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Commentary :: International
BTL:Former Diplomats and Generals Publicly Condemn Bush Foreign Policy
26 Jun 2004
Interview with Robert Oakley, career U.S. diplomat, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Former Diplomats and Generals Publicly Condemn Bush Foreign Policy

Interview with Robert Oakley, career U.S. diplomat, conducted by Scott Harris

In April, 52 former senior British diplomats signed a letter protesting Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George Bush's handling of both the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the occupation of Iraq. Now a group of 27 former U.S. diplomats and military commanders have endorsed a similar statement condemning White House policies in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East.

The group calling itself Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change asserts that U.S. security has been weakened by current administration policies by prosecuting an ill-planned and costly war in Iraq justified by the manipulation of uncertain intelligence. The signers also express concern about growing hostility toward the U.S. in the Arab and Muslim world due to Washington's unquestioning support for Israel and close identification with autocratic regimes across the Middle East.

Those signing the statement -- including Arthur Hartman, former ambassador to the Soviet Union; Admiral Stansfield Turner, former director of the CIA; and General William Crowe one-time chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- have served every Republican and Democratic president since Harry S. Truman. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with 34-year career diplomat Robert B. Oakley, who served as ambassador to Pakistan, Somalia and Zaire. Oakley, a special envoy for Somalia under Presidents George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton, explains why he and other senior diplomats and former military officials have publicly condemned Bush administration policies and declared that "it's time for a change."

Read the statement by Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change online by visiting the group's website at or call their office at (202) 408-4998.

Related links:

"Iraq War Eroded U.S. Security, Former Diplomats Say," Reuters, June 16, 2004

"Former Military Commanders, Diplomats, Say Bush Must Go," Los Angeles Times, June 13, 2004

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit: httC://
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
betweenthelines (at)
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions, Inc.
(c)2004 Squeaky Wheel Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright by the author. All rights reserved.
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