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Resignations over Bush's Iraq policy
T V Parasuram in Washington |
March 21, 2003 01:27 IST
In brewing discontent at home against United States war on Iraq and President George W Bush's foreign policy, a handful of senior level officials have resigned after Washington went ahead with a military solution to disarm Baghdad.
The latest to resign is Rand Beers, the National Security Council's senior director for combating terrorism.
Though Beers said that he resigned for personal reasons, close associates felt he was protesting against White House's increased concentration on Iraq at the expense of the overall counter-terrorism effort.
Others cited general weariness with fighting internal battles. Among the various positions he had held was deputy political adviser to the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. He had also served in the State Department.
Mary A Wright, No 2 official at the US Embassy in Mongolia, who has spent 15 years in the Foreign Service and 26 years in the Army Reserves, has also resigned.
Writing to Secretary of State Colin Powell, she said, "I strongly believe that going to war now will make the world more dangerous, not safer. In our press for military action now, we have created deep chasms in the international community and in important international organisations."
"Our policies have alienated many of our allies and created ill will in much of the world," said Wright, who also criticised a "lack of policy on North Korea" and expressed disagreement with 'lack of effort' in solving the crisis in the Middle East.
John Brady Kiesling, a political officer at the US Embassy in Athens, resigned last month. In a letter to Powell he said he no longer believed he was upholding the interests of the American people and the world by supporting President Bush's policies.
"The policies we are now asked to advance," he said, "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 offence and defence since the days of Woodrow Wilson."
He also said that the current course of actions would only bring instability and danger, and not security.
John H Brown resigned last week from the Foreign Service after serving for 22 years. He said, "The President's disregard for views in other nations, borne out by his neglect of public diplomacy, is giving birth to an anti-American century."
Powell himself sees the role of dissenters differently. In his own case, he has said, he often disagrees with some of his colleagues and voices his disagreement openly in internal meetings.
However, all being advisers to the President who has supreme authority, once the President decides, "We salute and say -- Yes, Sir."