February 27, 2003
U.S. Diplomat John Brady Kiesling: Letter of Resignation

U.S. Diplomat's Letter of Resignation

by John Brady Kiesling

The following is the text of John Brady Kiesling's letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. Mr. Kiesling is a career diplomat who has served in United States embassies from Tel Aviv to Casablanca to Yerevan.

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I am writing you to submit my resignation from the Foreign Service of the United States and from my position as Political Counselor in U.S. Embassy Athens, effective March 7. I do so with a heavy heart. The baggage of my upbringing included a felt obligation to give something back to my country. Service as a U.S. diplomat was a dream job. I was paid to understand foreign languages and cultures, to seek out diplomats, politicians, scholars and journalists, and to persuade them that U.S. interests and theirs fundamentally coincided. My faith in my country and its values was the most powerful weapon in my diplomatic arsenal.

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 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.

The sacrifice of global interests to domestic politics and to bureaucratic self-interest is nothing new, and it is certainly not a uniquely American problem. Still, we have not seen such systematic distortion of intelligence, such systematic manipulation of American opinion, since the war in Vietnam. The September 11 tragedy left us stronger than before, rallying around us a vast international coalition to cooperate for the first time in a systematic way against the threat of terrorism. But rather than take credit for those successes and build on them, this Administration has chosen to make terrorism a domestic political tool, enlisting a scattered and largely defeated Al Qaeda as its bureaucratic ally. We spread disproportionate terror and confusion in the public mind, arbitrarily linking the unrelated problems of terrorism and Iraq. The result, and perhaps the motive, is to justify a vast misallocation of shrinking public wealth to the military and to weaken the safeguards that protect American citizens from the heavy hand of government. September 11 did not do as much damage to the fabric of American society as we seem determined to so to ourselves. Is the Russia of the late Romanovs really our model, a selfish, superstitious empire thrashing toward self-destruction in the name of a doomed status quo?

We should ask ourselves why we have failed to persuade more of the world that a war with Iraq is necessary. We have over the past two years done too much to assert to our world partners that narrow and mercenary U.S. interests override the cherished values of our partners. Even where our aims were not in question, our consistency is at issue. The model of Afghanistan is little comfort to allies wondering on what basis we plan to rebuild the Middle East, and in whose image and interests. Have we indeed become blind, as Russia is blind in Chechnya, as Israel is blind in the Occupied Territories, to our own advice, that overwhelming military power is not the answer to terrorism? After the shambles of post-war Iraq joins the shambles in Grozny and Ramallah, it will be a brave foreigner who forms ranks with Micronesia to follow where we lead.

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?

Mr. Secretary, I have enormous respect for your character and ability. You have preserved more international credibility for us than our policy deserves, and salvaged something positive from the excesses of an ideological and self-serving Administration. But your loyalty to the President goes too far. We are straining beyond its limits an international system we built with such toil and treasure, a web of laws, treaties, organizations, and shared values that sets limits on our foes far more effectively than it ever constrained America’s ability to defend its interests.

I am resigning because I have tried and failed to reconcile my conscience with my ability to represent the current U.S. Administration. I have confidence that our democratic process is ultimately self-correcting, and hope that in a small way I can contribute from outside to shaping policies that better serve the security and prosperity of the American people and the world we share.

Posted by Brian Stefans at February 27, 2003 11:10 PM

Bravo, good sir! Ain't nuthin' like a Texan with blinders on to turn the meaning and reality of diplomacy into a farce. Power and greed are mighty forces, and not worth one's soul in the long run. Mr. Kiesling has enough soul to figure that out. I've always hoped that Secty. Powell would resign, too. Dare we hope....?

Posted by: J. L. Fleming on March 3, 2003 11:11 AM

Mr. Bush,

You are well on your way to ensuring that your entourage includes nothing more than pandering "yes" men.

Wait...do I smell the wafting smoke from the towering bonfires of burning books and the violent pounding of jackbooted thugs as they parade through our streets?

Yes...they are coming. The thousands of pages of the Patriot Act have lined their route.

You will raise your hand in salute to our new Emperor, or you will wander off into exile with other disloyal men and women of the likes of Ambassador Kiesling.

Emperor indeed...Mr. Bush you are an American Nero; you fiddle with the ship of state while the American people drown in the resulting waves of misery resulting from your arrogant ignorance.

Posted by: Darin on March 3, 2003 02:22 PM

I hope you all don't feel too discouraged or apprehensive about John Kiesling's letter of resignation or the situation so far in the middle east. I too have grave reservations and doubts about the course that the United States is taking.

But ultimately I think of and remember about Hitler. And how he swept through the European countries while everyone (especially the UN) quibbled, pontificated and stalled until it was way too late. Hitler used the delays to his advantage just as Saddham is doing now. He also lied and hid the development of his Luftwaffe air force just as Saddham is with his Nuclear Weapon program.

The French hate being reminded of this. Since they were a country attempting a policy of appeasement with Hitler. After all the other countries fell, there was no one left to defend France. France paid the price by being demolished with Germany's blitzkrieg attack.

Less we forget; War is ugly, war is death, war contains an unfathomable cost in human lives and moral chaos. Nobody likes war. And somehow I don't believe it is the United State's intent go to war if it can avoid it.

But I do believe that Saddam like any Stalinist is a thug. A man who only respects one thing: Money, Strength, and Force at the point of a gun.

That the United States has built up its forces this much and has not attacked is commendable. Lesser nations would not have hesitated. I do believe the last thing anyone really wants is the blood of innocent Iraqians on our hands or to endanger the lives of our men and woman in the armed forces.

I do believe the course of action that the United States has taken is deadly necessary. I don't believe you can bluff with a man like Saddham. Since the presense of the US forces has been strengthened this region of the world has become considerably quieter, calmer and not surprisingly more respectful.

I actually believe this present course of action can and will actually avert war both now and in the near future. Much in the same way as a mugger will think twice before going after an armed and alert victim.

Regarding the United States interest in oil fields I believe and hope that the US will follow the same policy it did with other nation states it has conquered. Basically once the shooting is over the United States usually assists in rebuilding efforts and vacates the region when it's safe to do so.

So there you go. My fervent wish is that we don't go to war. But be prepared for it and all that goes with it.

Best regards to all,
and yes I am an artist,

Ted C.

Posted by: t.calbaz on March 3, 2003 02:48 PM

I'm so happy that finally someone has spoken up!

It's as if "President" Bush is blind and deaf to the cries coming not only from our former allies, but from the American people! I can't blame France, Russia, and the numerous other nations opposed to the Administration's policies and the "inevitable" war with Iraq.

Posted by: Diana on March 4, 2003 12:05 AM

The most eloquent statement to date regarding why we should not allow the President to lead us down this path of self-destruction. Bush has yet to understand that we truly are a member of the Global Village.

Posted by: Gina on March 4, 2003 09:10 AM

Re: Darin's comments about Hitler.
Why is it that every time diplomacy is used, Hitler's name is brought up? Darin is correct that this is one scary example when diplomacy failed. But there are countless examples when diplomacy has worked. We were not blown away in a nuclear holocaust during the Cold War because there were leaders on both sides who on many occasions talked rather than resorting to pushing the button. I lived through those scary years when the Soviet Union was not just suspected of manufacturing weapons of mass destruction. The Soviet Union had them. Their submarines, armed with nuclear missiles, prowled the waters just off our shores.

As for the French, the current French bashing is unjustified. They are our long-time friends. Historically, we would not exist as a nation had not the French supported us. There were more French soldiers and sailors at Yorktown than Americans. More recently, the French supported us in Desert Storm, the Balkans, and Afghanistan. Now, because they do not think Bush's idiotic plan makes sense, we assail their courage and integrity.

Recently I read a letter by a Frenchman who said he was startled to see Americans charging France with ingratitude. He observed that the Americans did not rush to save France during WWI or WWII. France just happened to be on the way to Germany.

I had never thought of it that way. In any case, I shall not discontinue purchasing French wines or cheeses because some Americans are having a hissy fit.

Posted by: gene griessman on March 4, 2003 10:32 AM

How reassuring it is to read an eloquent expression of how I feel - to know that we are not alone in our dispair of how the administration is behaving. John Brady Kiesling is someone I've never heard of and about whom I hope to hear a great deal more. It would be a great thing if he were to run for president as he seems to act out of commitment to ideals and our global community as opposed to the ruin of the economy; the environment; and civil and human rights around the world for the sake of personal aggrandizement.

