Former US Diplomats Condemn Bush Policy on Palestine

June 21st, 2004 - by admin

Letter to the White House – 2004-06-21 14:06:36

May 4, 2004

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President:

We former US diplomats applaud our 52 British counterparts who recently sent a letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair criticizing his Middle East policy and calling on Britain to exert more influence over the United States.

As retired foreign service officers we care deeply about our nation’s foreign policy and US credibility in the world. At the request of our government and military colleagues, we have added their names as well.

We also are deeply concerned by your April 14 endorsement of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s unilateral plan to reject the rights of three million Palestinians, to deny the right of refugees to return to their homeland, and to retain five large illegal settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank. This plan defies U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for Israel’s return of occupied territories. It ignores international laws declaring Israeli settlements illegal. It flouts U.N. Resolution 194, passed in 1948, which affirms the right of refugees to return to their homes or receive compensation for the loss of their property and assistance in resettling in a host country should they choose to do so. And it undermines the Road Map for peace drawn up by the Quartet, including the US Finally, it reverses longstanding American policy in the Middle East.

Your meeting with Sharon followed a series of intensive negotiating sessions between Israelis and Americans, but which left out Palestinians. In fact, you and Prime Minister Sharon consistently have excluded Palestinians from peace negotiations. Former Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo voiced the overwhelming reaction of people around the world when he said, “I believe President Bush declared the death of the peace process today.”

By closing the door to negotiations with Palestinians and the possibility of a Palestinian state, you have proved that the United States is not an even-handed peace partner. You have placed US diplomats, civilians and military doing their jobs overseas in an untenable and even dangerous position.

Your unqualified support of Sharon’s extra-judicial assassinations, Israel’s Berlin Wall-like barrier, its harsh military measures in occupied territories, and now your endorsement of Sharon’s unilateral plan are costing our country its credibility, prestige and friends. Nor is this endorsement even in the best interests of the State of Israel.

It is not too late to reassert American principles of justice and fairness in our relations with all the peoples of the Middle East. Support negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, with the United States serving as a truly honest broker. A return to the time-honored American tradition of fairness will reverse the present tide of ill will in Europe and the Middle East—even in Iraq.

Because the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the core of the problems in the Middle East, the entire region—and the world—will rejoice along with Israelis and Palestinians when the killing stops and peace is attained.


