US diplomat Mary Wright, deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, submitted her letter of resignation last week, marking the third time a veteran US Foreign Service official has stepped down in protest of the Bush administration’s policy on Iraq. Citing additional disagreements with US policies in North Korea and the Middle East, Wright–in a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell–wrote, “I believe the Administration’s policies are making the world a more dangerous, not a safer, place. I feel obligated morally and professionally to set out my very deep and firm concerns on these policies and to resign from government service as I cannot defend or implement them.”
Wright’s departure was preceded by resignations from John Brady Kiesling, political counselor at the US Embassy in Athens, in February and John H. Brown, former cultural attach at the US Embassy in Moscow, earlier this month. Kiesling in his letter to Powell, published in the New York Times asserted, “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…” Similarly, Brown charged, “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.”
Meanwhile, anti-war protests are continuing throughout the world. The Associated Press reported that thousands participated in demonstrations in Jordan, Iran, Egypt, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and South Korea.