from FaithWorld:

U.S. to resume formal Muslim Brotherhood contacts, official says

June 30, 2011

(The skyline of Washington DCl, May 22, 2009/Larry Downing)

The United States has decided to resume formal contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, a senior U.S. official said, in a step that reflects the Islamist group's growing political weight but that is almost certain to upset Israel and its U.S. backers.  "The political landscape in Egypt has changed, and is changing," said the senior official, who spokeon Wednesday on condition of anonymity. "It is in our interests to engage with all of the parties that are competing for parliament or the presidency."

from Afghan Journal:

Karzai, the West and the diplomatic marriage from hell

April 18, 2010

karzai and O

One of my Kabul press corps colleagues once described covering President Hamid Karzai’s government and the Western diplomats who are supposed to be supporting it as a lot like being friends with a couple while they go through a savage divorce. We reporters hop back and forth, from cocktail party to quiet lunch to private briefing, listening to charming Afghans and Westerners -– many of whom we personally like very much -- say outrageously nasty things about each other. Usually, the invective is whispered “off the record” by both sides, so you, dear reader, miss out on the opportunity to learn just how dysfunctional one of the world’s most important diplomatic relationships has become.

from Tales from the Trail:

Off hours, Diplomat families teach swimming in Baghdad, Battle of the Bulge

December 8, 2009

If you wondered what U.S. diplomats and their families do in their spare time in the exotic, less exotic and sometimes really difficult places where they live, here's a partial answer.