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MARCH 11, 2003
3:08 PM
CONTACT: Common Cause  
Mary Boyle: (202) 736-5770
Common Cause Takes Stand Against War With Iraq At This Time
WASHINGTON - March 11 - "Common Cause is concerned about the precedent of the United States declaring that it can act unilaterally in a pre-emptive war," said Derek Bok, chairman of Common Cause's national governing board. "We fear such an action will weaken international law and make the world less safe as other nations see pre-emptive war as an accepted means of dealing with potential threats to their security."

Common Cause's national governing board on Saturday approved the following resolution:

Preemptive war is an extremely hazardous step that should be undertaken only under grave and immediate threat to the United States or its allies or when the use of force is supported by a very broad coalition of nations and every reasonable means of resolving the crisis peacefully has been exhausted. Because these conditions have not been fully met, the National Governing Board of Common Cause is opposed to a decision at this time by the United States to initiate a war against Iraq.

Common Cause first voiced concern about war with Iraq last October. The organization took out two full-page advertisements in the New York Times and aired a series of radio ads urging Congress to more fully debate a resolution giving President Bush the authority to commit U.S. troops in Iraq. Those ads resulted in more than 17,600 citizen calls and faxes to Members of Congress.

Common Cause takes seriously its historic role as the "people's lobby." In addition to the response from the ads, Common Cause heard from a number of its state organizations, which requested the national governing board to formally oppose war with Iraq at this time.

"This resolution reflects the views of thousands of our members," Bok said. "We hope it will give them a voice in this global debate."

Common Cause is also sending a letter to Congress, expressing its opposition to war with Iraq at this time.


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