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POLITICS: Ex U.S Diplomats Join Mid East Policy Attack

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posted on May, 3 2004 @ 09:19 PM
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In a letter to President Bush to be published Tuesday, 50 retired U.S diplomats have voiced criticism and concern over his administrations Middle East policy. The letter is expected to echo that of 52 British ex diplomats sent to Prime Minister Tony Blair last week questioning his backing of U.S policy and slamming the U.S plans for Iraq as ‘doomed’ and ‘naive’.
 


BBC

The former US diplomats complained that President Bush's policy is losing the US credibility, prestige and friends.

They criticised what they say is Washington's unabashed support for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

They cite Mr. Sharon's policy of extra-judicial assassinations and what the diplomats describe as Israel's Berlin Wall-like barrier.

The American diplomats say they were deeply concerned by Mr Bush's endorsement last month of Mr Sharon's plan to withdraw unilaterally from Gaza.

One former diplomat, who is still considering whether or not to sign the letter, said that as a result of the policy, "We're not the good guys any more."



Related:
ATS: 52 Ex U.K Diplomats Slam Iraq Policy

[Edited on 3-5-2004 by SkepticOverlord]




posted on May, 4 2004 @ 08:32 AM
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It'll be interesting to see who these 50 retired diplomats really are. I think one could make a strong case for their failures being responsible for where the mideast is at today. One who lives in a glass house shouldn't throw stones.



posted on May, 4 2004 @ 12:49 PM
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The letter was finally signed by 60 ex diplomats. The full text of the letter can be found here. The signatories seem along the same line as the British, full of people with wide and varied experience in the Middle East. They include (can’t find a full list yet):

Andrew I Killgore, Ambassador to Qatar, 1977-1980.
Richard H Curtiss, former chief inspector, US Information Agency.
Colbert C Held, Retired FSO and author.
John Gunther Dean, former Ambassador to India.
Thomas J Carolan, Counsel General Istanbul, '88-'92.
C Edward Bernier, Counselor of Embassy, Information and Culture, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Donald A Kruse, American Consul in Jerusalem.
Ambassador Edward L Peck, former Chief of Mission in Iraq and Mauritania.
John Powell, Admin Counselor in Beirut, '75-'76.
John Gunther Dean, last position held US Ambassador to India.
Greg Thielmann, Director, Office for Strategic Proliferation and Military Affairs, Bureau of Intelligence and Research.
James Akins, Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
Talcott Seeyle, Ambassador to Syria.
Eugene Bird, Counselor of Embassy in Saudi Arabia.
Richard H Nolte, Ambassador to Egypt.
Ray Close, Chief of Station Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 1971-1979.
Shirl McArthur, Commercial Attache, Bangkok.
Thomas J Scotes, Ambassador to Yemen 1975-1978.
Robert V Keeley, Ambassador to Greece.
Edward RM Kane, CIA Deputy Chief of Station in Iraq.


The BBC has an article with some good points on why Bush is likely to ignore the letter:

BBC


The influence of the current State Department on the Bush administration is debatable. The influence of former diplomats is minimal.

And the writers of the letter have a problem in that several of them are connected to a lobby group active in Middle East affairs, often as a voice for the Palestinians.

Another problem is that there are so far few big names on the list of signatures. Washington is a city which likes big names.


Hopefully the public impact of the letter won't be as minimal.



posted on May, 4 2004 @ 01:45 PM
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Looking at the dates of service of many of these people, all I can recall is a time where our policy was in even worse shape than it is today. Let's face it, we had no intel, we had no covert capability, special ops were a joke (remember Carter's Iran rescue attempt in the desert) and finally we had no direction. I think the real impetus here are those on the list lobbying for the Palestinians.



posted on May, 4 2004 @ 09:06 PM
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Right... so 60 ex diplomats stuck their necks out for the sake of a few connected to lobby groups for Palestinian rights? And what of the British ex diplomats who concentrated more on Iraq than Israel? What's their 'impetus'? And when was the last time such a step was taken by any ex diplomats in any time to so openly criticise foreign policy? Open criticism of this type by diplomats on U.S policy on Israel specifically is pretty much unheard of, especially in a time like this.



posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 09:23 PM
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It is said that Andrew Killgore, the first signature on the list, shortly after he left the Foreign Service, formed a corporation in the District of Columbia called the Amrok Corporation, for the purpose, among other things, of lobbying. One of his first clients was Saudi Arabia. Thereafter he set up the American Educational Trust which publishes Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. He advertises WRMEA to be an objective coverage of the Middle East conflict, but in reading many issues I have yet to find one article which describes Israel or Israelis in other than pejorative terms. WRMEA will not say who provided the money that formed the trust res when the trust was set up. Emerson, "American House of Saud"

The second signature on the list is that of Richard Curtiss, Senior Editor for WRMEA. When Curtiss left the foreign service he formed a lobbying group for Arabs which is now called the Council for the National Interest. It is interesting that Ralph Nader gave his much noted puppeteer talk to a meeting of the Council for the National Interest. One may wonder what nation's interest the group has at heart.

Edward R.M. Kane, the last signature on the list, pursued a career in the CIA in Ankara, Cairo, Baghdad, Beirut, Tripoli, Dakar, Algiers, and Lisbon. After leaving government service he establlished an international consultancy operating in Lisbon for about 10 years. History has not recorded his clientele.

It would be interesting to have a study of the influence of petrodollars on pro Arab spin in the United States and abroad.



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