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U.S. Diplomats letter of resignation

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  • shaji john
    Mohammad Imran wrote:Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 23:26:01 -0500 Published on Thursday, February 27, 2003 by the New York Times U.S.
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2003
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       Mohammad Imran <imran@...> wrote:

      Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 23:26:01 -0500

      Published on Thursday, February 27, 2003 by the New York Times
      U.S. Diplomat's Letter of Resignation
      by John Brady Kiesling

      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

      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

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