George W., let them work

Speak out! Go to to add your signature to the “Dear Mr. President” letter seen here. The sponsoring organization will present the petition to Bush and other world leaders.
Like many Americans, we let out a sigh of relief when the weapons inspectors returned to Iraq; perhaps a unilateral war with that country would not come to pass, after all. As the inspections moved into high gear, however, we were discouraged to find that many in the Bush administration still seemed absolutely committed to war. When a group called posted a public letter to the Bush administration and the United Nations to urge them, simply, to let the inspections work, we at SN&R found ourselves in overwhelming agreement. We hereby reprint that letter in its entirety.



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.