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Guest imported_Tesseract

U.S. Diplomat's Letter of Resignation

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Guest imported_Tesseract

The following is the text of John Brady Kiesling's letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. Mr. Kiesling is a career diplomat who has served in United States embassies from Tel Aviv to Casablanca to Yerevan.

 

 

Dear Mr. Secretary:

 

I am writing you to submit my resignation from the Foreign Service of the United States and from my position as Political Counselor in U.S. Embassy Athens, effective March 7. I do so with a heavy heart. The baggage of my upbringing included a felt obligation to give something back to my country. Service as a U.S. diplomat was a dream job. I was paid to understand foreign languages and cultures, to seek out diplomats, politicians, scholars and journalists, and to persuade them that U.S. interests and theirs fundamentally coincided. My faith in my country and its values was the most powerful weapon in my diplomatic arsenal.

 

It is inevitable that during twenty years with the State Department I would become more sophisticated and cynical about the narrow and selfish bureaucratic motives that sometimes shaped our policies. Human nature is what it is, and I was rewarded and promoted for understanding human nature. But until this Administration it had been possible to believe that by upholding the policies of my president I was also upholding the interests of the American people and the world. I believe it no longer.

 

The policies we are now asked to advance are incompatible not only with American values but also with American interests. Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America’s most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson. We have begun to dismantle the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known. Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security.

 

The sacrifice of global interests to domestic politics and to bureaucratic self-interest is nothing new, and it is certainly not a uniquely American problem. Still, we have not seen such systematic distortion of intelligence, such systematic manipulation of American opinion, since the war in Vietnam. The September 11 tragedy left us stronger than before, rallying around us a vast international coalition to cooperate for the first time in a systematic way against the threat of terrorism. But rather than take credit for those successes and build on them, this Administration has chosen to make terrorism a domestic political tool, enlisting a scattered and largely defeated Al Qaeda as its bureaucratic ally. We spread disproportionate terror and confusion in the public mind, arbitrarily linking the unrelated problems of terrorism and Iraq. The result, and perhaps the motive, is to justify a vast misallocation of shrinking public wealth to the military and to weaken the safeguards that protect American citizens from the heavy hand of government. September 11 did not do as much damage to the fabric of American society as we seem determined to so to ourselves. Is the Russia of the late Romanovs really our model, a selfish, superstitious empire thrashing toward self-destruction in the name of a doomed status quo?

 

We should ask ourselves why we have failed to persuade more of the world that a war with Iraq is necessary. We have over the past two years done too much to assert to our world partners that narrow and mercenary U.S. interests override the cherished values of our partners. Even where our aims were not in question, our consistency is at issue. The model of Afghanistan is little comfort to allies wondering on what basis we plan to rebuild the Middle East, and in whose image and interests. Have we indeed become blind, as Russia is blind in Chechnya, as Israel is blind in the Occupied Territories, to our own advice, that overwhelming military power is not the answer to terrorism? After the shambles of post-war Iraq joins the shambles in Grozny and Ramallah, it will be a brave foreigner who forms ranks with Micronesia to follow where we lead.

 

We have a coalition still, a good one. The loyalty of many of our friends is impressive, a tribute to American moral capital built up over a century. But our closest allies are persuaded less that war is justified than that it would be perilous to allow the U.S. to drift into complete solipsism. Loyalty should be reciprocal. Why does our President condone the swaggering and contemptuous approach to our friends and allies this Administration is fostering, including among its most senior officials. Has “oderint dum metuant” really become our motto?

 

I urge you to listen to America’s friends around the world. Even here in Greece, purported hotbed of European anti-Americanism, we have more and closer friends than the American newspaper reader can possibly imagine. Even when they complain about American arrogance, Greeks know that the world is a difficult and dangerous place, and they want a strong international system, with the U.S. and EU in close partnership. When our friends are afraid of us rather than for us, it is time to worry. And now they are afraid. Who will tell them convincingly that the United States is as it was, a beacon of liberty, security, and justice for the planet?

 

Mr. Secretary, I have enormous respect for your character and ability. You have preserved more international credibility for us than our policy deserves, and salvaged something positive from the excesses of an ideological and self-serving Administration. But your loyalty to the President goes too far. We are straining beyond its limits an international system we built with such toil and treasure, a web of laws, treaties, organizations, and shared values that sets limits on our foes far more effectively than it ever constrained America’s ability to defend its interests.

 

I am resigning because I have tried and failed to reconcile my conscience with my ability to represent the current U.S. Administration. I have confidence that our democratic process is ultimately self-correcting, and hope that in a small way I can contribute from outside to shaping policies that better serve the security and prosperity of the American people and the world we share.

