October 9, 2002

Jeffords Stands Against the War Machine

Senator Jim Jeffords is another one of a very few legislators who has risen from the pool of invertebrates now polluting Capital Hill to stand up against the Chickenhawks' war machine.

In an eloquent statement, Jeffords has countered Bush's nonsense with wisdom. Some excerpts:

This is a pivotal moment in our Nation's history. As has happened many times before, when faced with a potential threat to our national security and to the security of our allies, we must carefully evaluate that threat, and decide how best to deal with it. It is imperative that we not make a rash decision that will have lasting consequences for generations to come...

I have been briefed several times by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, CIA Director Tenet and other top Administration officials. I have discussed this issue with the President. I have heard nothing that convinces me that an immediate preemptive military strike is necessary or that it would further our interests in the long term.

Mr. President, I fear that this Administration is, perhaps unwittingly, heading us into a miserable cycle of waging wars that isolate our nation internationally and stir up greater hatred of America. This cycle will generate more enemies, while undercutting our support from a broad coalition of allies - coalitions that have proven to be the hallmark of all successful peacemaking efforts in recent years.

We owe it to the American people not to rush into a war, but to work with the institutions that we fought so hard to develop for just this eventuality. If multilateral efforts fail, then the President should come back to Congress for consideration of the next course of action. I cannot support a resolution that puts this nation on a path to war without first exhausting diplomatic efforts. Now is the time to put the international system to work for us, and consider unilateral military action only as a last resort.

For the entire text, see Jim Jeffords' website.

-- By David Cogswell

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