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Afif Safieh

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  • All that Jazz Perspectives on power and music, plus diplomatic comings and goings.
Benny Goodman performs for a young audience in Red Square. Moscow, Soviet Union, 1962 (Courtesy of the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Benny Goodman Papers, Yale University)
Benny Goodman performs for a young audience in Red Square. Moscow, Soviet Union, 1962 (Courtesy of the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Benny Goodman Papers, Yale University)

Perspectives on power and music, plus diplomatic comings and goings.

By Gail Scott

Benny Goodman performs for a young audience in Red Square. Moscow, Soviet Union, 1962 (Courtesy of the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Benny Goodman Papers, Yale University)

Benny Goodman performs for a young audience in Red Square. Moscow, Soviet Union, 1962 (Courtesy of the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Benny Goodman Papers, Yale University)

What’s Power on Embassy Row?
To many, power on Embassy Row means getting instant return calls from the White House. Others count the number of Cabinet secretaries and Supreme Court justices they can attract to a dinner. Some count their Sunday morning talk show appearances as badges of power.

But on the fifth anniversary of the American occupation of his country, Iraqi Ambassador Sameer Shaker Sumaidaie wishes he had less “power.”“I don’t see myself as ‘powerful,’ he said recently. “In the old days, when communication was so different, ambassadors wielded the influence of their nation in the host country. The British ambassador in a small country projected the power of the whole empire. Today, communication is much more direct between heads of state.”

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Afif Safieh

Articles

  • All that Jazz Perspectives on power and music, plus diplomatic comings and goings.