06/13/2004: They should know....
According to a report in the Los Angeles Times (free registration required):
A group of 26 former senior diplomats and military officials, several appointed to key positions by Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, plans to issue a joint statement this week arguing that President George W. Bush has damaged America's national security and should be defeated in November.
The group, which calls itself Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, will explicitly condemn Bush's foreign policy, according to several of those who signed the document.
"It is clear that the statement calls for the defeat of the administration," said William C. Harrop, the ambassador to Israel under President Bush's father and one of the group's principal organizers.
"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.
Jack F. Matlock Jr., who was appointed by Reagan as ambassador to the Soviet Union and retained in the post by President Bush's father during the final years of the Cold War, expressed similar views.
"Ever since Franklin Roosevelt, the U.S. has built up alliances in order to amplify its own power," he said. "But now we have alienated many of our closest allies, we have alienated their populations. We've all been increasingly appalled at how the relationships that we worked so hard to build up have simply been shattered by the current administration in the method it has gone about things."
The document will echo a statement released in April by a group of high-level former British diplomats condemning Prime Minister Tony Blair for being too closely aligned to U.S. policy in Iraq and Israel. Those involved with the new group said their effort was already underway when the British statement was released.
Len on 06.13.04 @ 05:01 PM CST