Politicians put pen to peace petition | PostIndependent.com

Politicians put pen to peace petition

More than a dozen elected officials and former officials are expanding their sphere of concern to the pending war with Iraq.

The officials, including Glenwood Springs City Council members Rick Davis and Dan Richardson, have signed a petition that begins, “We, the undersigned current and former elected government officials, believe that the current push for the United States to wage war against Iraq is misguided and potentially dangerous to both our national security and global security.”

The petition says a war would ignite more terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens.

“By going to war, the U.S. will be fueling terrorism rather than working to cure its causes,” it says. The petition urges federal officials to oppose a war against Iraq and work toward a multilateral solution.

Other local elected officials who signed the petition are Scott Chaplin, Michael Hassig and Russ Criswell from the Carbondale Board of Trustees; Jacque Whitsitt, Tiffany Gildred and Jon Fox-Rubin from the Basalt Town Council; Dorothea Farris and Jack Hatfield of the Pitkin County Commissioners; and former elected officials Dave Reed and Larry Gottlieb of Basalt, Greg Jeung of Glenwood Springs, Leslie Lamont of Pitkin County, and Bill Stirling of Aspen.

Chaplin, who organized the petition and drafted it with input from others, said the signers are calling themselves “Politicians for Peace, Justice and Common Sense.” They hope to draw media attention to the petition and spread it nationwide.

Richardson said Congress wasn’t listening to the people when it passed a resolution authorizing the United States to invade Iraq last October.

The petition will help war opponents alter their strategy. “What we were doing isn’t working, so every little bit helps,” Richardson said.

Davis, also from Glenwood Springs, said he signed the petition as an individual, and not to represent the city. He views the petition as pro-peace, rather than anti-war.

“Organized violence is not necessarily the way to go about resolving things,” Davis said. Referring to Bush’s plan to oust Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Davis said, “We need to pursue peaceful ways to get him out of office.”

Davis said he agrees with former President Jimmy Carter, who he said listed four causes for terrorism: Oppressive governments, hunger, helplessness and homelessness.

“We have to make sure people have food, medicine and aren’t living under oppressive governments,” Davis said.

Glenwood Springs City Council member Dave Merritt said he won’t sign the petition. Merritt is a Vietnam era veteran whose son is a Marine captain.

“I’m concerned about war, but this is a matter for the federal government,” Merritt said. “The president can deal with this issue without us weighing in on it.”

Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534


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