Friday, February 28, 2003

Quoted from a U.S. diplomat's letter of resignation:

The policies we are now asked to advance 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 offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson. We have begun to dismantle the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known. Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security.
There's more:

...We have a coalition still, a good one. The loyalty of many of our friends is impressive, a tribute to American moral capital built up over a century. But our closest allies are persuaded less that war is justified than that it would be perilous to allow the U.S. to drift into complete solipsism. Loyalty should be reciprocal. Why does our President condone the swaggering and contemptuous approach to our friends and allies this Administration is fostering, including among its most senior officials. Has “oderint dum metuant” really become our motto?

I urge you to listen to America’s friends around the world. Even here in Greece, purported hotbed of European anti-Americanism, we have more and closer friends than the American newspaper reader can possibly imagine. Even when they complain about American arrogance, Greeks know that the world is a difficult and dangerous place, and they want a strong international system, with the U.S. and EU in close partnership. When our friends are afraid of us rather than for us, it is time to worry. And now they are afraid. Who will tell them convincingly that the United States is as it was, a beacon of liberty, security, and justice for the planet?
Not much else to say about this, except that this isn't the full letter, and I invite people to read it. I have little doubt that said letter is going to change minds, but it addresses what remains the key concern I have: not the effects of the war on Iraq, but the effects of the war on everybody else. To somewhat misquote Casablanca, there will be effects; maybe not today, or the day after, or the day after that; but soon, and for the rest of our lives.

(Link courtesy of Atrios, who seems to be attracting a lot of negative attention over the last little while from conservabloggers. While "Hatrios" is undeniably cute, it certainly reeks of sweet, sweet hypocrisy. Unsurprising.)

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