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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ohio Anti-War Resolutions: Cleveland's Came First

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Cleveland's council voted to oppose military action against Iraq four years ago, warning that the cost in lives and money would be tragic -- a statement that now looks prescient. In Cincinnati, the Democratic-controlled council is moving to adopt an anti-war resolution this week.

But some might wonder: Why now? Where were they when most Americans supported the war and polls showed President Bush was a popular national figure? It is a question that is dogging New York Sen. Hillary Clinton as she campaigns for the '08 Democratic nomination. Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, at the moment her chief rival, was against the war from the start.

The organization Cities For Peace has a Web site that shows four Ohio communities were concerned enough about Bush's pre-invasion rhetoric that they adopted City Council resolutions questioning his plans. The Cleveland City Council passed an emergency resolution on Jan. 27, 2003 that said "this council opposes unilateral military action against Iraq and urges President Bush to continue seeking a peaceful resolution of issues with Iraq in a diplomatic manner." The were no votes against the measure.

Shaker Heights adopted a similar measure on Feb. 10, 2003. "This Council has grave concerns about pre-emptive military action against Iraq and the global repercussions of such action and, therefore, urges President George W. Bush to observe international law, to continue full cooperation with the United Nations and its inspection process, and to seek a peaceful resolution of issues of Iraq through diplomatic means."

Oberlin and Dayton also passed pre-war resolutions. Dayton's, dated Feb. 12, 2003, was the most cautiously worded. But it did ask Bush to use "all diplomatic means reasonably available" to avoid bloodshed.

At the time, hardly anybody paid attention to those voices in opposition. And clearly the war has impacted all our lives -- so the argument that cities have no business taking stands is silly.

Four years ago, Shaker Heights noted "any military action against Iraq will cost billions of dollars at a time when the American economy is struggling and federal, state, county and city governments face budgetary crises."

The resolutions are here: Cleveland , Shaker Heights , Dayton and Oberlin.

There is a link to the Cities for Peace Web site HERE.

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