Former diplomats align against Bush

by on June 16th, 2004

A group of 26 former diplomats and military officials have joined forces to oppose Bush’s reelection campaign.

“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 complete list of signatories can be found here.

Suffice it to say that it is unusual to have so many former diplomats and military officials taking such a strong political stance, especially so many who served under and/or were appointed by previous Republican administrations. But the circumstances are such today that more and more people are being forced to open their eyes and see perhaps for the first time that the emperor has no clothes.

“We just felt things were so serious, that America’s leadership role in the world has been attenuated to such a terrible degree by both the style and the substance of the administration’s approach,” said Harrop, who served as ambassador to four African countries under Carter and Reagan.

“A lot of people felt the work they had done over their lifetime in trying to build a situation in which the United States was respected and could lead the rest of the world was now undermined by this administration — by the arrogance, by the refusal to listen to others, the scorn for multilateral organizations,” Harrop said.

“Retired Gen. Tony McPeak, a former U.S. Air Force chief of staff who headed the Air Force during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and endorsed the Bush 2000 campaign, Wednesday said of Bush’s Iraq policy, “Because of the Pollyannish assumptions that were made by the administration in going in there that … bouquets would be thrown at us and so forth, we were totally unprepared for the post-combat occupation. And so you see here, unfolding in front of us, a terrible disaster.”

A terrible disaster that is compounded daily by this administration’s mishandling of the U.S. economy – i.e. refusing to raise sufficient revenues to support the war effort and necessary homeland security measures and allowing huge deficits to once again threaten our nation’s economic well being.

Mike Thomas