26 senior US diplomats and military officials condemn Bush

Many were appointed by Reagan and Bush Senior. Does this tell us something? This is extremely unusual.

A group of 26 former senior diplomats and military officials, several appointed to key positions by Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, plans to issue a joint statement this week arguing that President George W. Bush has damaged America’s national security and should be defeated in November.

The group, which calls itself Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, will explicitly condemn Bush’s foreign policy, according to several of those who signed the document.

“It is clear that the statement calls for the defeat of the administration,” said William C. Harrop, the ambassador to Israel under President Bush’s father and one of the group’s principal organizers.

Those signing the document, which will be released in Washington on Wednesday, include 20 former U.S. ambassadors, appointed by presidents of both parties, to countries including Israel, the former Soviet Union and Saudi Arabia.

Others are senior State Department officials from the Carter, Reagan and Clinton administrations and former military leaders, including retired Marine Gen. Joseph P. Hoar, the former commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East under President Bush’s father. Hoar is a prominent critic of the war in Iraq.

Some of those signing the document — such as Hoar and former Air Force Chief of Staff Merrill A. McPeak — have identified themselves as supporters of Sen. John F. Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. But most have not endorsed any candidate, members of the group said.

It is unusual for so many former high-level military officials and career diplomats to issue such an overtly political message during a presidential campaign.

This is simply unprecedented. These are not whiny liberals or people pushing a book or getting revenge. This represents the epitome of the concerned citizen. It is part of a groundswell of dissatisfaction among the military and among national security experts — even those who, in normal times, would almost certainly side with the Republicans.

It’s definitely the most interesting time I’ve ever seen in America’s political history. It’s also definitely time for a big change.

The Discussion: 2 Comments

That’s a total of 4 former military listed as signatories. This you call a groundswell? LOL. You need to get out amongst active duty troops and find out how they feel about their CINC, especially compared to the last one. Try again hotshot.

June 13, 2004 @ 12:05 pm | Comment

Have you seen how the Centcomm generals have responded to Bush’s war in Iraq? Did you see General Zinni testifying in front of Congress? Have you been reading the criticisms of former Navy Secretary under Reagan (forget his name right ow) blasting Bush’s Iraq policy as a total failure? And I can get you many, many, many more examples of military unease with Shrub.

My precisie phrase was, “It is part of a groundswell of dissatisfaction” — part. In other words, 4 former high-ranking military names — which is a lot — have been added to the already established groundswell against Bush. Shrug it off all you want, but it’s never been seen before in this country.

June 13, 2004 @ 12:35 pm | Comment

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