(March 5, 2003) -- Over four dozen members of the CA legislature -- all Democrats...and including LB area Ass'ymembers Alan Lowenthal & Jenny Oropeza & CA Sen. Debra Bowen -- have sent a letter to President George W. Bush opposing "a war on Iraq without a formal resolution by the United Nations Security Council and a Declaration of War by Congress."
March 4, 2003
The Honorable George W. Bush, President
United States of America
THE WHITE HOUSE
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As Members of the California State Legislature, we respectfully write in opposition to a war on Iraq without a formal resolution by the United Nations Security Council and a declaration of war by Congress.
As elected representatives of the largest population and economy in America, we have many concerns over the policies your administration is pursuing. These include:
A lack of credible evidence that meets the standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt" that shows the imminent danger Iraq poses to America’s essential interests. Neither Colin Powell nor Hans Blix presented a case sufficient to warrant an attack by American forces.
A failure to persuade other nations to support our intentions. Unlike the aftermath of the Attack on America, you have not been able to enlist the support of other key nations, who presumably have been given even more intelligence data than has the American public. This lack of geo-political solidarity substantially weakens America’s case in the court of world opinion. Further, it enhances the prospects of fighting a war with few allies.
Lack of clarity about the possible instability in the Middle East during the war and subsequent foreign occupation of Iraq. It seems unlikely that the Muslim world will for long passively accept America’s incursion -- whatever our provocation.
While your administration seems to have financially accommodated Key neighboring regimes in return for their neutrality or tactical support, the constituencies these leaders represent are openly hostile to America. Which begs the question: what happens if one or more governments are overthrown and anti-American regimes take control?
Domestically, most economists believe an open-ended war will exacerbate the national recession. They see upward pressure on both interest rates and inflation as the military competes for capital and goods to prosecute the war. (Not to mention the effect on energy prices if Middle East supplies are interrupted or reduced).
California is in the throes of its worst budget deficit in state history, as a result of the most severe, persistent recession in the nation. Your 2003-04 federal budget already reflects your determination to cut state and local assistance for medical and health care services, homeland security and transportation. Can deeper subsequent cuts be far behind when hundreds of billions in war material and nation rebuilding are needed in Iraq? Where will the funds come from, if not the states?
Finally, the growing world and domestic demonstrations against the war are reminiscent of the ill-fated Vietnam War, when a sitting president was forced to resign and America lost it’s moral compass as a result of irreparable social and cultural divisions at home. A legacy that sadly still lives.
To conclude, we the undersigned urge that you await a final decision on waging war on Iraq until the United Nations, Security Council votes and the Congress acts in accordance with Article I, Section 8 of the United States of America Constitution.
Thank you for your consideration.
(signed) [LB area legislators in boldface]
Senators Richard Alarcon, Dede Alpert, Debra Bowen, Gil Cedillo, Wesley Chesbro, Martha Escutia, Liz Figueroa, Sheila Kuehl, Mike Machado, Kevin Murray, Debra Ortiz, Don Perata, Gloria Romero, Byron Sher, Jack Scott, Nell Soto, Jackie Speier, Tom Torlakson, John Vasconcellos, and Edward Vincent
Assemblymembers Patty Berg, Ronald Calderon, Wilma Chan, Judy Chu, Ellen Corbett, Manny Diaz, Mervyn Dymally, Marco Firebaugh, Dario Frommer, Jackie Goldberg, Loni Hancock, Jerome Horton, Hannah-Beth Jackson, Christine Kehoe, Paul Koretz, John Laird, Mark Leno, Lloyd Levine, Sally Lieber, Carol Liu, John Longville, Alan Lowenthal, Cindy Montañez, Gene Mullin, Fabian Nuñez, Jenny Oropeza, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Simón Salinas, Patricia Wiggins, and Leland Yee