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[casi] NYC Council vote against war

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FYI - March 12, 2003

New York City Council Goes on Record Against an Iraq War

The language was carefully hedged, saying that the Council "opposes a pre-emptive 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 or its allies, or unless all other options for achieving compliance 
with the United Nations resolutions calling for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction and 
the means for their development have failed."

Though the resolution stands little chance of influencing the ongoing debate, supporters said New 
York City's voice needed to heard. At least 139 cities have already approved antiwar resolutions of 
some kind.

"We are saying to the president today, you can no longer use 9/11 as an excuse for war," said 
Councilman Charles Barron, a Brooklyn Democrat. "There was no linkage of Saddam Hussein to 9/11; 
there was no linkage of Saddam Hussein to Al Qaeda."

Councilwoman Yvette D. Clark of Brooklyn said she believed it was President George Bush who is 
sending the wrong message. "If we're going to be looking for a fight," he said, "let's fight 
poverty, let's fight firehouse closures, let's fight racism and sexism."

The Council is overwhelmingly Democratic, and the three Republicans voted no. "For our friends out 
there in the country who are watching this, we should sort of sanitize the record when we talk 
about consensus in this body," said James S. Oddo, the Republican leader. The division among the 
Democrats, he said, "indicates that there is a wee bit less than consensus in this body." He added 
that members spent more time on this than the property tax increase last fall.  pg

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