T Nation

Former Diplomats Call for Bush Ouster


This is a pretty interesting article. Most interesting is that this group is made up of diplomats who are republicans and democrats, and they are unified against the foreign policy of the president. Many of them had even originally endorsed the Bush campaign in the last election. It is no longer a matter of left versus right... This is just a matter of a very stupid president who has finally been figured out. It is like the world is finally waking up from a surreal dream.

Former diplomats call for Bush ouster
Foreign policy damages nation, group says
From Paul Courson

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration's foreign policy in Iraq and elsewhere has been a "disaster," and President Bush should not be re-elected, a group of former diplomats and military leaders say in a newly released statement.

The group, called Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, held a news conference Wednesday to explain why its members feel "the need for a major change in the direction of our foreign policy," and underscore that they believe their concerns are bipartisan.

A statement from the group notes its more than two dozen members include Democrats and Republicans who have "served every president since Harry S. Truman."

They contend Bush's foreign policy has failed at "preserving national security and providing world leadership."

Members expressing their opposition in the statement are former senior diplomatic, national security and military officials.

In opening remarks, spokeswoman Phyllis Oakley said international respect for the United States is now "crumbling under an administration blinded by ideology and a callous indifference to the realities of the world around it."

Oakley was an assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research in the Clinton administration.

Charles Freeman, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said the Bush administration has yet to articulate how it plans to depart from Iraq, and said the situation is "complicated by insults to our allies, the indifference to the views of partners in the region, and the general disdain for the United Nations and international organizations that the administration still finds difficult to conceal."

Freeman, a career diplomat, served both Republican and Democratic administrations.

At a Wednesday news conference, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher rejected the notion the United States has acted without consulting its allies.

"It's not true. We went to the United Nations on Iraq. We went to the United Nations on terrorism and 9/11. We've had four unanimous U.N. resolutions since the end of the war," he responded.

Although the group expressed alarm about the sidetracked Middle East "road map to peace" between Palestinians and Israelis, it was the U.S. handling of Iraq that helped crystallize the group's concern.

Retired Gen. Tony McPeak, a former U.S. Air Force chief of staff who had endorsed the Bush 2000 campaign, Wednesday said of Bush's Iraq policy, "Because of the Pollyannish assumptions that were made by the administration in going in there that ... bouquets would be thrown at us and so forth, we were totally unprepared for the post-combat occupation. And so you see here, unfolding in front of us, a terrible disaster."

McPeak headed the Air Force during the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

The group acknowledged it takes a partisan stand in opposing Bush, but, as member William Harrop put it, "When there is one prominent rival to President Bush in this election, obviously we think Senator Kerry should be elected, but we are not here to speak for him. We are here to say there must be a change."

Harrop, a career diplomat who retired in 1994 after 40 years of foreign service, held ambassadorships to Guinea, Kenya and the Seychelles, Zaire, and Israel.

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You could post an article saying every single person who has ever worked for the government wants Bush to go, and I'd still vote for him in this election.

When I go in to vote, my decision will be based 100% on who I feel in my heart will keep my kids and their kid's the safest. I don't care if Bush personally took a branding iron to some terrorist to get information out of him. I don't care if Bush pulled down his pants and took a dump on the podium in front of the U.N. security counsel. I don't care if every college professor in the world has their panties in a bunch.

I believe Bush will keep us safer than Kerry, and that's how I'll vote.


WELL SPOKEN DOOGIE!!! I feel the same way. The only thing that Kerry stands for is not liking President Bush.


AlphaMale 656,

I second that. Kerry has only one stance - I don't like Bush. It's the difference between being reactive and proactive, and the Democratic seems to only define itself as to what its stands against (Bush) rather than what it stands for (???).


Your formula is predictable. Find an article that slams Bush, post it, and then drop a statement or two calling Bush dumb or corrupt.

Do you actually have any thoughts of your own? Or are you just one more leftist cipher without an education?


I agree with ya'all! I feel the only thang that could put a hurtin on o'l Dubya would be maybe sum Kryptonite and I shore don't think them Bin laden folks dont have nona that green stuff yet! Do ya'll think he might were his cape for us during the debates?


Hey, gotta apologize for the imature sarcasm, but I'll tell you it seems like if Jesus himself came down from the heavens and told you Bush fucked up you all would be ready to nail him to the cross again.

