Dear Secretary Powell:

Your country has never needed you more than it needs you now.

As a soldier, you know the pain and suffering that war brings. You also know that war brings consequences that may be uncontrollable.

The consequences of the war that is being threatened against Iraq have not been well considered. It is predictable, though, that among the consequences will be the undermining of the security of the people of the United States by increasing the terrorism directed at our country and its citizens.

Wars do not bring peace and, as you know, they must never be undertaken without legitimacy, support and a belief in the absolute necessity of sacrificing lives for a transcending purpose.

A war against Iraq lacks legitimacy in the eyes of the world and has failed to get the support of key US allies. Never before in history have so many people raised their voices in protest to a threatened war.

These protests, including those from longtime and staunch US allies, come from all sectors of society and from all parts of the world.

Despite the inducements we have offered and the threats we have made, few of our allies support the US push for war.

The Bush administration has failed to make the case for a war against Iraq, and proceeding to war will drive a terrible wedge through our nation.

Resolution 1441 does not authorize war against Iraq. Should the United States proceed to war against Iraq the United States will be acting illegally, in violation of the United Nations Charter and Article VI(2) of the United States Constitution.

With every report by Chief UN Weapons Inspector Hans Blix of increased cooperation and disarmament by Iraq, the Bush administration has obstinately become more belligerent in its threats of war.

In a war against Iraq there can be no victory nor glory for our military. We will kill and maim the innocent. We will cut short the lives of our youth and theirs. We will have illegally exercised the rule of force over the force of law.

This need not be. But when the government of the most powerful nation in the world dismisses the protests of its own citizens and will not listen to its allies or follow the dictates of international law, few options remain.

You are in a position to influence the course of events. You are respected by the American people and throughout the world as a voice of reason, temperance and experience.

We urge you to follow your conscience and resign your office in protest of this war.

The American people will rally behind you, and an illegal and immoral war can be stopped before it begins.

Please act with the urgency that the current situation demands.
David Krieger
President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation


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Readers Comments

Wow! After listening to President Bush’s speech last night, I began to think about the possibility that Colin Powell resign in protest. What a hero he would be in my eyes and, I believe, in the eyes of the majority of the American public, if he were to make such a statement. Secretary Powell, please be a warrior, true to the highest ideals of your calling, and resign in protest. I’m behind you all the way!

–Jeannine, Oklahoma

Great letter! I fully understand why it is pointless to address a letter to Bush himself: he is beyond reasoning! This raises an even bigger question: is it right to have system in place where the US president can decide all by himself to start a war, with all the unforeseeable consequences that might follow?

–Regards, Michel, USA

Bush’s inadequacy was never more apparent than in this last hour, as everyone in the room seemed to realize. Can we or the U.N. do nothing? He’s made it clear he will not be bound by the U.N. No one asks the big question: When does the evil we inflict surpass anything that has been
done to us?

–David, USA