March 07, 2003

Will There Be More Resignations?

John Brady Kiesling, a veteran U.S. diplomat based in Greece, sent this letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin Powell on Feb. 27.

...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.

[...]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.

Read the whole letter posted yesterday in the Oregonian.

Read a detailed reply regarding this resignation at Foolsblog, posted 03.08.03

Posted by fred1st at March 7, 2003 06:11 PM | TrackBack

I began to reply and soon had too long a comment.

I decided to waste my own if you're will find the reply on foolsblog.

Posted by: feste at March 8, 2003 03:17 AM

I left my comment (below) also on your blog, Feste. Fragments readers, go there and read the entry from which these snippets were extracted, and leave a comment.

Feste, I did read you article (composed in the wee hours, I suppose you will sleep in today?) and just have some brief and superficial remarks to several snippets...

You said: It serves no pupose other than to draw attention to State's failure on so many fronts.

It is for drawing attention to specific failures that I found this man's action admirable. Those who remain silent and acquiesce to policies they deem immoral and hurtful but stay the course for reasons of political survival I have diminishing respect for.

You said: For isn't Kiesling abandoning the field to those he feels are not worthy? Other than a brief splash in the media his resignation changes nothing, his staying might.

At some point, a person must abandon the field to those who play by rules that will not change, regardless of how loud that one dissenting voice may be. I've left more than one job because of 'moral conflicts' when it became clear the two parties were marching to the sound of different drummers. My resignation may have been only a brief splash in the organization, but I had to live with myself for the rest of my life, as Mr. Kiesling does.

You said: Unlike Mr. Kiesling, we cannot pick and choose our battles, they will come whether we ask for them or not.

We cannot chose our battles, but I can chose mine. I'm sure there are times when I have commited the sin of omission, remaining silent when I should have made noise, just as Mr. Kiesling may have made wrong or ineffectual choices in the small role he may have played in the larger issues from former administrations you cite. I can't change my past mistakes of omission or commission. But I can chose to make a solitary stand on issues that are matters of personal integrity, even if my action won't win the war and other battles will arise.

Posted by: fredf at March 8, 2003 08:26 AM

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