1. Andrew I. Killgore, Ambassador to Qatar, 1977-1980
2. Richard H. Curtiss, chief inspector, US Information Agency
3. Colbert C. Held, Middle East Regional Officer
4. Thomas J. Carolan, Consul General, Turkey, 1988-1992
5. C. Edward Bernier, Counselor of Embassy for Information and
Culture, Pakistan 1995-1996
6. Donald A. Kruse, American Consul in Jerusalem
7. Ambassador Edward L. Peck, former Chief of Mission in Iraq and
8. John Powell, Admin Counselor of Embassy in Lebanon, 1975
9. John Gunther Dean, Ambassador to India
10. James Akins, Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
11. Talcott Seelye, Ambassador to Syria
12. Eugene Bird, Counselor of Embassy in Saudi Arabia
13. Richard H. Nolte, Ambassador to Egypt
14. Ray Close, Chief of Station Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 1971-1979
15. Shirl McArthur, Commercial Attache, Thailand
16. David Fredrick, Country Director Peace Corps Morocco 1986-1990
17. Bill Rugh, Ambassador to UAE and Yemen
18. James Curran, Deputy Chief of Mission Togo 1973-1975
19. Joseph Cheevers, Office of Inspectors General 1987
20. Robert L. M. Nevitt, Minister for Press Affairs for the U.N.
21. John Brady Kiesling, Political Counselor, Greece
22. E. William Tatge, Counselor for Commercial Affairs, France
23. Henry Precht, Deputy Chief of Mission, Egypt
24. John O. Sutter, FSO, The Asia Foundation’s Representative for
Indonesia, 1982-1984
25. James J. Halsema, Counselor for Public Affairs, Egypt
26. Nancy LeRoy, Public Affairs Officer, Mexico
27. Thomas M. Martin, USIA Congressional Liaison Officer,
28. Robert C. McLaughlin, USIA Madrid
29. Edward Alexander, Counselor for Public Affairs, East Berlin,
30. Roman Lotsberg, Admin Officer, Office of European Affairs
31. Dr. Shirley Hill Witt, Cultural Affairs Officer, Zambia, 1994-1996
32. Arthur L. Lowrie, Political Advisor to the Commander in Chief,
US Central Command
33. Carleton Coon, Ambassador to Nepal 1981-1984
34. Jane Coon, Ambassador to Bangladesh, 1981-1984
35. George B. Roberts, Ambassador to Guyana, 1979-1981
36. Robert V. Keeley, Ambassador to Greece
37. John E. Marsh, First Secretary, Embassy Kuwait, 1971-1973
38. Thomas W. Fina, Consul General, Milan, 1973-1979
39. Harland H. Eastman, Consul General, Tangier, Morocco, and Tel
Aviv, Israel
40. Arthur Mudge, Director, USAID Mission to Sudan, 1980-1983
41. Ronald I. Spiers, Undersecretary of State for Management
42. Albert L. Seligmann, Director, Office of Japanese Affairs, 1981-1983
43. Orin D. Parker, President, America-Middle East Educational
Services, 1979-1988
44. Robert C. Amerson, Counselor for Public Affairs, Italy
45. Christian Freer, Colonel, AUS ret., former chief of CIA stations
and War Plans staff
46. Thomas J. Hirschfeld, Deputy US Rep MBFR Negotiations
47. Edward R. M. Kane, Deputy Chief of Station, CIA, Iraq
48. Col. Richard Hobbes, US Army Retired, Politico-Military Adviser to
NEA 1974-1977
49. Col. David Antoon, US Air Force, Retired
50. Brig. General Augustine A. Verrengia, USAF Ret.
51. Greg Thielmann, Director, Office for Strategic Proliferation
Military Affairs, Bureau of Intelligence and Research
52. Robin Berrington, Cultural Attache, Japan
53. Gary S. Usrey, Deputy Chief of Mission, Morocco
54. Owen Roberts, Ambassador to Togo
55. Chas W. Freeman, Jr. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Assistant
Secretary of Defense, 1993-1994
56. Edwin Paul Kennedy, Jr., Regional Affairs Officer for N. African,
Near Eastern, and S. Asian Affairs, USIA
57. Thomas J. Scotes, Ambassador to Yemen, 1975-1978
58. Michael Mennard, Ph.D., Regional Public Affairs Officer, India
59. Francois M. Dickman, Director Arabian Peninsula Affairs 1972-76,
Ambassador to UAE 1976-79 and Kuwait 1979-83
60. Terrell E. Arnold, Former Deputy Director Office of
Counterterrorism and Consul General, Brazil


1. Edy Korthals Altes, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Madrid 1983-1986
2. Mr. Gerben Meihuizen (The Hague) former Netherlands Ambassador in
Syria, Saudi Arabia and Algeria
3. Former Congressman Paul Findley (R-IL)
4. Robert Norberg, Director ARAMCO, ret.
5. Bishop John William Assemby of Yahweh
6. William Hughes, WWII veteran, retired engineer
7. Clyde A. Farris
8. Mary Ann Schwab, teacher, voter
9. Rev. J. Martin Bailey, Consultant to the Common Global Ministries
10. Henry E. Kydd, retired Army Sergeant, director of homeless
shelter, grandfather
11. Dr. Edna Homa Hunt
12. David Wade, Ph.D, Researcher
13. E. Faye Williams, Esq.
14. Koen Stork, Netherlands Ambassador in Bucarest
15. W. Lance Haynes, Professor of Speech and Media Studies, University
of Missouri-Rolla
16. David S. Dodge, President, American University of Beirut, ret.
17. Mrs. Frederick G. Roberts, widow of Frederick Roberts, CIA, Turkey