering, and otherwise crude utterances of this or that ambassador in this or that nation. But such is the state of things as the late-phase imperium fields its elbows-out undiplomats—a term I borrow from the Swiss, who suffer one as we speak.

Scott Miller, the Biden regime’s ambassador to Bern for a little more than a year, is indeed a doozy in this line. In his often-demonstrated view, he is in Switzerland to tell the Swiss what to do. At the moment Miller is all over this nation for not signing on as a participant in Washington’s proxy war against Russia in Ukraine—pressuring ministers, denigrating those who question the wisdom of the war, offending the Swiss in speeches and newspaper interviews. It is a one-man assault on Switzerland’s long, long tradition of neutrality, waged in the manner of an imperial proconsul disciplining an errant province. Swiss commentators question why the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the FDFA, has not expelled this tone-deaf ignoramus.

We should pay attention to people such as Miller and what they get up to, even if they rarely make headlines in our corporate media. It is now nearly lost to history, but Europeans were effectively force-marched—and occasionally bribed at leadership level—into following the Americans as they instigated and waged Cold War I. This is exactly what the State Department is doing once again. It behooves us to watch this process in real time so the realities of Cold War II are not so easily obscured.

According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, in effect since 1961, diplomats are barred from intervening in the internal affairs of host countries. The State Department lately displays as much concern for this U.N.–sponsored accord as it does for international law altogether: Little to none, you find when you watch these men and women at close range.

Read the whole article here (paid).


  • Patrick Lawrence

    Patrick Lawrence is a longtime columnist, essayist, critic, and lecturer. He was a correspondent abroad (writing as Patrick L. Smith) for many years, chiefly for the Far Eastern Economic Review, the International Herald Tribune, and The New Yorker, and chiefly in Asia.

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