Military Action in Iraq
by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, September 19, 2002 at
Thank you, Rep. Kucinich for inviting me to speak
today. I do not believe that our world, our children, the people
of the Middle East or the citizens of Israel will be safer by
going to war against Iraq. I believe that going to war against
Iraq would be a mistake. The cost would be heavy in lives lost,
dollars wasted and it would squander the goodwill of our allies.
The serious question is when will the human race
work towards peace, rather than war. As citizens of the most educated
and financially well-off country in history, when will we decide
to put our strength and our energy and our creativity behind peace
rather than destruction.
It is true that Saddam Hussein is a dictator –
he is a menace and the world would be better off without him.
But, the world will also be better off if the United States works
within the scope of international institutions instead of launching
an unprovoked first-strike against Iraq. America’s greatest
asset is our moral authority, not our military power. Attacking
a sovereign country unprovoked forfeits that authority completely.
A war with Iraq will cost between $100-250 billion.
Just think what we could do with that amount of money if we decided
to invest in humanity rather than military hardware.
With $150 billion we could help developing countries
in Africa by forgiving half of the continent’s debt, $112
billion would repair or rebuild all the public schools in the
United States, and for only $12 million we could demine and replant
the breadbasket of Afghanistan to help that nation recover from
more than 20 years of continuous war.
We owe it to our children to exercise the full
range of diplomatic options in Iraq, so we can prevent a war that
will cost thousands of lives, and give a boost to our real enemies
– the terrorists who planned September 11.
War represents a failure of national policy. It
is a last resort. America’s strength is our commitment to
moral action and a government based on the rule of law. That law
must never be silent, and our moral sensibilities must never be
intimidated by fear.
Dated: September 19, 2002 10:00 AM Cannon Terrace