Second US diplomat quits over war
March 11 2003
A veteran US diplomat resigned today in protest over US policy toward Iraq, becoming the second career foreign service officer to do so in the past month.
John Brown, who joined the State Department in 1981, said he resigned because he could not support Washington's Iraq policy, which he said was fomenting a massive rise in anti-US sentiment around the world.
In a resignation letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Brown said he agreed with J Brady Kiesling, a diplomat at the US embassy in Athens who quit in February over President George W Bush's apparent intent on fighting Iraq.
"I am joining my colleague John Brady Kiesling in submitting my resignation from the Foreign Service - effective immediately - because I cannot in good conscience support President Bush's war plans against Iraq," he said.
"Throughout the globe the United States is becoming associated with the unjustified use of force," Brown said in the letter, a copy of which he sent to AFP.
"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," he said.
"I joined the Foreign Service because I love our country," Brown said. "Respectfully, Mr Secretary, I am now bringing this calling to a close, with a heavy heart but for the same reason that I embraced it."
Two senior State Department officials confirmed that Powell had received the letter from Brown, who had served at the US embassies in London, Prague, Krakow, Kiev, Belgrade and Moscow before being assigned to be a diplomat-in-residence at Georgetown University in Washington.
Brown and Kiesling are believed to be the only US diplomats to have resigned from the foreign service over Iraq to date.