The ambassador wears Prada?

Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour is reportedly under consideration to replace Louis Susman as the next ambassador to the United Kingdom. Bloomberg reports:

Wintour, 63, may have some competition for the London posting; Matthew Barzun, finance chairman of Obama's presidential campaign, also is interested in the job, officially known as ambassador to the Court of St. James's, said the people, who requested anonymity when discussing possible personnel moves.

Both Wintour and Barzun were among Obama's biggest bundlers of donations in the campaign, with each raising more than $500,000 to help re-elect the president.

If tapped for the job, the British born fashionista wouldn't be the only envoy with, er, unusual credentials -- the current U.S. ambassador to Ireland is probably best known as the former owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- but she would be the first to have been mockingly portrayed by Meryl Streep in a popular film. Wintour, who is known colloquially as "Nuclear Wintour," assured CBS's Morley Safer back in 2009 that "if sometimes one comes across as cold or brusque, it's simply because I'm striving for the best."

It is, no doubt, all that striving that earned her the Walter Duranty Prize for journalistic mendacity this year. She and Vogue writer Joan Juliet Buck were jointly awarded the satirical prize for the 2011 cover story "Asma al-Assad: A Rose in the Desert," which came out just as the Syrian regime began to brutally massacre its people. (The article was later scrubbed from Vogue's website.)

If Wintour's British posting goes smoothly, and if Bashar al-Assad is still kicking in a few years, why not Ambassador to Syria?

AFP/Getty Images


M23's Potemkin village

The Globe and Mail's Geoffrey York visits the rebel group's showcase capital city

The rebel capital, Rutshuru, is a showcase for their ideology. Neat and tidy, without a scrap of trash to be seen, Rutshuru is supervised by taciturn young M23 members in clean new uniforms, with new radios and weaponry from their Rwandan sponsors.

Just as in Rwanda, anti-corruption signs are posted on the roads, and every adult is compelled to clean the city streets for four hours on one Saturday per month. “Our priority is the social welfare of the Congolese people,” says Benjamin Mbonimpa, the M23 administrator here.

Yet beneath this beautified surface, the rebels hold power by terror and violence. If you talk to Rutshuru’s residents in a secure place, away from the watchful eyes of rebels’ spies, they reveal the deadly reality of life under the M23.

“They take whatever they want,” says a carpenter. “If I report it, they will come back and kill me.”

James Verini reported on M23's taking of Goma last week. The .N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has called the group "among the worst perpetrators of human rights violations in the DRC, or in the world" for the atrocities committed on the march across the country.

Government troops now appear to have reasserted control over Goma, but the likely Rwandan-backed rebels are threatening to retake the city if their demands aren't met. 

Junior D. Kannah/AFP/Getty Images