Posted by: Kathe Gregory on March 4, 2003 11:58 AM

I also applaud Kiesling's forthright assessment of the situation. But in regard to the note posted by: t.calbaz on March 3: Calbaz doesn't know his history. Hitler had the power to sweep Europe. The same is not true of Saddam -- he's constrained. The inspections had sharply reduced his military capability. In 1939 there was no superpower to contain Hitler; today the U.S. might far overwhelm's Saddam's and he knows it would be suicidal to challenge the US - that's why he's destroying his missiles. We don't need to launch a war -- just the threat is enough. Further, the link between Saddam and Al Queda is unproven and unlikely. The link was invented to justify the war on Iraq by those with financial interests in the oil and is disinformation by the Bush Administration.

Posted by: Bob Nesson on March 4, 2003 01:02 PM

Dear Mr. Kiesling: Congratulations to you for a brave move - brave because it is no longer the status quo for an American to openly express - and act upon - his convictions without retribution. I wish you much luck in your pursuit of what is right. Thank you. Sincerely, Marion Bernstein

Posted by: Marion Bernstein on March 4, 2003 02:30 PM

I only hope that Kiesling remains in Greece or some other socialist country. The last thing we need in this great country is another self-hating anti-american on our soil. Bush's only big mistake in the Iraq matter was going to the UN last November in the first place. France, Germany and Russia all have long standing and huge economic ties with Iraq, including supplying Sadam with chemicals and and technology in exchange for oil. Those countries who are against our removing Sadam are actually very much afraid of what we will discover when we get to Iraq

Posted by: Don Goveia on March 4, 2003 02:35 PM

Aside to Mr. Goveia: It was the U.S. that set up Saddam and supplied him with the armaments he used in fighting Iran, not the countries you mention. ==
Mr. Kiesling, you are an honorable man! I, too, wish you well and hope you find a better way to serve your fellow Americans. Colin Powell was doing yeoman's work in a very corrupt administration, but I fear that he, too, has been corrupted and is now using his good reputation to persuade his U.N. colleagues that Saddam and terrorism are joined at the hip. I am not persuaded.

Posted by: Jerry on March 4, 2003 08:58 PM

Dear Mr. Kiesling,
Thank you for speaking out against the atrocities of the Bush Administration. I hope this will inspire more brave souls to put the common good before career. I hope people are listening. I hope we will continue to hear your voice -- one of the few eloquent voices of sanity.

Posted by: Sue Garson on March 4, 2003 11:14 PM

To everyone who would post here -

I know that many of you have strong opinions concerning the war in Iraq, and you have a right to those opinions. There are many valid points on both sides of the war "debate", but unfortunately many people who speak concentrate only on the points they most agree with and completely ignore the other side. It is your right to bring up your ideas in order to justify your entire for or anti War/Bush position, and there are plenty of places in which you are most certainly welcome to do so.
But this is a message board devoted to comments on the words of John Brady Kiesling. If you look carefully, it would become apparent that Kiesling does not attempt to address all, or even most, of the popular issues concerning the validity of the war on Iraq. In other words, he does not address whether or not a peacful solution is possible or desirable with Saddam Hussein, or whether not war is morally acceptable. He most certainly does not make any mention of the validity of the Bush presidency or make fun of the president's speech patterns. I do not believe Kiesling wanted to be associated with the reckless hatred of the more extreme in the anti-war movement.
Instead Kiesling focuses on what he knows best as an employee of the State Deparment for 20 years: international relations. This uncommon perspective lends credibility to his analysis of the damage the Bush administration's policy on Iraq has done to the United States position. His message is an old one: The United States should work more with its allies using honesty and open discussion rather than practicing deceptive prograganda. But he is able to eloquently provide historical context for his points and effectively demonstrates the importance of international awareness.
Kiesling's voice is persuasive not only because of his experience in international affairs but also because of the obvious respect and love he has for American values and traditions. There is nothing anti-American or self-hating in this resignation letter. If you belive being anti-war is anti-American, then you have no place at this message board, because your view point has nothing to do with Kiesling's words. If you belive that Saddam Hussein is analogous to Hitler and that he is evil, fine. But if you cannot show how your argument relates to the international ideas set for by Kiesling, you also have no place here.
For those of you who agree with some of Kieslings points, or are on his "side," please do not take his words to mean more than what they actually say. His tone is responsible and not sensational, his criticsms are supported and within the context of his argument. Please do not take isolated sections, such as his mention of the erosion of civil rights, and use them to the idea that the United States is becoming a Police State. In fact it is obvious that he does not believe that from his last paragraph.
I am not asking you to change your views, or stop stating your brilliant all-encompassing visions of our world situation. But I am asking you to leave them off of here.

Posted by: Andrew Pearsall on March 5, 2003 12:35 AM

As the wife of a military man, I live in daily fear that Bush will send us to a hell that our country has never known before. I believe with all of my heart and soul that the general population has no idea of what is really going on. We live behing closed doors and shuttered windows; in the dark until the terrible light of a burning people is shoved through a crack in the wall. Don't cover your eyes America, the light is on it's way and moving quickly and quietly! Don't allow yourself to be suprised when the people of Iraq are knocking on our doors, wanting to know why we have all run home and left them to clean up the mess. As long as Saddham is no longer in power, why should we hang around and clean up the mess we have left? Bush would have already spent more of our money on war than he ever should have. Why should we have to pay for the "maid after the party"? Keep a sharp eye on the cracks in your walls. Don't cover your eyes and be caught off guard by the light of the burning people of Iraq.

Posted by: Crystal on March 5, 2003 04:15 AM

Mr. Kiesling, You are wise, way more than your position would imply. I would like to add to his fears of America losing credability. I am an American (Muslim) And I believe no matter how hard I try to prove my patiriotisim, I still feel people view me with suspesion. It is to the point where I am afraid to come home to the US from my Job in Saudi Arabia. I am afraid, becuase I don't trust the current status quo; I do not know what can be fabricated against me (Just for being a Muslim) I hope I am wrong. The rest of my family are contemplating leaving the US because they no longer feel their rights are protected. Please tell me, Is America still the same America I knew 4 years ago: "Fair, Strong, Land of the brave" Or are we following in the footsteps of the USSR. GOD BLESS AMERICA

Posted by: Nazir Bashir on March 5, 2003 06:59 AM

Darin, you refer to Dubya as America's Nero. 'oderint dum metuant' (Let them hate, so long as they fear) was attributed to Caligula. I think he was the madman who made his horse a consul - but then again, Nero, Caligula, what does it matter? Kiesling is my new hero.

Posted by: Stephen on March 5, 2003 08:53 AM

Correcting myself - the phrase "oderint dum metuant" predates Caligula by some 200 years and is attributed to poet Lucius Accius, but was said to be one of Caligula's favourite phrases.

Posted by: Stephen on March 5, 2003 09:04 AM

Mr. Kiesling,

Thank you for resigning. You have shown great insight realizing your limitations in reguards to the present situation. Consider rushing your new book to publication as it will come across as silly after the United States Armed Forces have secured a true peace for innocent Iraqis.

Posted by: Louis LeDurchi on March 5, 2003 10:36 AM

You'll never regret it. Congratulations on a moral act that took courage. I hope the rest of your life is as beautiful as this action.

Posted by: Joan Chandler on March 5, 2003 11:26 AM

Mr. Pearsall:

Thank you, I agree that Mr. Kieslings resignation is not the war drum for the misdirected anti-Bush administration supporters. It was his right to leave and I support his choice. We need more people to standup in a professional manor and less of the non-productive political banter from single minded individuals who would not support any of the current administations agenda, right or wrong.

I am the middle American standing at the wall. I am confused, afraid, and concerned. Not only with the Bush Administration but with Al-Quada, Iraq, and our allies. We now live in a world of political agendas as we have never seen before. Who to trust, who to fear. I do trust Collin Powell and will use him as my beacon to guide me through these confusing times. I donot believe that he will just roll over and follow, he is an educated patriot and natural born leader. A needed quaility in these dark times.

Here are my hopes for the the issues we see today:

Iraq- Keep the pressure on Iraq to disarm through the American military presence within sight of his boarders. Encourage his people to end his administration through the ultimate sacrifice and provide them with the means to do so. If this takes place, provide guidence in developing a new government (if asked by the Iraqi people). The Iraqi people must be held accountable for their current situation, much American blood was spilt to get where we are today and through the ulimate sacrifice of americans through history we have a country of the people, for the people, and by the people. These sacrifices will ensure that any mistakes we may make will be "self correcting". To the people of Iraq and the rest of the world- stand up and be heard, no matter what the ramifications. Our country, if used as your model, was built on the souls of marters.

