A Grinnell College graduate and retired U.S. ambassador speaks tonight (Friday) at Drake University in Des Moines. George Moose is also a member of “Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change.” This is normally the kind of group that does not seek the spotlight, or take issue with the policies of a particular administration, but he says doing it shows how deeply they’re concerned about the direction of US foreign policy. Moose will also be a speaker at an Iowa conference on September eleventh, at which he and others will look at the administration policies that led to the US going to war in Iraq. Moose says we’re less safe and secure as a nation because of those policies. Moose, who served as US ambassador to the European Office of the United Nations, says the current leadership of this country took some good steps following the terrorist attacks nearly three years ago. He says some of the administration’s actions were “appropriate and justified,” like going after the taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. But Moose says other actions that followed have many diplomatic and military veterans concerned. The decision to go to war in Iraq, which he says even many senior administration officials call a war of choice and not of necessity, has let the country “take our eye off the ball,” and focus on the wrong war. Now, he says, we’re “bogged down in Iraq” with no exit strategy and terrorists around the world intent on doing us harm. Moose, who got his undergraduate degree and an honorary doctorate from Grinnell College, says the bitterness that accompanies this campaign year is stifling open discussion. Moose says it’s made it more difficult to question and challenge policies of the administration, and result is depriving the American people from the kind of open debate that would let them make a clear choice on what’s in the country’s best interests. The ambassador’s speech at Drake is free and open to the public. The Saturday forum at Des Moines botanical center is sponsored by “Physicians for Social Responsibility” the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Ecumenical Ministries of Iowa, the Drake Center for Global Citizenship, American Friends Service Committee and Iowa United Nations Association.
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