A Diplomat Resigns

John Brady Kiesling resigned his post as a career U.S. diplomat. His letter of resignation was posted here in the New York Times.

Here is an excerpt: It is inevitable that during twenty years with the State Department I would become more sophisticated and cynical about the narrow and selfish bureaucratic motives that sometimes shaped our policies. Human nature is what it is, and I was rewarded and promoted for understanding human nature. But until this Administration it had been possible to believe that by upholding the policies of my president I was also upholding the interests of the American people and the world. I believe it no longer.

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 AmericaΩs 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.

This letter is one of the most striking examples of patriotism and honesty I’ve ever read. Click here for the full text. My hat is off to you, Mr. Kiesling.


I am glad that they finally caught this guy. Now if we could somehow just focus our efforts on the rest of his gang rather than barking up the wrong tree with Iraq. But I somehow have a hunch that Bush doesn’t want to finish off al-Quaida just yet. To do so too early would diminish his ability to push his radical right-wing agenda through past a public that has been frightened into obedience. Just a hunch…

Pledge Ban Set for March 10

On March 10, a ban on the Pledge of Allegance will become official in nine western states. Thousands of students, officials, immigrants, and others, will suddenly not be allowed to recite the Pledge in an official setting. Politicians and ordinary citizens alike are calling this decision a mistake, but it seems that the real mistake was putting the “under God” clause in there in the first place. The purpose of the addition of this clause in 1954 was very clear: To distinguish the Americans from the “Godless Communists”. It is a government mandate to insert religion into our patriotic declaration. Obviously, this is a violation of the separation of church and state. But what really blows me away in all this is that there is a very pure, simple, obvious solution: Simply remove the controversial “under God” phrase in the Pledge, and move on with your lives. In all the press I have read on this issue today, not one paper noted this idea. Everyone wants to just throw their arms up in the air and say how terrible this is that people can’t declare their patriotism. Just change the damn thing and be done with it already!