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An Open Letter to Tom Daschle

Dear Majority Leader Daschle:

I do not support George W. Bush's attempts to drag the United States into an unnecessary war with Iraq, and urge you to oppose any resolution giving him any latitude whatsoever to wage a unilateral, pre-emptive campaign in order to remove Saddam Hussein -- who has not been credibly linked to the events of September 11th, which should be the sole basis for any current United States military action.

While Hussein is clearly dangerous, he is no more a danger to the human community than, for instance, the leaders of at least one of our trading partners, the Chinese who continue their occupation of Tibet, their persecution of the Falun Gong and other religious groups, their employment of slave labor, their threats against Taiwan, and who already own weapons of mass destruction. The double standard being employed here in regard to Hussein is obvious, and will assuredly be perceived by the Arab Street as an example of American military power being used in a hypocritical, and very selective, way. And because they know that they cannot defeat us in a direct military engagement, anyone who wants to oppose the imposition of American hegemony over the Middle East will instead choose the terrorism card and we will see more, rather than fewer, September 11ths as a result of this proposed war. Hence, Bush's dubious adventure in Iraq, even if it costs us few lives at the outset, will doubtless cost many American civilian lives later on, not to mention hundreds of billions of dollars in terms of destroyed property, higher insurance costs and lost revenues.

Democrats and Progressives voted overwhelmingly to keep Dubya out of the position where he could make the kind of decisions that would threaten our values and way of life. Due to a glitch in the voting process in Florida, he became our president, even though Mr. Gore had greater popular support. While Bush may have the constitutional right to serve as President, he has no political mandate whatsoever to turn the United States into what will obviously be perceived by the world as an aggressor nation especially when it is crystal clear that we only look to attack nations we can easily defeat, while conveniently looking the other way when our economic interests dictate it. Such cynical decision making is as transparent on the world stage as the emperor without his clothing, and will cost us dearly in the years to come. And the blood of those who perish later will be on the hands of the Senators and Congressmen who sat quietly, or played politics, and allowed Dubya to pursue his unhealthy obsession with Saddam. I strongly supported the war against the Taliban and liberation of Afghanistan, and I continue to support the war on terror. I would even support a U.S. led, United Nations effort to remove Hussein in the event that he does not satisfy the standing U.N. resolutions. But I absolutely do not support Bush's proposed unilateral adventure in Iraq, and urge Democrats to rise from their stupor and once again represent an emotionally-conscious, intelligent, loyal, political opposition. Like Mr. Bush, I'm all for a regime change, but the regime I want changed is his.

Matthew Carnicelli, © 2002. All rights reserved.