The Patriot Act: What are we thinking, I am as afraid as any post 911 American but feel that if we give up our civil liberties then we have lost our identity as a nation. I cannot understand how a credit check will provide protection from terrorism at an airport or how we as a nation can justify registering all muslims of certain decents into national data bases. I fear with them and see the proverbial writing on the wall. Get the tatoo needle ready. I am sorry I promised myself I would not be cynical. Beware Mr. Ashcroft this Republican is watching and I believe the Judical Brance of our government has yet to be heard when referencing your agenda. You scare me and I will do what needs to be done to protect our rights and our Constitution. Protection I support, a police state I fear.

The President: I voted for him, I support him, but at times I am embarrased for him. I hope he takes his emotions out of his job and sees that we are a respected country and that we can provide the world a roll model with out appearing to be the bully. Peace through strength, not peace through war. May you use our military wisly, the world knows of our distructive force they don't need to be reminded.

If you have spent the time to read my ramblings I thank you. I do not know if I am middle america but feel that there many sides to these issues, very complicated issues, My eyes are open and I am watching ready to cast my vote to make changes if I think we are on the wrong path. Simillar to Mr. Kiesling, we should never underestimate the power of the single voice.

Posted by: Stephen J. Grose on March 5, 2003 01:08 PM

It is so nice to hear my beliefs actually written by someone else. My father told me last night, that I am still to young to have lost hope in humanity. I forwarded your letter to him and now feel that I have a leg to stand on when speaking optimistically to him. For that, I thank you very much. I do feel that my generation, I am 25, is very disillusioned by the political system and feel that if more outstanding, intelligent politicians speak up then maybe we, as a country, would have more that a 30% voter turn out!

Posted by: Jayne on March 5, 2003 04:14 PM

I was actually moved by what Mr. Kiesling had to say in his letter. I read some of the comments and found a few to be the writing of angry, betrayed and scared people. And with every right to to feel that way. I know I felt the first two --coupled with sadness-- here in NYC
on Sept 11th, 2001. Especially by the fact that we spend ridiculous amounts on defense and the military, yet that day, the people in charge
of protecting us dropped the ball. But that's another story.

As far as the eloquent gentleman who compared Saddam to Hitler, I don't think the comparison is apt. I also think he may be naive in thinking that nuclear arms and not oil is the main issue at hand when it comes
to Iraq. These are greedy, bloodthirsty people that are running this country right now. And establishing a puppet regime in Iraq that would give their oil buddies access to the goods is something they salivate over (examples in Latin America, for instance, are far too numerous to mention). Regardless of
who has to die in order to reach their nefarious goals.

Love and peace to all ...

Posted by: Kiko Jones on March 5, 2003 05:21 PM

Mr. Kiesling, I am a Canadian living in Uganda where war for a large number of people is a daily terrible experience. Here, the US is advocating for peaceful dialogue as the solution. I am grateful for your courage and willingness to sacrifice for conscience sake. With prayers for peace and best wishes for the next part of your journey.

Posted by: Mary Lou Klassen on March 5, 2003 07:52 PM

We horrible, power-hungry commies here in San Francisco are intrigued by your reference to the Romanovs.

Nonetheless, we congragulate you on your stance of conscience. So may I raise a toast? (All raise their glasses.)

"Here's to those know that if there is a God, She created us with different points of view exactly for the purpose of checks and balances. (Glasses tinkle.) What a frightening thought when the most powerful person in the world doesn't understand that!"

Posted by: Tom Saltsman on March 6, 2003 12:07 AM

Bravo! Mr. John Brady Kiesling, I too have great respect for Mr. Powell and trust only him in this current "Administration". I believe MR. Powell may very well follow your lead if we come to full unilateral war. Judiciously selected Mr. Bush arrogantly welds power granted by a spineless congress, one of our “self-correcting” checks in the democratic balance. Thank you for your valiant integrity.
Note to Ted C.'s Remembrances of Europeans the U.N. and Hitler “(especially the UN)” The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945 after WWII The forerunner of the United Nations was the League of Nations, an organization conceived in similar circumstances during the First World War. The League of Nations ceased its activities after failing to prevent the Second World War. What will we call the next incarnation? Must we start over again and again?

Posted by: PJ on March 6, 2003 02:33 AM

Congratulations, Congratulations, Congratulations to Mr. Kiesling!
As a European watching the scenario from a distance I hope and pray that many will follow this courageous man. One day there must be a victory of the good over the evil!

Posted by: E. Ranharter on March 6, 2003 05:58 AM

Someone here said that France and Russia where afraid of teh world discovering french and russian equipment in Iraq. That might be true, but I think everyone knows that the US sold tons of bio and conventional weapons to Iraq during the 80's...No one has been decent in the past. Please be decent now.

Posted by: John on March 6, 2003 06:53 AM

"The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world. The credible threat to use force, and when necessary the actual use of force, is the surest way to contain Saddam's weapons of mass destruction program (and) curtail his aggression."

Bill Clinton

Posted by: Paul Hart on March 6, 2003 10:17 AM

Regarding the comment posted by Marion Bernstein on March 4, 2003 02:30 PM:

Questioning the motives of one's government (and in this case, employer) hardly makes a person self-hating and anti-American. Here's a man who gave up a brilliantly successful career, and all that goes with it; a man who, by the tone of this letter, seems genuinely anguished to do what he is doing, but understands that there is something much larger at stake. Would you be so quick to walk away from everything you know on principle alone? Because I'm not so sure I would...

Posted by: Andrea on March 6, 2003 01:08 PM

I applaud the ambassors action and concur with him entirely. It cannot be ignored that Saddam Hussein is a fair and easy parallel to Hitler,Pol Pot, Stalin, and others. That is not the problem, even war to stop him is not the problem. The most fundamental foundation of Democracy is disseminated knowledge throughout the populace and the populace can then fairly judge the actions of our ELECTED officials. We have little or none of this needed knowledge because it is being paternally and arrogantly kept from us and we no longer trust in the honor or veracity of our leaders. That is a greater problem than Iraq or Bin Laden together. It can destroy this country. The administration MUST learn to trust us, so that we can learn to trust them.

Posted by: ward hillyer on March 6, 2003 01:40 PM

Ref to John,

The US has NEVER supplied Bio weapons to any country. In fact, US Military doctrine is that we will NEVER USE Bio weapons no matter what.

I have never heard that the US supplied Chemical weapons either, but I could be wrong and if we did supply them, I am sure we never intended him to gas a whole town of his own people. (5,000 dead)

I don't care if President Bush is in it for the oil.

I don't care if Saddam gives up his weapons.

The only thing I care about is the fact that Saddam is estimated to be responsible for 1,2 million dead. He should have to answer for that.

After I saw video of the nightmare that was Afganistan, I was ashamed for the world. We should never let any person(s) do that again. Saddam has been doing things just like it since the day he came to power (21 goverment officials publicly hanged for disagreeing with him).

If the French and the rest of the UN had backed us, this would all be over with by now. Saddam would have played his normal game (he has had 12 years to perfect it) and the International community would have gone in and taken him out of power. It would have been quick and easy, with minimal amount of lost of life. The numbers we could have had would have been overwelming and the Iraqie Army wouldn't have stood a chance.

But no, they had to play thier games and now Saddam (and the other dictators of the world) are laughing at us.

The people of the world should be screaming for Saddams head, instead they are bickering like little children.

Posted by: Paul Hart on March 6, 2003 02:06 PM

We are for peace!

WE love Saddam! He is the champion of all peace and compassion in the world! The United States is wicked wicked naughty grrrrr!!!

Death to the Assyrians!!
Death to the Kurds!
Death to the Turkomen!
Death to the Shia!!


Posted by: Peace Protester on March 6, 2003 02:23 PM

Mr. John Brady Kiesling has hit the nail dead on the head!

I was delighted to discover that there are still a few good men out there who refuse to be polluted by the "W"(alt Disney) brigade and their obsession with going to war in Iraq.

I have lived in Latin América for a decade now and in the past two have watched all the positive capital so deservedly and doggedly built up during the Clinton "dialogue" years totally shattered by the short sighted, self-centred, and isolationist foreign policies of the current "administration".

My question is, is Kiesling the only soul in the current U.S. administration with the guts to openly stand up and say "no" to this lunacy that is about to be committed in the name of the American people by Mr. "W" Bush?

For all of our sakes, I sincerely hope that this tremendously powerful and moving letter represents only a beginning and that the "mutiny" against this irresponsible scourge will spread far and wide.