You guys act like Bush has the biggest balls. It doesn't take balls to send young americans off to die even more so when you were not up for the challenge when you had your call to duty!

You think Kerry is so weak, when he had to put an enemy in the sights of his M-16 and pull the trigger he did it. You talk about all of the defense he voted against Cheney and others were against it much of it as well. It is much more complicated then just saying he was against defense. Being former military I can attest to a lot of the waist that goes on in the military that we the taxpayer pay for!


So since Kerry can kill a VC in wartime - he becomes worthy of the oval office? My brother in-law shot shit loads of Iraqis - trust me when I tell you, my brother in-law would not make a good president.

Where were you guys 8 years ago? Were you supporting Bob Dole, because of his service record? I don't think wag-the-dog Clinton had even a hint of military service on his record.

Unless you voted for Dole in 96, then all this miltary service crap you keep bragging about on Kerry's behalf is hypocritical.

I'd be willing to wager a bottle of grey goose you voted for Clinton in 96 in spite of his service record, or lack thereof.



"You guys act like Bush has the biggest balls."

He does, in fact. The best evidence of this is the level of dislike his enemies have for him. He is decisive, forthright, and unapologetic for doing what he thinks is right. You don't have to like his choices, but he's got guts.

"It doesn't take balls to send young americans off to die even more so when you were not up for the challenge when you had your call to duty!"

The same old crap about Bush not doing his duty. Notwithstanding that this charge is pure cant, it is amazing that the Left can't make up their mind on Vietnam. Used to be Vietnam was a wasted, immoral war and anyone who partipated in it was a murderer and a traitor to America. Now liberals whine about those who didn't serve in Vietnam as traitors to their duty to uphold national honor and put their life on the line for a worthy cause.

So, let's see - the Left pisses on you because you served in Vietnam, and they piss on you for not serving in Vietnam.

Such situational morality and spineless inconsistency in the name of politics has become the hallmark of the Democratic Party.

And more besides, Clinton, another non-server, sent troops into war. Do you have the same comments for him?

I think Kerry is weak not because he served in Vietnam - that's stupid. I think he is weak in his application, his philosophy. That has nothing to do with his service, which I admire him for.

There's tons of waste in defense, I'm sure, but I don't think Kerry is the man to clean it up.


Why, I ask you Why? do you support a man who was born just as much as Kerry with a silver spoon in his mouth and never had to work for anything in his life. I don't care which way you try and spin it. I am not coming from the angle of democrat or republican I'm saying as a man that Kerry had the character and guts to go in harms way. That coward in the whitehouse ducked it! There is no other way to call it! Thunderbolt If you are military or former military I don't see how you can support such cowardice! Fuck Clinton, Fuck anyone else Im talking about dubya!


As an Independent I find many of these responses to be quite troubling. I'm not bothered by the Kerry bashing as I hate the guy as well. He clearly must have left his balls in Vietnam because I've seen no evidence of him having any since his campaign started.
What bothers me is the blind allegiance to Bush and the intent to ignore any criticisms of his policies.
In light of the OVERWHELMING evidence proving that Bush has utterly failed in keeping us safe, what's it going to take for you guys to at least question the competence of Bush.
It is our duty as Americans to demand accountability for the actions of our leaders. Without and activist and critical public we have no democracy.
As far as I'm concerned Bush's negligence in allowing 9/11 to happen, his lies about WMDs in Iraq, his illegal appropriation of 700 million dollars from the war against Bin Laden in Afghanistan to the Iraq war, his cabinet's exposure of CIA agent Valerie Plaime, and the Bush administration's ongoing obstruction of the 9/11 investigations makes him not only unfit to be president but worthy of impeachment and incarceration.
I want to know, how has Bush kept us safe? Where's your proof?



"Why do you support a man who was born just as much as Kerry with a silver spoon in his mouth..."

I don't measure people by their birthright or whether they are born lucky. I measure their character, moral compass, sense of honor, and abilities - poor, rich, or in-between.

"That coward in the whitehouse ducked it!"

So, I ask again, do you have the same opinion of Clinton? Did you vote Republican back in 1996 because "that coward in the White House ducked his responsibility!"? Yes, it matters, because I'm calling you out on your consistency. Or lack thereof.

