Something is rotten, and it is neither in the state of Denmark nor in a Trump-referencing production of Julius Caesar. It’s in the United States’ foreign embassies, which are draining of top diplomats. If you follow the exiting ambassadors as Hamlet followed his father’s ghost, you’ll find a number of troubling foreign policy dilemmas — the latest of which is the abrupt exeunt of the U.S. ambassador to Qatar after she criticized President Trump on Twitter as tensions escalate in the Persian Gulf.
Dana Shell Smith, who has built her career on foreign service and has served as the envoy to Qatar since 2014, had become increasingly firm on her disagreement with the Trump administration. On May 9th, Smith wearily tweeted of the difficulties in communicating U.S. policy to foreign leadership, and on the 31st, directly opposed Donald Trump’s recent comments that Qatar is a terrorist financier. Her tweets bookended the President’s first foreign tour, which included a visit with the Qatari emir in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (not to mention a spooky photo op with a sinister glowing orb).