Alec Elson McCurry
São Paulo, Brazil

Posted by: Alec Elson McCurry on March 6, 2003 02:32 PM


I think you missed the point of Mr. Kieslings letter. He never says he is opposed to war, he is opposed to approach the current Administration is taking. He feels that we are not utilizing accepted diplomacy with our allies and that the harm this approch takes will damage relations for years. If asked I am sure Mr. Kiesling would support the demise of Saddam and his party, it is the right thing to do. What he opposes is the do it ourself, go it alone, we dont care about your opinion, attituded our President is "perceived" as having.

And to compare Clinton and his years with the Bush Administration. I will only say this: If Bill had worried more about terrorist issues or UN mandates then movie stars, cigars, and inturns we might not have had to deal with such international fire balls as we currently do.

But what would you know, rumor has it your country is about to ask for 30K US troops to support with the drug war. God save us all. Dessert war we have perfected, jungles are still an issue.

Posted by: Stephen J. Grose on March 6, 2003 03:14 PM

I agree with you Stephen that that seems to be his point. What gales me though is even in his letter he states that "Even here in Greece, purported hotbed of European anti-Americanism".

So actually we never even needed this war to be on their bad side. What should we care if they "like us even less" now.

The fact remains that it is American soldiers that will be the ones going into Iraq. American soldiers that are taking the chances. I have to question if this isn't one of the reasons why France and Germany are not backing us. They don't want their soldiers there.

If you go to 90% of the US bases in Germany right now you will find GERMAN SOLDIERS pulling security on our bases. Why? Because we don't have enough soldiers to go to Iraq and keep the security here. If they are so much against this war, why are they suppling the means for us to make it?

Frankfurt, Germany

Posted by: Paul Hart on March 6, 2003 03:31 PM

You have to ask yourself, really, what is in this for France and Germany? Do they really LIKE Saddam? I know they haven't suddenly gotten religion and decided to "give peace a chance." Fact is, I believe France is in this for purely economic reasons. They want that oil money. Germany has sold Iraq certain designs that could be used to construct nuclear power plants. Neither of them want the world to know how deeply they are in to Iraq (despite UN sanctions.) As for the anti-war (read: anti-Bush) protestors, a million people calling a horse a dog DOES NOT make a horse a dog. 26 million Americans claim to believe in UFOs; are we then to assume that GW should heed this massive amount of people and set up an embassy for the Romulans? Fully 83 million Americans identify themselves as church-going christians; should we assume then, that GW should force everyone to go to church? 1 in 3 high school seniors could not identify their state on a map of the United States; should we then assume that GW should eliminate geography as a high school course?

Posted by: Marc B on March 6, 2003 07:35 PM

I was hoping to learn if John Kiesling has established a web site yet. I believe it could serve as a magnet for those who admire people of courage and principle.

Posted by: Irving Smith on March 6, 2003 10:18 PM

When I read his letter, it drove the nail into the wood for me. This war isn't about disarming saddam. its much more than that. Realistically, who's the bigger threat to the U.S.- Iraq or North Korea- the latter openly admitting to starting a nuclear program. In tonight's speech, President Shrub said that America was 'under attack'.. excues me, but for something to be 'under attack', doesn't it have to be hit more than once? there have been no more terrorist attacks since 2001. now israel is under attack!
but back on topic, this war is about 3 primary things:
1. He's finishing what his father started, its a family ordeal
2. Iraq produces more oil than all of n. america, and its one of our greatest suppliers of oil. With american occupation of Iraq, we get a nice big american hand on middle eastern affairs, and especially oil. I don't think we will have complete control of their oil, but comeon, the US is going to occupy Iraq for at least 10 years after this war. We're going to have a nice big hand in an area where we currently have very little influence
3. I do believe that bush honestly wants to protect people by disarming saddam. but go after that fruitloop korean dude first!

Also in Bush's speech tonight, he said that war was his last option, and he will use it if necessary, and he doesn't need anyone's permission. Well ok, lets see.. saddam publically said he'll fight, and its their jihad (holy war). its not 'if we go to war' its 'when we go to war'. There is no way in hell this is going to end without bloodshed.
About the doesn't need anyone's permission stuff. Is it just me, or is the whole purpose of the U.N. to be UNITED in making their decisions? Its like a child asking his mother if he can have $5, and when she says no asking his father for $5, and when he says no he takes the $5 from them anyways. Ok maybe that analogy wasn't the best... but do you get the point? Who are we to say "if you dont' agree, f#ck you, we're doing it anyways"? Since when did the US become the supreme ruler of the world deciding what should happen in other's people business?

When the war is over, and many lives are lost, the US is going to impose a democratic government, like in afganistan. But the same thing is going to happen in iraq that happened in the Soviet Union. The government is going to collapse. As much as we all wish it could, democracy doesn't work everywhere. you cant' force it onto people, they have to have a want for it.

And lastly, this war isn't going to solve any problems, its going to cause more. Allies will be lost, and millions of people will see the U.S. has a Holy enemy.

This is very not good.

Posted by: Tim D on March 6, 2003 10:27 PM


Posted by: Carlos on March 6, 2003 11:27 PM

NOte to "ward hillyer" - if you did 20 seconds worth of research (hey, start with www.google.com) you'd know that the U.S. exported, under government license, disease-producing and poisonous materials to Iraq from 1985 to 1988 during the Iran-Iraq war. Saddam was our buddy in those days: "Iraq GOOD, Iran EVIL". Furthermore, the American-exported materials were identical to microorganisms destroyed by United Nations inspectors after the Gulf War. The May 25, 1994 Senate Banking Report details 70 shipments over a three year span of material including anthrax to Iraq. Furthermore, according to the BBC, Iraq during this time also imported bio and chemical weapons from the U.K.

Posted by: Vince on March 7, 2003 01:37 AM

Sorry, Ward, it's Paul Hart that's clueless, not you.. Mea culpa.

Posted by: Vince on March 7, 2003 01:41 AM

If USA doesn´t respect an UN International Resolution, democratically voted, 100% according to the existing Rules and decides to invade Iraq, why should other Nations to respect Int´l Laws regarding US Patents, Royaties, Trade Marks etc.... ???

Posted by: Freddy on March 7, 2003 01:49 AM


Posted by: william on March 7, 2003 12:14 PM

Poor William...missed the point entirely. Have you read Mr. Kiesling's letter at all?
Mr Kiesling: Thank you, thank you and thank you.
There is still hope for this world when there are thinking reasonable people of principles around

Posted by: Ana on March 7, 2003 01:48 PM

This Iraq situation is getting very serious - a geopolitical fault line comparable to fall of Berlin wall ? Bush and his group of of simplistic jingoes have made a complete balls of presenting what is a perfectly good case ? and have delayed and wasted time assembling a massive military overkill worthy of the Normandy landings ? against a 9th rate wretched potential enemy who has been under embargo for 11 years -

If we feel it is time to establish a pax Americana in M/E - then lets set forth our objectives and gather a coalition for that ? and we make it clear that such a policy includes a balance between legitimate interests of both Israel and Arabs -

The French are an old, sophisticated, and proud nation ? they have indeed always been individualistic and maddening - in private and public life -
This practice of deflating American egos goes back to the Roosevelt / De Gaulle relationship - when FDR was violently opposed to CDG and French aspirations in general ? if the French owe anybody anything it is rather the brits and Winston -
US intervention in both great European wars came after the turning points in those conflicts - Verdun and Stalingrad - obviously new material and fresh blood shortened both wars - but the Prussians had lost before the doughboys got here -

Like it or not ? De Villepin has demonstrated skills which leave the state dept looking pretty amateurish ? yet when the chickens come home to roost I am afraid it will be Powell who gets the chop ? not Rumsfield -

when a medium size second rank power like France can put together a coalition against usa policy which includes china, germany and russia ? then uncle sam had better start looking at how he could have done a better job selling his case ? Blair has already lost his next election for the privilege of being the cherry on the frosting of the heavy fruit cake -
I don?t see any signs of polish - Spanish or Italian troops in Kuwait -
Oddly enuff ?I know for a fact that American special forces are training with French commandos and the foreign legion in Djibouti right now -

Posted by: rh clark on March 7, 2003 02:43 PM

So many great comments here. Starting with J L Fleming, then Darin, and through Ana and rl Clark. rl, really great wit and use of psychology to make sharp points, as many have done.

