Res. No. 549
Resolution calling upon the Council of the City of New York to oppose the Congressional Resolution allowing President George W. Bush to unilaterally declare war against Iraq without the authority of the United Nations, or without evidence that the United States is in imminent danger due to actions by the government of Iraq.
By Council Member Perkins and Stewart
Whereas, At this fragile moment in our history, each misstep in our judgment has the potential of being magnified exponentially, and could bring with it the most devastating consequences imaginable, not just in the Middle East but to our own shores as well; and
Whereas, The resolution authorizing the President to make war and any ensuing actions that our Government might take must therefore be grounded in a solid and responsible understanding of the real consequences of such actions; and
Whereas, A preemptive attack without evidence of imminent danger to our country would shatter the rule of international law, and would clear the way for similar actions by other rival states such as China and Taiwan, and India and Pakistan, among others; and
Whereas, If we are to rally around to the cause of eradicating what many in Congress believe is a corrupt and highly volatile regime, and an equally dangerous dictator, we must first consider such intangibles as the risks to our troops, especially with the knowledge that Saddam Hussein has used chemical weapons in war and would most likely do so again; and
Whereas, We must gauge the level of support from countries in the Middle East and that of other U. S. allies; we must also gauge the potential for escalation of the war to draw in other countries in the region; and
Whereas, While the members of Congress struggle with the President's demand for open-ended authority to go to war, domestic issues of the greatest concerns are being ignored: the budget is in severe deficit and education programs to improve our public schools have not been funded; and
Whereas, As consumer confidence also wanes and the public's faith in our business leaders diminishes with each new revelation of financial impropriety, we must ask ourselves if this administration does indeed have a plan to defray the economic costs of the war, and if so how these costs will be shared by our allies; and
Whereas, If we are to commit ourselves to such a drastic course of action, one that will undoubtedly produce an unknown number of casualties for the young men and women of our nation, we must be certain that our actions are deemed absolutely necessary, and only after every other approach to solving this problem has been exhausted; and
Whereas, Before we commit ourselves to what will be a severe military campaign, one unlike any other we have ever fought, one that will tear at the seams of our national conscience, we must first demand that our President explain himself and present his reasons in the most emphatic, most intelligible and in the clearest of ways; and
Whereas, We should not be swayed by the President's use of allegory to defend and define his call to war — it is not, nor was it ever simply a question of good versus evil, or right versus wrong — these distinctions simplify, reduce and attempt to justify a course of action that is problematic at best, and by no means morally sound in judgment; and
Whereas, We are a nation with a keen moral conscience, with the ability to reason through even the most trying circumstances that history has created; as such we should be resolute and morally determined to not repeat the same mistakes our leaders have made in the past, mistakes that have cost thousands of lives and, if perpetuated in the President's unilateral declaration of war, will undoubtedly cost thousands more; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York opposes the Congressional Resolution allowing President George W. Bush to unilaterally declare war against Iraq without the authority of the United Nations, or without evidence that the United States is in imminent danger due to actions by the government of Iraq.