Powell should resign (or should have — a little late now)

Old Blog Import

This piece, from a week ago, is a little dated, but still worth reading. It describes several notable resignations, including this one:

Another resignation that made me proud was that of career diplomat John Brady Kiesling from the U.S. Embassy in Athens, which was recently made public.

His resignation letter is worth quoting:

“The policies we are now asked to advance are incompatible not only with American values but also with American interests. Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America’s most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson. We have begun to dismantle the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known. Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security.”

Kiesling later asks: “Has oderint dum metuant really become our motto?”

This phrase, now quoted regularly among the most militant denizens in the White House, means, “Let them hate us so long as they fear us.” It was written by Lucius Accius, the Roman poet (170 B.C.), and was said to be a favorite phrase of the emperor Caligula.