Of the following items, two were provided - via email - concerning the possible war with Iraq. THe authors are unknown. The final is the resignation letter from U.S.Diplomat John Brady Kiestling.
New Axis of Evil
Bitter after being snubbed for membership in the "Axis of Evil", Libya, China and Syria today announced that they had formed the "Axis of Just as Evil", which they said would be more evil than that stupid Iran-Iraq-North Korea axis President Bush warned of in his State of the Union address.
Axis of Evil members, however, immediately dismissed the new Axis as having, for starters, a really dumb name. "Right. They are just as evil . . . in their dreams!" declared North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. "Everybody knows we're the best evils . . . best at being evil .. . we're the best."
Diplomats from Syria denied they were jealous over being excluded, although they conceded they did ask if they could join the Axis of Evil. "They told us it was full," said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"An axis can't have more than three countries", explained Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. "This is not my rule, it's tradition. In World War II you had Germany, Italy, and Japan in the evil Axis. So, you can only have three, and a secret handshake. Ours is wickedly cool."
International reaction to Bush's Axis of Evil declaration was swift, as within minutes, France surrendered.
Elsewhere, peer-conscious nations rushed to gain triumvirate status in what has become a game of geopolitical chairs. Cuba, Sudan and Serbia announced that they had formed the "Axis of Somewhat Evil", forcing Somalia to join with Uganda and Myanmar in the "Axis of Occasionally Evil", while Bulgaria, Indonesiaand Russia established the "Axis of Not So Much Evil Really as Just Generally Disagreeable".
With the criteria suddenly expanded and all the desirable clubs filling up, Sierra Leone, El Salvador, and Rwanda applied to be called the "Axis of Countries That Aren't the Worst But Certainly Won't Be Asked to Host the Olympics".
Canada, Mexico and Australia formed the "Axis ofNations That Are Actually Quite Nice But Secretly Have Some Nasty Thoughts About America", while Scotland, New Zealand and Spain established the "Axis of Countries That Want Sheep to Wear Lipstick". "That's not a threat, really, just something we like to do", said Scottish Executive First Minister Jack McConnell.
While wondering if the other nations of the world weren't perhaps making fun of him, a cautious Bush granted approval for most axis, although he rejected the establishment of the "Axis of Countries Whose Names End in 'Guay", accusing one of its members of filing a false application. Officials from Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chadguay denied the charges.
Israel, meanwhile, insisted it didn't want to join any Axis, but privately world leaders said that's only because no one asked them.
(Apparently this was written by John Cleese.) However --
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 16:36:58 -0800
From: "ed Hodson" email@example.com
The "John Cleese" piece on axes... was actually written by Andrew Marlatt of Satirewire.com --from there, the piece was picked up by the Washington Post. Cheers --Ed
U.S. Diplomat John Brady Kiesling Letter of Resignation, to:Secretary of State Colin L. Powell ATHENS | Thursday 27 February 2003
Dear Mr. Secretary:
I am writing you to submit myresignation from the Foreign Service of the United States and from my position as Political Counselor in U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. interests and theirsfundamentally coincided. My faith in my country and its values was the most powerful weapon in my diplomatic arsenal.
It is inevitable that during twenty 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.But until this Administration it had been possible to believe that by upholding the policies of my president I was also upholding the interests of the Americanpeople and the world. I believe it no longer.
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 mostpotent 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, no tsecurity.
The sacrifice of global intereststo domestic politics and to bureaucratic self-interest is nothing new, and it is certainly not a uniquely American problem. Still, we have not seen suchsystematic distortion of intelligence, such systematicmanipulation of American opinion, since the war in Vietnam. The September 11 tragedy left us stronger than before, rallying around us a vastcoalition to cooperate for the first time in a systematic way against the threat of terrorism. Butrather than take credit for those successes and buildon them, this Administration has chosen to maketerrorism a domestic political tool, enlisting a scattered and largely defeated Al Qaeda as its bureaucratic ally. We spread disproportionate terror and confusion in the public mind, arbitrarily linking the unrelated problems of terrorism and Iraq. The result, and perhaps the motive, is to justify a vast misallocation of shrinking public wealth to the military and to weaken the safeguards that protect American citizens from the heavy hand of government. September 11 did not do as much damage to the fabric of American society as we seem determined to so to ourselves. Is the Russia of the late Romanovs really our model, a selfish, superstitious empire thrashing toward self-destruction in the name of a doomed status quo?
We should ask ourselves why we have failed to persuade more of the world that a war with Iraq is necessary. We have over the past two years done too much to assert to our world partners that narrow and mercenary U.S. interests override the cherished values of our partners. Even where our aimswere not in question, our consistency is at issue. The model of Afghanistan is littlecomfort to allies wondering on what basis we plan to rebuild the Middle East, and in whose image andinterests. Have we indeed become blind, as Russia is blind in Chechnya, as Israel is blind in the Occupied Territories, to our own advice, that overwhelmingmilitary power is not the answer to terrorism? After the shambles of post-war Iraq joins the shambles in Grozny and Ramallah, it will be a braveforms ranks with Micronesia to follow where we lead.
We have a coalition still, a goodone. The loyalty of many of our friends is impressive, a tribute to American moral capital built up over acentury. But our closest allies are persuaded less that war is justified than that it would be perilousto allow the U.S. to drift into complete solipsism. Loyalty should be reciprocal. Why does our President condone the swaggering and contemptuous approach to our friends and allies this Administration isfostering, including among its most senior officials. Hasoderint dum metuantreally become our motto?
I urge you to listen to America sfriends around the world. Even here in Greece, purported hotbed of European anti-Americanism, we have more and closer friends than the American newspaper reader can possibly imagine. Even when they complain about American arrogance, Greeks know that the world is a difficult and dangerous place, and they want astrong international system, with the U.S. and EU in close partnership. When our friends are afraid of us rather than for us, it is time to worry. And now they are afraid. Who will tell them convincingly that the United States is as it was, a beacon of liberty, security, and justice for the planet?
Mr. Secretary, I have enormous respect for your character and ability. You have preserved more international credibility for us thanour policy deserves, and salvaged something positivefrom the excesses of an ideological and self-serving Administration. But your loyalty to the President goes too far. We are straining beyond its limits an international system we built with such toil andtreasure, a web of laws, treaties, organizations, and shared values that sets limits on our foes far more effectively than it ever constrained America s ability to defend its interests. I am resigning because I have tried and failed to reconcile my conscience with my ability to represent the current U.S. Administration. I have confidence that our democratic process is ultimately self-correcting, and hope that in a small way I can contribute from outside to shaping policies that better serve the security and prosperity of the American people and the world we share. John Brady Kiesling
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