George W., let them work
TO: President Bush
CC: Secretary of State Powell and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan
SUBJECT: Please Let the Inspections Work
Dear Mr. President,
On October 11, the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution on Iraq that authorizes you to use war as a last resort—if and only if diplomacy fails to accomplish the United States’ national goals.
We are concerned that you found Iraq’s response “not encouraging” when the inspectors had only been at work for a short while and so far had not encountered Iraqi obstruction.
In this context, we are also concerned by your administration’s repeated attempts to frame Iraqi anti-aircraft fire within the no-fly zone as a material breach of the resolution. As U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and other U.N. diplomats have pointed out, the resolution clearly excludes such events from its jurisdiction.
The United States has made a commitment to approaching the danger that Saddam Hussein poses, through the international community. The resumption of the inspection regime is a triumph for the United States, international law and multilateralism. But the United States will lose all credibility with its allies if it appears that it will go to war regardless of the inspections’ success. And, by alienating and infuriating allies through unilateral action, the United States could throw the success of the campaign against terrorism into jeopardy.
Mr. President, it appears that your administration is looking for an excuse to go to war, when a peaceful and just solution may be at hand. We ask that you live up to your word and give diplomacy a chance.
We can win without war.