Ex-diplomats call for Bush's defeat

  1. Ex-diplomats call for Bush's defeat


    Group to issue statement Wednesday
    The Associated Press
    Updated: 9:10 p.m. ET June 13, 2004WASHINGTON - Angered by Bush administration policies they contend endanger national security, 26 retired U.S. diplomats and military officers are urging Americans to vote President Bush out of office in November.

    The group, which calls itself Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, does not explicitly endorse Democrat John Kerry for president in its campaign, which will start officially Wednesday at a Washington news conference.

    The Bush-Cheney campaign said Sunday it would have no response until the group formally issues its statement at the news conference.

    Among the group are 20 ambassadors, appointed by both Democratic and Republican presidents, other former State Department officials and military leaders whose careers span three decades.

    Prominent members include retired Marine Gen. Joseph P. Hoar, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East during the administration of Bush's father; retired Adm. William J. Crowe Jr., ambassador to Britain under President Clinton and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Reagan; and Jack F. Matlock Jr., a member of the National Security Council under Reagan and ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991.

    "We agreed that we had just lost confidence in the ability of the Bush administration to advocate for American interests or to provide the kind of leadership that we think is essential," said William C. Harrop, the first President Bush's ambassador to Israel, and earlier to four African countries.

    "The group does not endorse Kerry, although it more or less goes without saying in the statement," Harrop said Sunday in a telephone interview.

    Harrop said he listed himself as an independent for years for career purposes but usually has voted Republican.

    The former ambassador said diplomats and military officials normally avoid making political statements, especially in an election year.

    "Some of us are not that comfortable with it, but we just feel very strongly that the country needs new leadership," Harrop said.

    He said the group was disillusioned by Bush's handling of the war in Iraq and a list of other subjects, including the Middle East, environmental conservation, AIDS policy, ethnic and religious conflict and weapons proliferation.

    2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   ArleneG
    This was released today:
    The undersigned have held positions of responsibility for the planning and execution of American foreign and defense policy. Collectively, we have served every president since Harry S. Truman. Some of us are Democrats, some are Republicans or Independents, many voted for George W. Bush. But we all believe that current Administration policies have failed in the primary responsibilities of preserving national security and providing world leadership. Serious issues are at stake. We need a change.
    From the outset, President George W. Bush adopted an overbearing approach to America's role in the world, relying upon military might and righteousness, insensitive to the concerns of traditional friends and allies, and disdainful of the United Nations. Instead of building upon America's great economic and moral strength to lead other nations in a coordinated campaign to address the causes of terrorism and to stifle its resources, the Administration, motivated more by ideology than by reasoned analysis, struck out on its own. It led the United States into an ill-planned and costly war from which exit is uncertain. It justified the invasion of Iraq by manipulation of uncertain intelligence about weapons of mass destruction, and by a cynical campaign to persuade the public that Saddam Hussein was linked to Al Qaeda and the attacks of September 11. The evidence did not support this argument.

    Our security has been weakened. While American airmen and women, marines, soldiers and sailors have performed gallantly, our armed forces were not prepared for military occupation and nation building. Public opinion polls throughout the world report hostility toward us. Muslim youth are turning to anti-American terrorism. Never in the two and a quarter centuries of our history has the United States been so isolated among the nations, so broadly feared and distrusted. No loyal American would question our ultimate right to act alone in our national interest; but responsible leadership would not turn to unilateral military action before diplomacy had been thoroughly explored.

    The United States suffers from close identification with autocratic regimes in the Muslim world, and from the perception of unquestioning support for the policies and actions of the present Israeli Government. To enhance credibility with Islamic peoples we must pursue courageous, energetic and balanced efforts to establish peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and policies that encourage responsible democratic reforms.

    We face profound challenges in the 21st Century: proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, unequal distribution of wealth and the fruits of globalization, terrorism, environmental degradation, population growth in the developing world, HIV/AIDS, ethnic and religious confrontations. Such problems can not be resolved by military force, nor by the sole remaining superpower alone; they demand patient, coordinated global effort under the leadership of the United States.

    The Bush Administration has shown that it does not grasp these circumstances of the new era, and is not able to rise to the responsibilities of world leadership in either style or substance. It is time for a change. Signatories The Honorable Avis T. Bohlen Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, 1999 Ambassador to Bulgaria, 1996 District of Columbia

    Admiral William J. Crowe, USN, Ret. Chairman, President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Committee, 1993 Ambassador to the Court of Saint James, 1993 Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1985 Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Command Oklahoma

    The Honorable Jeffrey S. Davidow Ambassador to Mexico, 1998 Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, 1996 Ambassador to Venezuela, 1993 Ambassador to Zambia, 1988 Virginia

    The Honorable William A. DePree Ambassador to Bangladesh, 1987 Director of State Department Management Operations, 1983 Ambassador to Mozambique, 1976 Michigan