Bush served in the reserves. I don't have a problem with that. Would I have higher regard for him had he served in Vietnam? On some levels, yes, on some levels, it doesn't matter. His ability to govern is not solely predicated on military experience. If Bush had a distinguished military record, I'd like him more than I do now. As it is, I don't hold it against him any more than I held it against Bill Clinton. Clinton's service, or lack thereof, never really entered my evaluation of him.

So I'm talking about Dubya, too. Sounds like you just have an ax to grind - and that's ok, many members of the Left have drifted into an irrational wasteland despising Bush - but don't expect me to take you seriously.


So some diplomats don't like Dubbya, in fact they hate his guts. Like this is some huge suprise? What do diplomats do anyway- but talk and get along. Of course they aren't going to be exactly thrilled when the CIC decides that some people aren't worth talking to and getting along with. When it comes down to it, who are we supposed get along with and talk to about this anyway? France, Germany, and Russia seems to be the concensus. Of course their economic ties to Saddam put them in the perfect position to offer us expert, unbiased opinions. They can all, no doubt, tell us how to make a buck or two running food for oil scams too. I can't see why we don't bow down to them on all matters diplomatic, given the track record these three have in get along so nicely in the last century.

As for the UN, yes, indeed, the US should of course take directions from a majority of representatives of undemocratic nations that take our money and vote against us while badmouthing the good ole US of A. What member nation chairs the committee on human rights?

Oakley is of course aware that the UN approved of Clinton's bombing campaign from 15,000 feet that killed as many civilans as the Serbs did. Oh, wait a minute, the UN was left out of the loop.

As for the high-level brass, who knows what got up their ass. Rumsfeld is no political dummy and has been pushing for big, big changes in the DOD. That kind of thing apparently doesn't go over too well in the Pentagon, where they are still configured to whoop on the Rooskies with big ticket items (i.e. huge $$ and egos at stake).

It would be interesting indeed to compare this little blurb of groupthink to the same sort of prattle by the chattering classes concerning a recently deceased ex-President. They didn't exactly make the most accurate predictions about the Gipper. Then again that little piece about the "sidetracked" road to peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict does give them away. I mean, it was going so well before.....

For better or worse, Bush has taken us into uncharted territory with his response to 9/11. It involves a high degree of uncertainty. But then again, can we know that any other way would have been any less uncertain? I think that these people are in no small part angry because they would like some semblance of the pre 9/11 way of doing things, the one in which they held sway, to guide our policy. Only problem is that it didn't work all that well.


Y'know, you characters on the right argue on both sides of issues as well. You pull up the past instead of looking to the present or the future. You discount displays of honor or valor in candidates other than your particular hero.

You don't have to piss on democrats and try to label them as dispicable in order to have a reasonable discussion of issues.

Bush has some character flaws. He also has made some poor decisions. He's also harmed US relations with some other countries -- not that you folks on the right really care.

Given that Kerry has two medals other than his three purple hearts, you may want to consider that he's got more mettle than you give him credit for. Whether or not you agree with his stance on issues politically, he is one of those good men you routinely tell us to support. He fought in Vietnam and based on first hand experience decided that the war going on at that time was not something he was in favor of.

I would venture a guess you haven't looked closely enough to know his proposed policies to be able to have any idea whether or not he could keep the USA as safe as Bush could. Why not wait until the campaign really kicks off and we get some real debate and issues before declaring that you aren't even going to consider anything Kerry could say or propose?

The fact that bi-partisan groups are concerned about the direction of the country under Bush should make you sit back and try to figure out just what the hell they are talking about. Are old conservatives suddenly turning liberal? I don't think so. Not at that age and after so many years of play in the political game.

Why is your only argument always that Clinton did this or Clinton didn't do this. Who cares? Clinton isn't running for president. It is time to move on. The issues now are entirely between Bush and Kerry. Try to keep your eye on the ball.


I supported the Iraq War, but I'm not really a Bush supporter. He's done a great job of distancing himself from the conservatives who voted him in office. He panders to those on the left that hate him. He spends money like a drunken sailor. He listens to his stupidvisors far too much instead of going with what got him elected. He continues to ignore our borders as illegals slither across it.

With that said, we have not had a terrorist attack since 9-11. People can cry all they want about the Patriot Act, but it has helped our government tremendously in protecting the nation.

