[lit-ideas] Time for a Change

  • From: "Andreas Ramos" <andreas@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Lit-Ideas" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 21:39:11 -0700

The undersigned have held positions of responsibility for the planning and 
execution of
American foreign and defense policy. Collectively, we have served every 
president since
Harry S. Truman. Some of us are Democrats, some are Republicans or 
Independents, many voted
for George W. Bush. But we all believe that current Administration policies 
have failed in
the primary responsibilities of preserving national security and providing 
world leadership.
Serious issues are at stake. We need a change.

From the outset, President George W. Bush adopted an overbearing approach to 
America's role
in the world, relying upon military might and righteousness, insensitive to the 
concerns of
traditional friends and allies, and disdainful of the United Nations. Instead 
of building
upon America's great economic and moral strength to lead other nations in a 
campaign to address the causes of terrorism and to stifle its resources, the 
motivated more by ideology than by reasoned analysis, struck out on its own. It 
led the
United States into an ill-planned and costly war from which exit is uncertain. 
It justified
the invasion of Iraq by manipulation of uncertain intelligence about weapons of 
destruction, and by a cynical campaign to persuade the public that Saddam 
Hussein was linked
to Al Qaeda and the attacks of September 11. The evidence did not support this 

Our security has been weakened. While American airmen and women, marines, 
soldiers and
sailors have performed gallantly, our armed forces were not prepared for 
military occupation
and nation building. Public opinion polls throughout the world report hostility 
toward us.
Muslim youth are turning to anti-American terrorism. Never in the two and a 
centuries of our history has the United States been so isolated among the 
nations, so
broadly feared and distrusted. No loyal American would question our ultimate 
right to act
alone in our national interest; but responsible leadership would not turn to 
military action before diplomacy had been thoroughly explored.

The United States suffers from close identification with autocratic regimes in 
the Muslim
world, and from the perception of unquestioning support for the policies and 
actions of the
present Israeli Government. To enhance credibility with Islamic peoples we must 
courageous, energetic and balanced efforts to establish peace between Israelis 
Palestinians, and policies that encourage responsible democratic reforms.

We face profound challenges in the 21st Century: proliferation of weapons of 
destruction, unequal distribution of wealth and the fruits of globalization, 
environmental degradation, population growth in the developing world, HIV/AIDS, 
ethnic and
religious confrontations. Such problems can not be resolved by military force, 
nor by the
sole remaining superpower alone; they demand patient, coordinated global effort 
under the
leadership of the United States.

The Bush Administration has shown that it does not grasp these circumstances of 
the new era,
and is not able to rise to the responsibilities of world leadership in either 
style or
substance. It is time for a change.

 The Honorable Avis T. Bohlen
Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, 1999
Ambassador to Bulgaria, 1996
District of Columbia

  Admiral William J. Crowe, USN, Ret.
Chairman, President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Committee, 1993
Ambassador to the Court of Saint James, 1993
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1985
Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Command

  The Honorable Jeffrey S. Davidow
Ambassador to Mexico, 1998
Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, 1996
Ambassador to Venezuela, 1993
Ambassador to Zambia, 1988

  The Honorable William A. DePree
Ambassador to Bangladesh, 1987
Director of State Department Management Operations, 1983
Ambassador to Mozambique, 1976

  The Honorable Donald B. Easum
Ambassador to Nigeria, 1975
Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, 1974
Ambassador to Upper Volta, 1971

  The Honorable Charles W. Freeman, Jr.
Assistant Secretary of Defense, International Security Affairs, 1993
Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 1989

  The Honorable William C. Harrop
Ambassador to Israel, 1991
Ambassador to Zaire, 1987
Inspector General of the State Department and Foreign Service, 1983
Ambassador to Kenya and Seychelles, 1980
Ambassador to Guinea, 1975

  The Honorable Arthur A. Hartman
Ambassador to the Soviet Union, 1981
Ambassador to France, 1977
Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, 1973
New Jersey

  General Joseph P. Hoar, USMC, Ret.
Commander in Chief, United States Central Command, 1991
Deputy Chief of Staff, Marine Corps, 1990
Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, 1987

  The Honorable H. Allen Holmes
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, 1993
Ambassador at Large for Burdensharing, 1989
Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs, 1986
Ambassador to Portugal, 1982

  The Honorable Robert V. Keeley
Ambassador to Greece, 1985
Ambassador to Zimbabwe, 1980
Ambassador to Mauritius, 1976

  The Honorable Samuel W. Lewis
Director of State Department Policy and Planning, 1993
Ambassador to Israel, 1977
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, 1975

  The Honorable Princeton N. Lyman
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, 1997
Ambassador to South Africa, 1992
Director, Bureau of Refugee Programs, 1989
Ambassador to Nigeria, 1986

  The Honorable Jack F. Matlock, Jr.
Ambassador to the Soviet Union, 1987
Director for European and Soviet Affairs, National Security Council, 1983
Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, 1981

  The Honorable Donald F. McHenry
Ambassador and U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, 1979

  General Merrill A. (Tony) McPeak, USAF, Ret.
Chief of Staff, United States Air Force, 1990
Commander in Chief, Pacific Air Forces, 1988
Commander, 12th Air Force and U.S. Southern Command Air Forces, 1987

  The Honorable George E. Moose
Representative, United Nations European Office, 1997
Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, 1993
Ambassador to Senegal, 1988
Director, State Department Bureau of Management Operations, 1987
Ambassador to Benin, 1983

  The Honorable David D. Newsom
Secretary of State ad interim, 1981
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, 1978
Ambassador to the Philippines, 1977
Ambassador to Indonesia, 1973
Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, 1969
Ambassador to Libya, 1965

  The Honorable Phyllis E. Oakley
Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, 1997
Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, 1994

  The Honorable Robert Oakley
Special Envoy for Somalia, 1992
Ambassador to Pakistan, 1988
Ambassador to Somalia.1982
Ambassador to Zaire, 1979

  The Honorable James D. Phillips
Diplomat-in-Residence, the Carter Center of Emory University, 1994
Ambassador to the Republic of Congo, 1990
Ambassador to Burundi, 1986

  The Honorable John E. Reinhardt
Director of the United States Information Agency, 1977
Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, 1975
Ambassador to Nigeria, 1971

  General William Y. Smith, USAF, Ret.
Chief of Staff for Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, 1979
Assistant to the Chairman, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1975
Director of National Security Affairs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of 
Defense for
International Security Affairs, 1974

  The Honorable Ronald I. Spiers
Under Secretary General of the United Nations for Political Affairs, 1989
Under Secretary of State for Management, 1983
Ambassador to Pakistan, 1981
Director, State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, 1980
Ambassador to Turkey, 1977
Ambassador to The Bahamas, 1973
Director, State Department Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs, 1969

  The Honorable Michael E. Sterner
Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, 1974
New York

  Admiral Stansfield Turner, USN, Ret.
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, 1977
Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe (NATO), 1975
Commander, U.S. Second Fleet, 1974

  The Honorable Alexander F. Watson
Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, 1993
Ambassador to Brazil, 1992
Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, 1989
Ambassador to Peru, 1986

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