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The Sandwich Shop

These are my thoughts. They are based on what I see going on around me.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

I know very little about myself. If I did know myself better, I probably wouldn't be doing this.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Does fame guarantee a place in history?
Question: Does fame guarantee a place in history ? Or, put another way, will the world remember you once you become famous ?
Perhaps a good person to ask would be the late Adolph "Spike" Dubs. I'd bet a free lunch that almost everyone is saying, "Who ?" right about now.
Adolph Dubs was fairly famous in his lifetime. He was a U.S.Ambassador to a foreign country, a foreign country that was fairly high profile world-wide at the time, but unfortunately it was his death that catapulted him personally into the arena of world-wide fame.
We have to go back to the year 1979 to appreciate the facts surrounding Mr. Dubs' story. In 1979 Adolph Dubs was the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. At that point in his career as a diplomat Mr. Dubs had been on the job 29 years.
On a Wednesday morning while being driven to work in a chauffer-driven Oldsmobile, at about 8:45 a.m.,four armed attackers, one dressed like a Kabul traffic officer, stopped Dubs'car and abducted him at gunpoint.
The kidnappers took Mr. Dubs to the Kabul Hotel (room 117 to be exact).
From there they issued the demand that needed to be met in order to save Dubs' life. The kidnappers wanted three insurgent Muslim leaders released from jail.
This series of events set of a world-wide diplomatic hurricane. Immediately, Afghan security forces took charge. They excluded Senior U.S. embassy diplomats from the command post they set up. Because of the Soviet presence in Afghanistan at the time, the Soviet embassy's chief security officer, Sergi Bakhturin, became an advisor to the Afghan police during the stand-off.
Attempts to negotiate with the kidnappers who held Mr. Dubs were going nowhere. The president of Afghanistan at the time, Mohammed Taraki, pretty much was unavailable for comment.
Meanwhile, back in America, urgent cables were flying between the State Department,Pentagon, and White House. They pretty much added up to a message being sent to the Afghan's president suggesting he use "extreme discretion" in the matter.
Meanwhile, back in Afghanistan, the Afghanistan police had their own idea. They issued the kidnappers a ten-minute ultimatum; either give up or we're coming in. Long story short, at the end of the ten minutes they stormed the hotel room. In what was estimated as an assault that took less then one minute, all four kidnappers and Adolph "Spike" Dubs were dead.
Needless to say, the tragic death of Adolph Dubs had all the elements of a classic spy novel of the times. A U.S. Ambassador stationed in a foreign country that was occupied by another foreign country is kidnapped, held hostage, and becomes the center of an international stand-off. Intense negotiations fail, and in a bizarre twist, the diplomat is killed , possibly by the forces trying to save him. For months the news media of the world pondered what international repercussions these events would have and how they would affect world history.
Yet, here we sit twenty-six years later and unless someone told you, you would never have known the whole thing ever took place. Most of the major players (including the Soviet Union) have faded from the scene. The figure that has faded the farthest is the man who was at the center of it all, Adolph "Spike" Dubs.
Maybe the world really is just a big blackboard that keeps getting written on, erased, and written on again, only to be erased and written on again, and so on and so on. We all tend to think of fame as something permanent, but maybe it's only as permanent as the size of the blackboard, how fast that blackboard gets written on, and last, but not least, the size of the eraser.


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