"From 1965 to 1990, Britain cast 27 vetoes in the UN Security Council, mainly in support of the racist regimes in Rhodesia and South Africa. This was twice the number cast by the Soviet Union" - Mark Curtis of London in a letter to The Guardian, 6 March 2003.
By the time you read this, the unjust war on Iraq may finally have started. In doing so, George Bush and Tony Blair and their "coalition of the willing" would have defied international law and opinion as enshrined in the UN charter. "Might is right" would have been cemented in the public consciousness. And all this in the name of securing the future of the world!
Well, we shall see. I have always argued that the swaggering and bellicose antics of President Bush (mingled with the "follow-follow" of his "vice president" Tony Blair) pose a much more serious threat to the security of the world than Saddam Hussein's so-called weapons of mass destruction. The thought of it leaves me shaking in my shoes. It's frightening how Bush and Blair cannot see the dangerous slope they are pushing the world down.
On 27 February, John Brady Kiesling, a US diplomat of 20 years standing, a man who had served four American presidents, and who until 7 March was the political counsellor in the US embassy in Athens, Greece, handed in his resignation letter to his boss, Colin Powell, the secretary of state. Because of its importance to the centrality of the Iraqi debate and the security of the world, I'm going to quote Kiesling's letter here in full (as a testimony and guide for future generations):
"I am writing you to submit my resignation from the Foreign Service of the united States and from my position as Political Counsellor in US Embassy Athens, effective March 7.
I do so with a heavy heart. The baggage of my upbringing included a felt obligation to give something back to my country. Service as a US diplomat was a dream job. I was paid to understand foreign languages and cultures, to seek out diplomats, politicians, scholars and journalists, and to persuade them that us interests and theirs fundamentally coincided.
My faith in my country and its values was the most powerful weapon in my diplomatic arsenal. It is inevitable that during 20 years with the State Department, I would become more sophisticated and cynical about the narrow and selfish bureaucratic motives that sometimes shaped our policies. Human nature is what it is, and I was rewarded and promoted for understanding human nature.