Chicago City Council to consider anti-war resolution

CHICAGO – Growing opposition to President Bush’s plans for war with Iraq was again revealed by the enthusiastic response to an anti-war resolution submitted to the Chicago City Council in early December. If the resolution is approved, Chicago will be one of the growing number of towns and cities to approve an anti-war statement.

The resolution, sponsored by 11 members of the council at the urging of Chicagoans Against War With Iraq (CWI) and other peace groups, quickly got support that crosses ethnic, racial and political lines. The latter point is important because progressive measures often get the support of fewer than a dozen council members.

Within a week after its introduction, the measure had won the endorsement of 24 of the council’s 50 members and supporters predict that more will sign on in the next few weeks. The resolution will be debated in early January, with a vote by the full council expected soon thereafter.

Alderman Joe Moore, principal author of the resolution, told the World that 'public response to the resolution has been overwhelmingly positive. There are few issues that have generated as many supporting telephone calls in recent years.' Moore urged Chicago readers of the World and other activists to call their aldermen to urge support of the resolution.

But there has been opposition. The Chicago Sun Times, one of the city’s two daily newspapers, viciously attacked the resolution and Mayor Richard Daley made disparaging comments when it was introduced on Dec. 4. However, the resolution’s sponsors feel that if Daley receives enough letters, faxes, e-mails and phone calls from his constituents, his opposition can be neutralized.

The resolution touches on all the arguments against the war:

* That the issues between Iraq and the world community have not proven to be 'irresolvable' by traditional diplomacy;

* No evidence has been presented that Iraq poses an imminent threat to the U.S.;

* Unilateral U.S. military action would risk the lives of thousands of Iraqis;

* A unilateral U.S. strike would violate international law and the UN Charter;

* A U.S.-led war against Iraq would 'purloin' billions of dollars from the economy;

The resolution concludes with a declaration by the Chicago City Council opposing 'a preemptive U.S. military attack on Iraq unless it is demonstrated that Iraq poses a real and imminent threat to the security and safety of the United States.' The measure also urges the United States to 'work through the UN Security Council and [to] reaffirm our nation’s commitment to the rule of law in all international relationships.'

The author can be reached at pww@pww.org