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Iraq, 10 Years Later: Why Bush Did Wrong

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Letter of Resignation by John H. Brown, Foreign Service officer (posted ten years ago on Common Dreams)

To: Secretary of State Colin Powell

March 10, 2003

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I am joining my colleague John Brady Kiesling in submitting my resignation from the Foreign Service (effective immediately) because I cannot in good conscience support President Bush's war plans against Iraq.

The president has failed:

--To explain clearly why our brave men and women in uniform should be ready to sacrifice their lives in a war on Iraq at this time;

--To lay out the full ramifications of this war, including the extent of innocent civilian casualties;

--To specify the economic costs of the war for ordinary Americans;

--To clarify how the war would help rid the world of terror;

--To take international public opinion against the war into serious consideration.

Throughout the globe the United States is becoming associated with the unjustified use of force. The president's disregard for views in other nations, borne out by his neglect of public diplomacy, is giving birth to an anti-American century.

I joined the Foreign Service because I love our country. Respectfully, Mr. Secretary, I am now bringing this calling to a close, with a heavy heart but for the same reason that I embraced it.

Sincerely,

John H. Brown
Foreign Service Officer

Note: No reply was ever received to this missive.

John H. Brown, a Princeton PhD, joined the Foreign Service in 1981 and has served in London, Prague, Krakow, Kiev, Belgrade and, most recently, Moscow.

A senior member of the Foreign Service since 1997, he has focused his diplomatic work on press and cultural affairs. Under a State Department program, he has, up to now, been an Associate at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, where he was assigned in August 2001.