Third veteran US diplomat quits over Iraq war
Thursday, 20-Mar-2003 9:20AM Story from AFP
Copyright 2003 by Agence France-Presse (via ClariNet)
WASHINGTON, March 20 (AFP) - Another veteran US diplomat has resigned from the State Department in protest over President George W. Bush's policy toward Iraq, becoming the third and the highest-ranking career foreign service officer to do so since last month, officials said Thursday.
Mary Wright, the number two at the US embassy in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, told Secretary of State Colin Powell she was resigning because she could no longer perform her job in good conscience, the officials said.
"She was a good officer and very well respected," said one official. "We'll miss her."
In a letter to Powell, Wright, who joined the State Department 15 years ago after a 26-year stint in the army and army reserves, also said she disagreed with Bush's Mideast policy, his approach to North Korea and could not support the domestic consequences of the war on terrorism.
"I believe the administration's policies are making the world a more dangerous, not a safer place," she said in the March 19 letter that arrived in Washington just hours before the war with Iraq began.
The United States had squandered its international reputation and alienated many of its friends and allies, Wright said in the letter a copy of which was obtained by AFP.
"In our press military action now, we have created deep chasms in the international community and in important international organizations. Our policies have alienated many of our allies and created ill will in much of the world," she said.
"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," said Wright, who before Mongolia served in Micronesia, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone where she won an award for heroism in 1997.
Wright's concerns echoed those of the two other US diplomats known to have resigned in protest due chiefly to Iraq.
John Brown, who joined the State Department in 1981, resigned on March 10 because he said he could not support Washington's Iraq policy, which he said was fomenting a massive rise in anti-US sentiment around the world.
The first diplomat to quit was J. Brady Kiesling, who served at the US embassy in Athens. He submitted his resignation to Powell in late February.