Thursday, June 17, 2004

The Chimp

And finally for today, from McSweeney's "Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush" DAY 56: A group of 27 retired diplomats and military commanders, called Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, has released a statement demanding that Bush be replaced in November. The statement condemns the Bush administration's foreign policy for severely damaging national security and international relations. Their statement cited "manipulation of uncertain intelligence about weapons of mass destruction [and] a cynical campaign to persuade the public that Saddam Hussein was linked to al Qaeda and the attacks of Sept. 11" as reasons for the group's implicit endorsement of John Kerry. In a news conference at the National Press Club on June 16, former director of the State Department's intelligence office Phyllis Oakley, a signer of the statement, said, "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." The statement attacks the Bush administration for having "adopted an overbearing approach to America's role in the world, relying on military might and righteousness, insensitive to the concerns of traditional friends and allies, and disdainful of the United Nations ... Motivated more by ideology than by reasoned analysis, it struck out on its own." In the statement and at the news conference, the group emphasized that the cumulative effect of the Bush administration policy has been to reduce the standing of America and the safety of Americans, and that the administration is not equipped to handle its responsibilities. Former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas Freeman denounced the "post 9/11 atmosphere of hysteria" and said that "I think we will in time come to be very ashamed of this period in history ... and of the role some people in the administration played in setting the tone and setting the rules." Former ambassadors appointed by presidents from both parties, and retired military commanders and state department officials whose careers span three decades, make up much of the signers of the statement. Others include Adm. William J. Crowe (chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Ronald Reagan), Marine Gen. Joseph P. Hoar (appointed by George H.W. Bush to lead U.S. forces in the Middle East), Gen. Merrill A. McPeak (former Air Force chief of Staff), and Adm. Stansfield Turner (former head of the Central Intelligence Agency). (Source: Slevin, Peter, "Retired Diplomats, Military Commanders Fault Bush's Leadership," The Washington Post, June 16, 2004. Dunphy, Harry, "Former diplomats say Bush should be voted out of office for Iraq, other foreign failures," Associated Press, June 16, 2004.)

Link |