    The Honorable Donald B. Easum Ambassador to Nigeria, 1975 Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, 1974 Ambassador to Upper Volta, 1971 Virginia

    The Honorable Charles W. Freeman, Jr. Assistant Secretary of Defense, International Security Affairs, 1993 Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 1989 Rhode Island

    The Honorable William C. Harrop Ambassador to Israel, 1991 Ambassador to Zaire, 1987 Inspector General of the State Department and Foreign Service, 1983 Ambassador to Kenya and Seychelles, 1980 Ambassador to Guinea, 1975 New Jersey >> Read more

    The Honorable Arthur A. Hartman Ambassador to the Soviet Union, 1981 Ambassador to France, 1977 Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, 1973 New Jersey

    General Joseph P. Hoar, USMC, Ret. Commander in Chief, United States Central Command, 1991 Deputy Chief of Staff, Marine Corps, 1990 Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, 1987 Massachusetts

    The Honorable H. Allen Holmes Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, 1993 Ambassador at Large for Burdensharing, 1989 Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs, 1986 Ambassador to Portugal, 1982 Kansas >> Read more

    The Honorable Robert V. Keeley Ambassador to Greece, 1985 Ambassador to Zimbabwe, 1980 Ambassador to Mauritius, 1976 Florida

    The Honorable Samuel W. Lewis Director of State Department Policy and Planning, 1993 Ambassador to Israel, 1977 Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, 1975 Texas

    The Honorable Princeton N. Lyman Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, 1997 Ambassador to South Africa, 1992 Director, Bureau of Refugee Programs, 1989 Ambassador to Nigeria, 1986 Maryland >> Read more

    The Honorable Jack F. Matlock, Jr. Ambassador to the Soviet Union, 1987 Director for European and Soviet Affairs, National Security Council, 1983 Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, 1981 Florida

    The Honorable Donald F. McHenry Ambassador and U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, 1979 Illinois

    General Merrill A. (Tony) McPeak, USAF, Ret. Chief of Staff, United States Air Force, 1990 Commander in Chief, Pacific Air Forces, 1988 Commander, 12th Air Force and U.S. Southern Command Air Forces, 1987 Oregon

    The Honorable George E. Moose Representative, United Nations European Office, 1997 Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, 1993 Ambassador to Senegal, 1988 Director, State Department Bureau of Management Operations, 1987 Ambassador to Benin, 1983 Colorado

    The Honorable David D. Newsom Secretary of State ad interim, 1981 Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, 1978 Ambassador to the Philippines, 1977 Ambassador to Indonesia, 1973 Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, 1969 Ambassador to Libya, 1965 California >> Read more

    The Honorable Phyllis E. Oakley Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, 1997 Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, 1994 Nebraska >> Read more

    The Honorable Robert Oakley Special Envoy for Somalia, 1992 Ambassador to Pakistan, 1988 Ambassador to Somalia.1982 Ambassador to Zaire, 1979 Louisiana

    The Honorable James D. Phillips Diplomat-in-Residence, the Carter Center of Emory University, 1994 Ambassador to the Republic of Congo, 1990 Ambassador to Burundi, 1986 Kansas

    The Honorable John E. Reinhardt Director of the United States Information Agency, 1977 Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, 1975 Ambassador to Nigeria, 1971 Maryland

    General William Y. Smith, USAF, Ret. Chief of Staff for Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, 1979 Assistant to the Chairman, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1975 Director of National Security Affairs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, 1974 Arkansas

    The Honorable Ronald I. Spiers Under Secretary General of the United Nations for Political Affairs, 1989 Under Secretary of State for Management, 1983 Ambassador to Pakistan, 1981 Director, State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, 1980 Ambassador to Turkey, 1977 Ambassador to The Bahamas, 1973 Director, State Department Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs, 1969 Vermont

    The Honorable Michael E. Sterner Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, 1974 New York

    Admiral Stansfield Turner, USN, Ret. Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, 1977 Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe (NATO), 1975 Commander, U.S. Second Fleet, 1974 Illinois

    The Honorable Alexander F. Watson Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, 1993 Ambassador to Brazil, 1992 Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, 1989 Ambassador to Peru, 1986 Maryland


  4. by   elkpark
    I heard this reported and was struck by how v. serious a statement this is, that this many distinguished career diplomats and military personnel would feel so strongly that they would issue a statement publicly criticizing the administration (of course, I agree with every word of the statement).

    I heard Seymour Hersch being interviewed on NPR recently, and one of the things he said that really stuck with me was that, in all his years (decades, really) as a reporter working with contacts in the Pentagon and CIA, he's never run across the level of contempt that the professional, career senior military and CIA people feel for the current administration. While I'm paraphrasing the quote, "contempt" was the actual word he used.

    These are dark and difficult times for our country.