[OPE-L:8542] Fw: U.S. Diplomat's Letter of Resignation; Athens

From: Cyrus Bina (binac@mrs.umn.edu)
Date: Mon Mar 03 2003 - 14:06:28 EST

Dear Jerry,

I am forwarding this letter of resignation from a member of our State
Department with the hope that one is able to read what is written between
the lines. Thanks.

Warm regards,


----- Original Message -----
From: "Ahmed Jebari" <jebari@fas.harvard.edu>
To: <jebari@hotmail.com>
Cc: <jstewart@fas.harvard.edu>
Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 9:57 AM
Subject: Fwd: U.S. Diplomat's Letter of Resignation; Athens

> >From: "Sukru ILICAK" <ilicak@fas.harvard.edu>
> >To: <ilicak@fas.harvard.edu>
> >Subject: U.S. Diplomat's Letter of Resignation; Athens
> >Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2003 12:55:12 -0500
> >X-Priority: 3 (Normal)
> >Importance: Normal
> >
> >http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/27/international/27WEB-TNAT.html?ex=10474
> >39965&ei=1&en=9319e53a4fe65357
> >
> >February 27, 2003
> >U.S. Diplomat's Letter of Resignation
> >
> >he 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.

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