Would anyone be interested in this?...Search for the names & e-addresses of all US Ambassadors. Send them a note attaching the John Brady Kiesling Historical Document. (This is not just a Letter of Resignation, this is a rare and truly American declaration of patriotism in the American Spirit.) Those interested in doing this could ask the Ambassadors to support their colleague who, as a Political Counselor, has proven himself more than worthy to be a superior Ambassador that Americans and others would highly respect. To show their support, the Ambassadors who would at minimum submit PUBLIC letters to the Administration or with enough commitment, publicly resign their posts, would surely be historically listed as "signers" of this truly remarkable Re-emphasis of the Principles of the American Declaration of Independance and Tribute to The American Spirit. Let's not let this treasure float away from us. Let's "take it up to the next level" and beyond, to have future generations read it so they will know it is still real, that Americans do sacrifice, alone, when the principles of their country are challenged, other than sacrificing on fields of death. Let's make this American's sacrifice really mean something tangible. If we do and the Ambassadors respond as they should, we can really help prevent the sacrifice of the very lives of other Americans, and prevent death and anguish in a country with a population of 50% ages -1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 for the purpose of creating a nation of orphans just to fulfill this administrations "Vision" of making them a happy and safe country, and feeding them McDonald burgers. Let's do it!! Enlist those Ambassadors and don't forget to include their American Staffs.
Gee it's nice to have a new historical document that reclaims the American Spirit!!! Thank you JBK!!!

Posted by: Linda on March 8, 2003 01:07 AM

This is a great example of how a mid-level diplomat has much more integrity than his high-ranking superiors. In fact, this true patriot is of the same level as Powell himself, whom he admires so much. It is sad that such a man has gotten himself on the boat with a nasty commander-in-chief.

Posted by: Timur on March 8, 2003 04:31 AM

Kiesling's self-indulgent resignation-tome only too well illustrates why many conservatives (myself included) view the State Department and its career diplomats as a potential left-wing fifth column that will often use any opportunity it finds to sabotage US interests in order to pursue self-indulgent personal agendas instead of the policy that they have been sworn to uphold.

Truly, Mr. Kiesling must have known when joining the diplomatic corps (and especially should know now, given his role as a political officer) that successive governments in our democracy would come up with policies that he sometimes didn't agree with ..regardless, he accepted the position and took an oath to serve. He accepted that responsibility, warts and all. He now abrogates his oath and his responsibility not merely by quietly resigning --which is his right -- but rather by doing so in a manner that creates the most damage to his organization (the State Dept) and by extension, our country. Thanks, Kiesling...with friends like you...who needs the French?

So to summerize, I don't buy this 'man of conscience' bullsh*t and think he went to extraordinary lengths to publicize his resignation for reasons of self-agrandizment.

Kiesling...'Quisling' is more like it!

Posted by: Michael on March 8, 2003 07:54 AM

The amazing thing is that Mr. Kiesling was able to serve without apparent indignation the foreign policy "objectives" the leaders of the United States have pursued during the period of his service. In far too many instances, the decisions made by U.S. Presidents and their advisers have been based on short-term interests (e.g., securing access to natural resources, protecting the interests multinational corporations and orchestrating political stalemates) rather than in service to the defense of human rights, to the expansion of equality of opportunity, in the assistance of people striving secure liberty from despotic rulers, or in the adoption of democratic processes and institutions.

Why has Saddam Hussein and his senior governmental officials not been brought to trial under the rules of international law? They have without question committed crimes against humanity and deserve to be prosecuted. U.S. leaders were content to arm Saddam when he fought against the Iranians, hoping both sides would destroy one another.

I do not say that it is easy to influence events in societies in which the only apparent option people have to despotism is fundamentalism. The United States must take a principled stand in defense of human rights and the pursuit of liberty. To do otherwise is to continually face the hatred of people who view the United States as a willing partner in their oppression.

Posted by: E.J. Dodson on March 8, 2003 10:52 AM

Thank you for your resignation. You might as well keep your anti-American thoughts to yourself. Support your president and rally around your country. 9/11 happened...Saddam is a murderer...Iraq is evil...you are all too liberal and anti american to remember the death toll of the World Trade Center. For you there is no hope.

Posted by: Andre on March 8, 2003 11:35 AM

Kiesling is right on target. George Bush is the most dangerous president in the history of the United States, and some of his key advisors are, as well, notably Cheny and Rumsfeld. Condoleeza Rice is a disappointment, and it is hard to see why she buys into Bush's policies, other than out of blind loyalty to the President. She should know better.

Yes, it would be desirable and important for Colin Powell to resign, so that Congress and the public could be sufficiently invigorated to do everything possible to stop this drive towards ware with Iraq.

We don't need, and don't want, several decades of international opposition to the U.S., but we are going to get it if we go to war.

Posted by: Gene Willeke on March 8, 2003 12:17 PM

It seems like John Brady Kiesling has become the HERO of the Left. The USA is better off without him. Thanks John for resigning. WE dont need any fellow travelers or fifth columnists any more. In case anyone doesn't know it---Our State Department is rife with Marxist-Leninists. IT is time to do a little house cleaning.

Posted by: Mike Geremia on March 8, 2003 12:50 PM

Who thinks it would be a good thing for this country to turn into sheep? or lemmings? How is it that disapproval of, or disagreement with, the current administration is the same as being "unamerican"?
And why don't people PAY ATTENTION? (I'm only yelling because that seems to be the only thing William - above- is capable of doing.) We have become a country of maroons.
Andre appears to reflect the astounding fact that some 54% of Americans, as a result of Bush Administration misstatements and media acquiescence, believe that Saddam was responsible for the 9-11 attacks. Mike Geremia clearly doesn't understand the irony of his statement: "Our State Department is rife with Marxist-Leninists. IT is time to do a little house cleaning." Mike - hello? who did the "house cleaning" during the Russian Revolution? You want to maybe buy a clue???
This country has moved so far to the right of the political spectrum that we risk being the premiere rogue nation on the planet.

Posted by: vince on March 8, 2003 06:37 PM

Dear Mr. Keisling,

It is refreshing to hear such balanced and temperate words from someone who has been on the inside of American foreign policy. You must realise that many people who seem to be anti- American are by no means anti the values that America is meant to be founded on. Liberty, Justice and Freedom from opression are all values which the international community at large are behind. The problem lies in the huge amount of hypocrisy and the double standards shown by the U.S.A in both it's domestic and international policy. Here is a nation out to save the world who will not even sign the Kyoto protocol or send it's leader to the Earth Summit. Here is a nation which preaches "free trade" and then continues to impose tarrifs on some of it's poorer trading partners. Here is a nation that seems to want to help everyone out, yet adjusts most of it's economic and social policy around the advancement of individual wealth above all else. What America needs to realise is that the war begins at home. If George W. Bush wants everyone to follow America as the "leader of the free world" he will have to prove himself to be such. Congratulations for putting your head on the line for what you beleive in, it is only unfortunate that many Americans do not appear to be as level headed and internationally minded as yourself.

Posted by: Ian Auld on March 9, 2003 04:33 AM

It's easy to blame Bush for this mess. Even though the TRUE reason we are at this point is because Clinton didn't inforce the treaty with Iraq and Saddam refuses to comply with it.

Lay the blame where it actually belongs!

GOD bless G.W and God bless AMERICA!

Posted by: HN on March 9, 2003 09:47 PM

May the reign of "Operation: Enduring Assholes" be short and uneventfull.

Posted by: Shebee Black on March 9, 2003 10:57 PM

Hi Vince!

Sorry I am late with this, but I have been sick.

Always one to debate a Liberal with the truth, this is what I have found out!

While there is a lot of hearsay that the US supplied Iraq with Bio Weapons, the only positive truth is that they supplied them with "samples". What that means I do not know.

Here is one thing I did find though:


One quote I got from this article was:

"I think it's absolute nonsense," Richard Spertzel, the former head of the United Nations' biological inspections team in Iraq, says of the bio-weapons charge. "To help the program implies doing something consciously. There is absolutely no indication whatsoever that the U.S. did anything to help the Iraqi biological-weapons or chemical-weapons program on a knowledgeable basis."

As I said before, US military policy is:

Bio Weapons will NEVER be used. Even if used on us first.

The reason for this is there is no way to determine the effects on the environment. Why would we supply another country weapons that even we are afraid to use?

By the way, if you are interested the US military policy for Chemical Weapons is only if it has been used on us first.

I would like to leave you with a few more quotes I heard recently:

Quote 1:

I believe Bush wants this war for the oil, but the fact is the Iraqis cannot drink the oil. They need this war so they can sell it.

