Joseph Mussomeli

About Joseph Mussomeli

Joseph Mussomeli is Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. He served for almost thirty-five years as an American diplomat, including tours in Egypt, Afghanistan, Morocco, and the Philippines. He was the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Slovenia and the Kingdom of Cambodia. Before entering the U.S. Foreign Service in 1980, he worked as a Deputy Attorney General in New Jersey.

“Parthia Delenda Est”: John Bolton’s War in the Middle East

By |2019-05-08T22:30:50-05:00May 8th, 2019|Categories: Joseph Mussomeli, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Senior Contributors, War|

National Security Advisor John Bolton has thus far failed to maneuver the world into yet another Made-in-America Middle East conflict. Yet he might soon have the justification he wants. In the American lexicon there is never any such thing as wars of aggression. We prefer calling them wars of liberation. This has not been [...]

The Sri Lanka Church Bombings: The Saudi Pestilence Spreads

By |2019-04-24T23:09:25-05:00April 24th, 2019|Categories: Civilization, Joseph Mussomeli, Middle East, Muslim, Politics, Religion, Senior Contributors|

The history of Sri Lanka through the Fifties to the present time is a sobering reminder to those who fail to see that unrestrained democracy can lead to the tyranny of the majority and that robust diversity is as often a cause of friction and strife as it is a strength to be celebrated. [...]

Good Friday, Good Bureaucrats, and the Good Roman

By |2019-04-19T11:08:10-05:00April 18th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Joseph Mussomeli, Politics, Virtue|

On this Good Friday, as we ponder the suffering Christ endured, we should not forget the pivotal role of that good and decent bureaucrat Pilate in facilitating that crime. Nor forget the bureaucratic crimes committed daily on the sacrificial altars of obedience and expedience. Thus spoke Nietzsche: “Must I add that, in the whole [...]

A Dangerous Conflation of Terms: “Anti-Israel” and “Anti-Semitic”

By |2019-03-11T00:32:08-05:00March 10th, 2019|Categories: Conservatism, Foreign Affairs, Israel, Joseph Mussomeli, Liberal, Politics|

Those who make too much of Representative Ilhan Omar’s statement, and who are happy to gain some short-term win by conflating legitimate concern over Israeli influence with anti-Semitism, run the risk of permanently connecting the two terms... I was sitting under a huge oak tree on my college campus reading a political science textbook when [...]

The Wall: Echoes of a Distant Empire

By |2019-03-03T22:19:09-05:00March 3rd, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Civilization, Donald Trump, Government, History, Immigration, Joseph Mussomeli, Politics, Presidency, Senior Contributors|

How often have we not seen, even in our own lives, that actions we take to preserve something we cherish end up destroying that which we seek to protect? Patriotism may be the last refuge of a scoundrel, but the desire for security and the yearning for justice are forever the final refuge of [...]

A Postcard From Venice

By |2019-02-21T11:31:28-05:00February 20th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Europe, Happiness, Heaven, Joseph Mussomeli, Love, Senior Contributors|

I had always thought it nonsense to believe in love at first sight. But that sophomoric conceit sank with that setting sun over the Venetian church spires that summer day in 1973. And with it was washed away that companion conceit that falling in love was something that could only happen between two humans… The [...]

Giving Good Things a Bad Name

By |2019-01-27T22:15:03-05:00January 27th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Donald Trump, History, Joseph Mussomeli, Language, Rhetoric|

President Trump has an uncanny knack for energizing his supporters and riling his adversaries, but to have a lasting positive impact on American society he will need to find a way to inspire a majority of the American people... Like most first-time visitors, I rambled as if in a trance through the temple complex at [...]

One Month and Counting: The Government Shutdown

By |2019-01-21T22:51:09-05:00January 21st, 2019|Categories: Donald Trump, Government, Immigration, Joseph Mussomeli, Politics, Senior Contributors|

My concern was that once the shutdown began, it would be difficult to end it just as it is difficult to prevent a needless bloodbath once blood begins to spill. What most of the public—including most of my former colleagues in government service—don’t seem to understand is that this shutdown is unlike all those [...]

Illiberal Lessons Learned Along the Way

By |2019-01-15T21:47:11-05:00January 15th, 2019|Categories: Charity, Culture War, Joseph Mussomeli, Modernity, Morality, Senior Contributors, Virtue, Worldview|

I keep reminding myself to look beneath and beyond labels and remain focused on the individual. Because ultimately it is the individual who matters most and who is most deserving of praise or condemnation, affection or disdain. It is a surprisingly hard lesson to learn and to remember given the current political and cultural [...]