Contact: Marilyn Katz or Bryan Zises
For Immediate Release
Chicago Passes Anti-War Resolution
46-1 Vote Follows Extensive and Personal Debate
(Chicago, Jan. 16, 2003) After one of the most mesmerizing, impassioned and personal debates ever to occur in Chicago's City Council Chamber, Chicago has become the largest and most prominent city in the nation to formally oppose a unilateral pre-emptive strike on Iraq.
One by one, black and white, Latino and Jewish, men and women, the Aldermen stood to draw attention to their own particular concerns with the current path of the Bush Administration. Many pointed out that the real dangers this nation faces today are the rising rates of unemployment and economic stagnation. Others were concerned about the double standard the administration is showing with respect to North Korea. And some drew attention to the prospect of young sons and daughters coming home in body bags from an ill-conceived war.
The Committee of Human Relations of the Chicago City Council sent the "Resolution Opposing Pre-emptive U.S. Military Strikes on Iraq" to the full council today after a vote yesterday.
"It is our sons and daughters who will be recruited--perhaps even conscripted--to fight in this war," said Ald. Joseph Moore (49th), chief sponsor of the resolution.
Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) was concerned that the "cost of the war will dry up federal funding for domestic programs for a war that has yet to be justified."
Judith Kossy of Chicagoans Against the War on Iraq said she and her organization were deeply moved by the leadership of Ald. Joe Moore, Ald. Helen Shiller, Ald. Ricardo Munoz, Ald. Leslie Hairston and by the action taken today the City Council. "Two out of three people in the nation oppose a unilateral war. It's important for local leaders to articulate their constituent's feelings to President Bush and to the world," Kossy said.
The full resolution follows:
RESOLUTION OPPOSING A PRE-EMPTIVE
U.S. MILITARY ATTACK ON IRAQ
WHEREAS, the issues between Iraq and the world community have not proven to be irresoluble by traditional diplomatic efforts; and
WHEREAS, while Saddam Hussein is a tyrant who should be removed from power, both for the good of the Iraqi people and for the security of Iraq's neighboring countries, it is not at all clear that a unilateral U.S. military action would result in the installation of a free and democratic Iraqi government; and
WHEREAS, U.S. military actions would risk the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians without guaranteeing the safety and security of U.S. citizens; and
WHEREAS, a pre-emptive and unilateral U.S. military attack would violate international law and our commitments under the U.N. Charter and further isolate the U.S. from the rest of the world; and
WHEREAS, the Congressional Budget Office estimates a military action against Iraq will cost our nation between $9 and $13 billion a month, likely resulting in further cuts in federally funded projects and programs that benefit our city and its residents; and
WHEREAS, a U.S.-led war in Iraq would compromise our current action in Afghanistan, and require years of nation-building activities in Iraq; and
WHEREAS, the Bush administration has failed to articulate a clear strategic objective or outcome of a military attack against Iraq, and such an attack fails to enjoy the support of many of our important allies; and
WHEREAS, we give our unconditional support to U.S. military personnel serving at home and abroad in their tireless battle against global terrorism, and should our military forces be sent to Iraq, we give our unyielding support to our young men and women serving in our nation's military, even if we oppose the policy that sent them there;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the members of the City Council of the City of Chicago, oppose a pre-emptive U.S. military attack on Iraq unless it is demonstrated that Iraq poses a real and imminent threat to the security and safety of the United States; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we support a return of U.N. weapons inspectors to Iraq, enhanced by sufficient police support to guarantee unfettered access to all targeted sites; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the U.S. to work through the U.N. Security Council and reaffirm our nation's commitment to the rule of law in all international relationships; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Illinois congressional delegation and the President of the United States.