An Iraqi woman living in Germany

Quote 2:

The peace demonstrators are a little strange. They chant peace, but they are the ones that came up with "No Justice No Peace". Well, in Iraq there is no justice.

A New York Iraqi

Posted by: Paul Hart on March 10, 2003 09:39 AM

It is our paramount responsibility as Americans to speak out against our government. As we exercise our right to do this, we should not lose sight of the more important questions surrounding this current conflict, Why are we threatening to go to war and who is going to benefit? I believe that Americans are smart enough to realize that the answers provided by our Administration are merely smoke screens to cover up the real intentions of the, in Mr. Fletcher Prouty's words, "The Power Elite". We all have an obligation as American patriots to question and refute our governments position, and Mr. Kiesling has done this in the most eloquent fashion.

Posted by: Tim Hinchliff on March 10, 2003 09:43 AM

Sorry Vince, missed that second message from you about respecting the UN International Resolution.

Look at it this way:

If Saddam were to respect ANY of the UN International Resolutions placed on him, the US wouldn't have to disrespect this one.

The fact is Saddam will not give up anything unless his fears loosing his powerbase.

Right now he is giving stuff up, but only because we have close to 300,000 of the greatest army in the world knocking on his door.

How long can we keep our forces just sitting there waiting for him to "give a little here" and "give a little there".

I think about the families of those poor 300,000 troops. How long do you want them to wait? Wondering if their husbands, wives, sons and daughters are coming home. Staying another 6 months? A year?

What if Saddam gives 11 months of screwing around, then decides he has given enough? Then do we go to war? After our troops are tired?

No, our troops are ready now. Saddam MUST give up everything immediately or loose completely.

And to Ana, I would rather have 1 million US troops there and bring them all home, then go in with 100,000 and loose 5…

Posted by: Paul Hart on March 10, 2003 09:57 AM

Please Mr. Paul Hart,
Read the list Moderator's Admonishment to limit comments to this list to Mr. Kiesling's resignation. His letter has nothing to do with your postings and a careful reading will indicate to you that you are way off topic.
A more polished and intellectual presentation will be highly appreciated and also, take your emotion out of these discussions.

Posted by: Nuvala on March 10, 2003 03:13 PM

Bomb Saddam (aka hitler mother fucker)

Posted by: Elmer Fudd on March 10, 2003 10:21 PM

errrr Mr. Nuvala,

I think you would be best telling some of the others who have nothing meaning to say to stop posting.

Note that I am not talking about people who do not see eye to eye with me, just the people making the hate comments whether they are for or against the war.

If you would look back at my comments Mr. Nuvala you would see that I am doing nothing but arguing a point and until you made your last comments I wasn't emotion about it at all.

The fact is my postings bother Mr. Nuvala because I make sense and am able to counter many of the “falsities” that others post. I do this objectively and am willing to accept the truth if anyone can show me I am wrong. Your problem is that you can’t show that I am wrong, so you ask me to be silent.

While I may have drifted a little from the original topic, I think everyone agrees that the underlining reason Mr. Kiesling is resigning largely because the US disagrees with their allies about going to war with Iraq. I am doing nothing but showing the US reasoning is just and Mr. Kiesling has done nothing but succumbed to the current reactive stance against war. He has not thought this through and I believe when all is said and done he will be wishing he never sent that letter.

Sigh... Now I can go back to my happy self. :)

Posted by: Paul Hart on March 11, 2003 03:25 AM

I am elated to learn that there are still a few men of integrity out there who are prepared to risk it all for the sake of the truth.
We, the ordinary citizens, owe our thanks to Mr Kiesling and hope that there are others like him wrestling with the same issues.
It is amazing that his boss The Secretary has become such an accomplished liar in his short tenure as Secretary. He brought before the Security Council "evidence" such as:
1. the aluminium tubes for Iraq's nuclear program.
2. the purchase of uranium from Niger.
3. British intelligence's dossier on Iraq's WMD program.
All of the above were exposed as fabrication. Yet the lies continue. I guess some slaves just cannot get themselves to leave the comfort of their masters house & breathe some fresh air.

Posted by: A. Rahman on March 12, 2003 04:37 PM

In reply to J.L. Fleming's comment.

Colin Powell(with President's ok) has shown his sincere loyalty to the American public by releasing John Brady Kiesling detailed resignation letter. I would say,due to Kiesling's letter submission to the American public, Colin Powell should be given the title of a "true American hero".
What I would like to know is this. Where were the detailed resignation letters of five State Department officials who quit from 1992 to 1994, out of frustration with the Clinton administration's Balkans policy?

Posted by: John Lietle on March 12, 2003 06:49 PM

To Paul Hart:
Please do not jump to conclusions in behalf of others. We do NOT agree that Mr. Kiesling resigned because the US disagrees with their Allies. He is resigning because he thinks Mr. Bush and supporters are wrong (as do many of us). You are not showing that US reasoning is just, you are only repeating what the media have been trying to sell.
And don’t think because we are pacifists we are dumb. We know what’s at stake. We know it is not an easy situation and we know Saddam is not free of guilt. All we are saying is Bush has not been able to show this justifies the death of thousands of innocent civilians in the short term and only generates more threat for the future, as Mr Kiesling states: “Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security.”
None of the UN members has ever said Hussein has the option of not disarming. But trying to get him to do so without killing more civilians seems a better option, even if it takes a year. Like you said in an earlier letter: I would rather have the 100,000 tired troops back intact than risk the life of even one.
Before I close: have you read the letter of resignation of JOHN H. BROWN? He is very clear in the points the Bush administration has NOT been able to show…especially the fourth one.
We will never be able to convince you that you are wrong because you do not want to be convinced, can you at least try to see our point of view?

Posted by: Ana on March 13, 2003 12:12 PM

Bravo, bravo, bravo....I am French and for once proud to be one....thank you too, since I was starting to feel frustrated, sad, and hopeless, and then FINALLY somebody had the guts to speak out and tell things just the way they are, not trying to manipulate Americans' opinions. I have Been living in The Us for 4 years and since Bush has been elected, I have seen this beautiful country go from "country of freedom" to "country where you have to kill to get freedom.."...I love America, have been loving it since I was a kid, always wanted to be part of the American Dream, and yet, I still haven't found it....I am seriously thinking of going back to France because I am scared. I know it might sound silly, but I am, and anxious too. What is left for me here? Probably half of the Americans hate me because I am French even though they don't know me because One Psycho Man has decided they should do so. Please, keep your eyes open, learn what is exactly going on, and do not see us as enemies just because we don't agree with a One Psycho Man's madness.....

Posted by: Aurelie on March 13, 2003 04:52 PM

I have spent almost 40 Years in Hungary. It wasn't the worst what can happen to anybody. But I still remember the way that the communist leaders made their case. I remember how they spread their arguments, and what kind of arguments they used. I hated them, one of the dirty trick what they used against me, was to say that I was gay. Here since I have a better English I just love to be. But guess what: I start to feel that the old methods of the communist have roots here to. I am afraid of that. I smell it, I see it in the dark, I have the eights sense to know if it is present in the air. I see it in person’s eyes, habits, and gestures.
I come here to experience the freedom, what is still very much alive here and well. But it is well, because this land and nation have the greatness to say NO like Mr. Kiesling. I am not Arab, not Muslim, not even French, but the argument against them is almost the same like the communist use to say about the Coca Cola, the Blue Jeans.
For me not even necessary to understand the speaker speech, it is enough to see how he acts, how he smell…etc. I can tell, you if he is honest and if he isn’t. I was the right extremist in my family. But slowly I had to change my view. For a European the Clintons sex scandals were the first kick I have received. See above the reason, beyond the fact that in my country the nudity not as rear as here. Second the HOT talk 560 and alike were the same like the radio sets only program in Russia. The final blow is Mr. President Bush. First I wished to see everything in such a simple way as he does it, because otherwise I just can’t comprehend all of my surroundings. But some of his priorities defer from my sets of priorities. And now I see that I am either with him or against him. But I come to the USA not in to the land of Mr. Bush.
I want to be here, where the man like Mr. Kiesling does not have to disappear in Gulags just because they do not agree with the boss. Even as I heard He tried to iron out the differences.
I have to say congratulation, for the founding fathers of this country to make it almost impossible, to grab the power by more political extremist, than those who we see at the stirring while right now.
This leadership has its mission to, and lots of them respectable. But when they think their mission the only right mission and in 100 percent, at the same moment they turn to be a dictatorship. And the dictator develops different smell, taste, gestures, and mimics. Most of the world population has no understandings of Mr. Bush words, but they sense the smell, the style, the walk, the accent, the gestures, and they know something fishy. Why because they have experience whit this style. The Greeks have good nose to, so the Turks. They still like to to hate each other a little bit like the French- English –Germans teasing each other on the soccer field and arenas to. (Usual limit is set to 5 broken bones).
By my view Mr. Bush and his party made a major mistake when they used the Sex scandal, from that point the conservative politicians small bad in Europe. It made almost impossible to talk to any flamboyant politicians in Europe. It was the most expansive and stupidest way to win back the right to drive. It is the loser’s argument.
No wonder Mr. Kiesling gives it up. He knows no one listen to him, no one likes his smell, and no one trusts him as a representative of the USA. It is still not the end for a politician but when the government what sends him does not listen. It is the end. No reason to be a representative anymore. This government oversells the agendas, or don’t sell at all. You not supposed to win every game, and you can’t leave the table if you don’t win. See ICC, environment…etc.