 

 

*From www.newyorktimes.com, since registration is required in order to view archives, i cut & pasted it. The full link is the following http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/27/internat...ml?pagewanted=1

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good find sir.

 

I have a feeling that there will be many more gestures like this one.

 

I also read today that Bush's re-election support dropped below 50 percent.

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Guest KING BLING

oderint dum metuant: Let them hate so long as they fear. (A favorite saying of Caligura.)

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Guest imported_Tesseract

KING BLING..its calligula...

 

Steve, i know man, i posted just because i felt its a well written letter that sums up lots of my feelings on these subjects

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Guest BROWNer

nice, i heard about this but didn't have time to read it.

this is unrelated but i'll try and correlate with

a parting quote from kiesling:

"I have confidence that our democratic process is ultimately self-correcting.."

 

>dont count on it

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now if someone in Bush's camp would do it, that would send serious signals.

 

And I'm sure that the hardcore conservatives are calling Kiesling a 'traitor' over this.

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Guest imported_Tesseract

bumpski

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Guest TEARZ

this is key. thanks brotherman, i wasn't up on this.

asleep at the wheel.

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well written. i agree with the vast majority of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

it seems that even if saddam stepped down and went into exile, we'd still be attacking iraq. or someone (not north korea though...of course...). it really looks like bush is just looking for a fight now. fucked up.

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where were you fucktards when clintons sex scandal was going on and he was firing missiles at iraq to get his name off the front page huh?

 

where was this american support for iraq when that was happening? well?

 

:confused:

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Chozer, what the fuck does anything with clinton or his shit have to do with whats going on right now. Just another excuse to divert the topic. Bush is a pussy ass bitch whos just looking for a war to make his buddies and family rich, and maybe drop in a few evil dictators to hook up whatever exploitive company he's CEO of when his stupid ass gets booted out of office(just like his daddy is doing right now). Go bitch about affirmative action or how your black classmates clown you.

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the whole point here is that it isnt JUST bush....it isnt JUST republicans. clinton would bomb iraq at the drop of a hat just cause monica lewinsky was making front pages.....just like youre saying bush is using iraq to keep the flailing economy from making the front pages. but guess what, if you look at the economic trends through clintons presidency, they were already heading down the shitter before the election. so bush just catches the blame. but whatever, im sure you have your proof that bush is evil and that socialism is the answer. so i guess my whole post was pointless.

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oh, and im not in school. and yes, i think that affirmative action is wrong. you shouldnt even have to answer what color your skin is....your performance in school should say enough about you.

 

 

i believe it went something like this.....one day people will be judged not by the color of their skin, but the contents of their minds....

 

 

and it was said by martin luther king jr too...

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Guest imported_Tesseract
Originally posted by chozer

the whole point here is that it isnt JUST bush....it isnt JUST republicans. clinton would bomb iraq at the drop of a hat just cause monica lewinsky was making front pages.....just like youre saying bush is using iraq to keep the flailing economy from making the front pages. but guess what, if you look at the economic trends through clintons presidency, they were already heading down the shitter before the election. so bush just catches the blame.

 

classifying the truth is just worthless...say they were both shit on said matter, take it from there. whatever

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Guest TEARZ
Originally posted by chozer

oh, and im not in school. and yes, i think that affirmative action is wrong. you shouldnt even have to answer what color your skin is....your performance in school should say enough about you.

 

 

i believe it went something like this.....one day people will be judged not by the color of their skin, but the contents of their minds....

 

 

and it was said by martin luther king jr too...

 

wow, it's amazing how mlk has been coopted by conservatives. i'm sure he rolls over in his grave every time a conservative decontextualizes his words for their own agenda (seems like it happens a lot these days- we sure have a lot of "colorblind" white folks out there, huh?).

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Originally posted by Tesseract

Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security.

 

...the word is "word".

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By the way the whole affirmative action thing is a crock of shit, there is no racial bias in the actual selection of college entrants. Affirmativeaction only provides an extra point in the score of minority students in their total that is used to accept students. Conservatives manipulate this argument to make people think there are so many spaces in Yale for blacks, etc. because the true argument has very light merit for debate. The reason for the extra point for minorities is because they are usually at a environmental disadvantage(poor). Plus it is proven that disinterest in school leads to poorer performance.Given 90% of history and other classes are completely Eurrocentric, it psychologically fucks with non white kids' self esteem and school performance. Why did my brown ass care about fucken english life before the rennaisance.

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