For those of you who skipped history class to get stoned, are probably not aware that during times of national crises, civil liberties are sometimes limited. Guess what? 9-11 was the beginning of our national crises. It happened during the War of Northern Aggression, WWI, and WWII.

I will not vote for Bush in the next election. However, if you folks on the Left or are undecided think Kerry is a better candidate, your wrong. I don't know where Kerry stands many issues. He flip-flops all the time. He's constantly hoo-hooing and ha-haaing with those on the far left. That scares me. If he had a more clear vision and was a bit more moderate, I'd vote for him. I think many folks would, even those on the Right, or far Right like myself.

Don't just vote anybody but Bush. Vote third party. Research and look for a candidate that fits your views. Our one-party system doesn't want us to do that.


Peroutka in 04



I never said that I thought Kerry is a bad guy. He seems like a fine guy, and I admire him for his service druing Vietnam. He isn't a bad human being.

But I don't think he is a good choice for President.

As for his flip-floppery, even Democratic strategists are worried that his lack of resolve on issues is losing him points.

As to the Clinton comparison, it's always important to see if someone is consistent in their views - or just opportunistic. Anyone who is foaming at the mouth about Bush's so-called draft dodging should have doing the same with Clinton.


Thank you for posting. I understand where you are coming from. I am not asking anyone to support Kerry, I could care less if someone likes Kerry or not. The only thing I wish is for people to open their eyes and see the current administration for what it is. Robo listed extremally valid points.

It makes me want to laugh and then hurl when I hear these people say Bush is the one keeping us so safe and that he has character. He wouldn't know character if it bit him in the ass. Yes, Clinton dodged Vietnam every fucking bit as much as dubya did! You all that want to keep your blinders on, keep em on cuz I tell you there are enough democrats and republicans and independents who can see the truth and are not gonna stand for anymore bullshit the likes of we have never seen before.


Some very good comments by the Bush supporters. One of the reasons that President Bush will be reelected is because of the fact that Americans see him as being able to protect them better than Sen. Kerry would.

I don't know if any of you Bush haters (I think there are 6 or 7 of you on the forum) have noticed the uptick in the economy. I think that will be ultimate death blow to a Kerry Presidency.

It will come down to a few key issues:

  1. Safety-Bush
  2. Economy-Bush
  3. Stands by his word-Bush

(Marrying into money-Kerry....sorry, I ahd to)



I missed your post earlier. A response.

"blind allegiance to Bush"

I don't see a blind allegiance. I do see an informed one, for the most part. Conservatives have their issues with Bush, but they largely support him.

"OVERWHELMING evidence proving that Bush has utterly failed"

Evidence? Is there anything to suggest that the attacks on 9-11 would not have occurred on Gore's watch? I invite you to provide proof of this claim, and since it is OVERWHELMING, it should be pretty easy, right?

"Bush's negligence in allowing 9/11 to happen"

Go for it. Explain to me how Bush failed and the system didn't.

"his lies about WMDs"

He didn't lie. Assuming WMDs are never found, there is a material difference between 'lying' and being mistaken. A doctor goes in to excise a tumor in your body, only to find out once he opens you up that the tumor is benign. Did your doctor 'lie' to you?

"appropriation of 700 million dollars from the war"

If it was illegal, I am confident you will provide me with the law tha was broken. Thanks in advance.

"worthy of impeachment and incarceration"

So why are Congressional Democrats demanding impeachment hearings and a crminal investigation? They know more than you - surely they have a better version of the credbile evidence that would impeach and incarcerate Bush? Surely?

"how has Bush kept us safe?"

There has been no terrorist attack in America since 9-11, there have been numerous arrests and prosecutions in the US, we have taken the war against Islamofascism into their world instead of ours, we have systematically removed two state regimes that support terror, we have withdrawn our military presence from Saudi Arabia, we have engineered such about-faces as Libya's admission of weapons development and Iran's invitation to have its nuclear facilities audited by international organizations...

...other than what I have listed - not much, Robobrewer.


Any positive changes to the economy should be attributed to Greenspan, not Bush.

I'm with Elk on this one.


I don't understand all the nonsense that Bush was draft-dodger. He was in the Air National Guard and was honorably discharged. He didn't dodge the draft anymore than a 19 year old male going to college to avoid being drafted.

That argument is old. Drop it.


Peroutka in 04