Posted by: Mike the Hungarian on March 13, 2003 06:41 PM

Thank You Ana!

That was great! Finally "discussing" something with someone who seems to know what she is talking about! :)

We might have different opinions, but at least it seems you keep informed.

Now as to my point;

As I have said before, it doesn't matter to me if Saddam disarms or not. He should end up in front of The Hague.

Since you already seem to know that Saddam is an evil person but feel it is "okay" (I guess since you are not the one that has to suffer under him.) I would like to make another point.

Do any of you realize that Saddam has his forces attacking the U.S. and British forces almost every day?

At the request of the UN we patrol the no-fly zone for what, four or five years now? This is necessary to keep Saddam from trying to wipe out the 3,5 million Khurds in the north and millions of Shiite Muslims in the south.

That's right folks, the US and Britain have done all the work (and risked their lives) to hold this guy down and when we want to end it the French (who have been selling the weapons to use against us) say no.

Just this year Saddam has fired on our pilots 110 times. This has become so common that the U.S. public just ignores it.

Why is it that he is allowed to attack us and nobody says anything?

What happens when he gets in a lucky shot and kills one of our people? Is it okay to then go and take him out? Is that what we need? Must we wait for another tragedy like 9/11 before we do something?

For those of you who do not believe that he is helping terrorists, HE IS ADMITTED TO PAYING $10,000 TO THE FAMILIES OF ANY HUMAN BOMBS AGAINST ISRAEL. If that doesn't say he supports terrorism, than what does?

The fact of the matter is folks, there are evil people out there. Saddam will just keep killing if we do not stop him.

I suggest this....

I say move French troops in there to protect the 3,5 MILLION Khurds. While we are at it, you can move the German troops south and they can protect the MILLIONS of Shiite Muslims we are protecting. Drop about 30,000 Russian troops in Kuwait and let them guard the border.

Tell the UN SCREW YOU! We are moving out. Unless you want a few million dead on your hands I guess you better get some damn troops over there quick.

I am tired of the US doing all the work. President Bush should let the UN know they have a choice, either fix the problem IMMEDIEATELY or the US is out and WE ARE NOT COMING BACK!

Sorry folks, but I work with the military. I've been seeing for years the worry in the eyes of our soldier’s wives and children every time word comes down that someone is going to Turkey or Kuwait.


Now when we want to end it we have to put up with this crap.

Posted by: Paul Hart on March 14, 2003 07:31 AM

I just saw Mr. Kiesling interviewed by Bill Moyers. What a wonderful man! He is my idea of a true patriot, a Thomas Paine for our times. He said that as his farewell to Greece, he went to the temple of the goddess Nemesis to pray for the future of America. I hope, for all our sakes, that she heard his plea.

Posted by: Rose on March 15, 2003 03:30 AM

In a world increasingly dedicated to simplistic
slogans and brainless diatribe, I would like to thank Mr. Kiesling for his letter and his courage. As a tribute to the one liners, may I offer this bumper-sticker for the rabid warmongers out there: "My Maniac Can Whip Your Maniac."

Posted by: DJohnson on March 15, 2003 05:27 PM

I'm sorry; I just don't understand you all.

President Bush is just standing up for what he believes in.

I think maybe some of you should investigate the type of person he is. Maybe if you could understand why the president is doing this it wouldn't be so hard on you.

Reports are still coming in about the French selling UN banned supplies to Iraq.

I saw an interview today with the "northern Iraq" foreign diplomat. Now these are his tales, so there is no real way to verify them, but...

1. He pointed out an area that Saddam calls a "settlement". He says it is just another word for concentration camp and they estimate that as many as 180,000 people could have died there.

2. He mentioned another town, a few years ago Saddams soldiers came and took all the men away. None have been heard from since.

I'm sorry folks, Pacifism didn't work with Hitler and I really don't think it will work here. There comes a time when someone has to say enough. That is what President Bush is doing.

He has the courage to say no matter how many people are against him; he will do everything in his power to stop this man from slaughtering any more. For that I applaud him.

Posted by: Paul Hart on March 15, 2003 06:33 PM

I was very moved by John Kiesling's responses to Bill Moyers, and with Paul Hart, above, agree he is a Tom Paine for our times.

Posted by: Joe Klimberg on March 15, 2003 06:59 PM

I have posted my comments for today's teach-in at Saginaw Valley State University on my website at http://www.svsu.edu/~kerman/teach-in, in order to avoid making a very long post here. After noting the Bush Administration's discarding of international law by attacking a country that does not by any reasonable standard threaten American security, I concentrate on the domestic political context that threatens to destroy civil liberties at the very moment when they are most important, and the use of the war to distract the U.S. population from the larger issues of the legal, ecological and economic situation being created by the Bush administration.

Posted by: Judith Kerman on March 20, 2003 09:52 AM

Bush might be standing up for what he believes in, but he is not just any citizen of the world. He is the leader of the most powerfully armed nation of the world, and that in itself is a HUGE responsibility that has tremendous consequences.
Bush was elected president, not emperor. It DOES matter how many people are against him. The last time I checked this was a democracy. He has NEVER had the majority of Americans supporting him for a war against UN consensus.
Have YOU investigated the type of person he is? Neither his background as a student, as a business-man nor as a politician separate him as an outstanding citizen or statesman. And all this war talk without dialogue just proves he is not capable of holding the position he has. He is putting the lives of ALL Americans at risk, because this war will only foster more hatred against Americans for future generations. Americans are already the target of terrorist attacks because of the anti-American feelings around the world. This anti American feeling did not appear out of thin air and is not because the world is jealous of Americans. It is because of countless occasions in the past where the US has abused it’s power against other nations (as is doing again now. For examples: see US supported military dictators in Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Congo, Korea, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Dominican Republic and Uruguay.)
As it might be true, like you say, that France is selling “UN banned supplies” to Iraq, these supplies can be as innocuous as medicines. Have you checked the terms of the UN embargo? Don’t jump to conclusions thinking FOR SURE they are weapons.
Another thing: it sounds as if you were not aware that it was the US that started this whole mess when the US thought supporting Hussein and Bin Laden would be advantageous to do so. Well, it backfired!! We are dealing here with people of very different cultural backgrounds that do not adhere to the same principles and have their own little agendas. What makes you think this time it’s going to be different?
If stopping the slaughter of any more people were at all in the minds of Bush and accomplices, why are they going to bomb and slaughter them? Doesn’t make sense.
One last thing (I promise) Somebody has to stop the vicious cycle of solving disputes with war. I say let it be the biggest man.

Posted by: Ana on March 20, 2003 04:39 PM

Perhaps I am remiss in my understanding of American intervention into the global sphere to become a major voice, now the dominant speaker of the direction of the world politic, but a league of nations, a common, as opposed to a colonial Europe at war, was to compose a representational court or parliament of nation states and was a pearl of the Wilson Doctrine. The direction, the course of the future has been passed, or seized upon by/to the US, by whatever means one may conclude by being, of course with caveat, informed. I may applaud the actions of Kiesling for opposing the use of violence as a political gesture, but I am reluctant to be resigned to the idea that his action was an act of altruism and not an act of self-interest. The individual today is a sound bite at best, a Warholian transient remembrance of things now, a Wolf Blitzer, a snapshot of the NOW. Unfortunately, the acceleration of American foreign policy may be compared to the ability of a BMW, Jaguar, Nissan, Lamborghini, Renault etc. to accelerate from zero to sixty, which the rest of the world may not be able to digest due to motion sickness, but the future is indeed in motion. The intolerance to violence, the distaste at the sight of the bloated dead may give us pause, but if you could only dig underfoot at the skeleton of your history, the saga of murder and love, subjugation and freedom, the thing that lay beneath the city of Baghdad, you may see the cycle of violence, but you will never see that the end of it is by peace movements. Peace is a loud silence. Opposition to war is by arms in the form of well tipped pens, sentient characters, a calligraphy of the volcano. Marx is a prelude, Faulkner concludes.

Posted by: Thomas Mediodia on March 21, 2003 01:25 AM

Another foreign service officer resigns.

Posted by: Anon on March 21, 2003 07:14 PM

Hi Ana,

First I do think President Bush understands the scope of his responsibilities. He has proven time and again so far that his policies work. If you want to get into any specifics, please feel free to point out where you think he has failed.

Second, I always check http://www.gallup.com/ At the time the war started, 55% of Americans felt we should start the war even without UN support. That number jumped almost to 90% with UN support.

Also, 68% of Americans felt President Bush did a good job diplomatically in regards to Iraq, but 75% of Americans felt the UN failed in the Iraqi crisis. Lastly, only 37% of Americans had a favorable opinion of the UN at that time. Down from 58% just a year earlier.

As far as his time as a student? Come on.... I was pretty rowdy as a student also. It never fails to amaze me how we can accept how Clinton acted IN THE WHITE HOUSE, but demean President Bush because of his college days.

As far as the US supporting other dictators, I think you should look at the dictators themselves. We obviously cannot fix all the problems. We do not have the power (especially without the UN) to make everyone free. But if a dictator is cruel to his people, if he is a danger to his neighbors, then yes... I feel the international community has a duty to remove him from power.

Now, as far as the opinion that the US started this... Yes, we helped Saddam. Yes, we gave him conventional weapons. I reject claims that we gave Biological, and question that possibility that we may have given him Chemical.

But let's say that the "evil" America did that. We gave Saddam all these nasty weapons to kill his neighbors and his own people...

Does that make it right?

And if it doesn't (as I believe we all agree), shouldn't we fix the problem we created?

If you train a dog to be an attack dog and he attacks you, what do you do?

As far as the terrorists... Not following through with what is right just means they have won. We capitulate because we are afraid of reprisals? That is not the way to deal with them.

I really wish we could stop solving problems with war. The fact is until the people that are willing to use force on the general population are stopped, we will have to revert to war to stop them.

Let me say something else, I reject this notion that the US military "slaughter's" anyone. When I was in the military, which wasn't that long ago, we were trained to preserve human life at all cost. Including enemy soldiers! Yes, in a bombing campaign innocent life can be lost, but far more Iraqis would have died to Saddam thugs than will be lost in this war.

When I was in the military, I gave up almost two years of my life in Bosnia and Kosovo. Two years away from my family and friends for countries and people that I had never even heard of before. I never regretted a minute of it.

I didn’t get to these countries until just after the wars had ended. Remember that we went into these conflicts to stop the repression of the people. The things I saw there will be with me forever. We must accept the fact that they have no value for human life. That is why I feel we have a DUTY to stop these mad men wherever they should appear.

Posted by: Paul Hart on March 22, 2003 02:55 AM

Bravo Mr.Kiesling! I hope your brave action would encourage many more intelligent Americans to stand up for what America had stood for. I cannot help but be thankful that this president and his closest administrators were not in power during the Cold War. I am certain that this president would have pushed the "nuke button" at the first instance without hesitation.

Posted by: Soma Hewa on March 22, 2003 12:31 PM

I see more shake-ups coming as more folks realize that what's listed on the PNAC's website, www.newamericancentury.org will come to pass - more conflicts in the Middle East and Southern Asia, where the US decides the fate of more nations. When folks voted for Bush Jr. did they know they were voting for the PNAC's foreign policy too? It feels like a bait and switch to an extent, they got more than they bargained for. Halliburton for president in 2004 is next. This country is led by a group of ignorant, neoconservatives who are lining their pockets via their policial position. How do PNAC members: Jeb Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and don't forget the all-wise Dan Quayle, and the like sleep at night?

They called for Clinton's impeachment over a blow-job, I think this b.s. qualifies Bush Jr.

This war is not about 9/11, how dare the current administration invoke 9/11 in the name of a war the PNAC has been pushing for since 1997? This war is about power and greed. It has nothing to do w/ crazy leaders who need to be put in line......oh, well it does, our own crazy leaders need to be put in line.

Every family of a soldier should be very upset that thier loved ones are fighting in Iraq so that we can drive around SUV's, and that Lockheed Martin, and Halliburton can make our politicians and themselves rich.

I wish the country wasn't so quick to give up on fighting the so-called results of the last election. Remember, Jeb is part of the PNAC. Makes you wonder all over again.

As Moore said...it's was a phony election, he's a phony president. Let's hope he doesn't do too much damage before 2004.....and hope the American people wake up in time to vote.

Posted by: Lenore on March 27, 2003 05:21 PM

Amen, sister!

Posted by: Rose on April 1, 2003 03:47 AM

thank you mr. kieslng. you speak for those of us who don't have a powerful voice.

Posted by: monica shimkus on April 4, 2003 07:20 AM

Can anyone suggest a course of action to show the President how many people share Mr. Kiesling's concerns?

I have written the President, but I fear the message gets lost and the administration chooses to disregard what it does not want to hear.

Posted by: Kathleen McKenzie on April 26, 2003 11:03 AM

Simply put, Mr. Kiesling is a hero for what he did and the impact he made. With his letter having traveled world wide and translated into countless languages, he has become the preverbal voice of American virtue and international compassion. He ushers this title with gentle humility, but deserves it like no other. Like some mentioned earlier, I, too, hope he runs for the presidency one day because I would vote for him in half a heartbeat.

I have always loved my country, always will, and would live nowhere else. I have a deep respect for our ideals, principles, history and value system. Still, some ignorantly do not have as much respect for our international colleagues, selfishly turning a deft ear to their cries and comments, and pursuing goals of greed and self-serving ambition. I look to the day when someone like him takes office and removes our current monarchy from its throne, because only when those with the merit, integrity, legitimacy and intelligence of Mr. Kiesling stand to lead our great nation, will we finally be able to say that we are also proud of our country with as much confidence.

Posted by: Jason on April 26, 2003 06:27 PM

"Why of course the people don't want war. . .
That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country
who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the
people along, whether it is a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a
parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people
can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All
you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the
peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.
It works the same in any country."

- Hermann Goering
Nazi SS Officer, on or about 18 April 1946
Nuremberg War Crimes Trial

Posted by: cgshort on April 28, 2003 08:32 PM

Clarification: Goering was the Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe and was Hitler's designated successor. Sorry for the mis-classification.

Posted by: cgshort on April 28, 2003 10:29 PM

Thank you for making a point for us in protesting this unnecessary, illegal, immoral war based on lies. It is sad that this administration has lost the respect of the world for our country. It was disgraceful of Colin Powell to get up before the Security Council and TV cameras and act as the administration's official liar. He should have had the courage and integrity to resign.

Posted by: Reginald Gagnon on May 27, 2003 10:25 PM

Being able to understand that basic idea opens up a vast amount of power that can be used and abused, and we're going to look at a few of the better ways to deal with it in this article.

Posted by: Alan on January 18, 2004 08:40 PM

When a variable is finished with it's work, it does not go into retirement, and it is never mentioned again. Variables simply cease to exist, and the thirty-two bits of data that they held is released, so that some other variable may later use them.

Posted by: Marmaduke on January 18, 2004 08:41 PM

When Batman went home at the end of a night spent fighting crime, he put on a suit and tie and became Bruce Wayne. When Clark Kent saw a news story getting too hot, a phone booth hid his change into Superman. When you're programming, all the variables you juggle around are doing similar tricks as they present one face to you and a totally different one to the machine.

Posted by: Silvester on January 18, 2004 08:41 PM

But some variables are immortal. These variables are declared outside of blocks, outside of functions. Since they don't have a block to exist in they are called global variables (as opposed to local variables), because they exist in all blocks, everywhere, and they never go out of scope. Although powerful, these kinds of variables are generally frowned upon because they encourage bad program design.

Posted by: Bridget on January 18, 2004 08:42 PM

That gives us a pretty good starting point to understand a lot more about variables, and that's what we'll be examining next lesson. Those new variable types I promised last lesson will finally make an appearance, and we'll examine a few concepts that we'll use to organize our data into more meaningful structures, a sort of precursor to the objects that Cocoa works with. And we'll delve a little bit more into the fun things we can do by looking at those ever-present bits in a few new ways.

Posted by: Dionise on January 18, 2004 08:42 PM