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Resolution Against War With Iraq

Whereas we envision that national security is best achieved by building economic and social justice here in America and throughout the world;

Whereas the large increase in the current military budget of $334 billion has already necessitated cuts in the higher education budget and has drained resources from essential human services and social programs at home;

Whereas a war against Iraq would likely cost between $100 and $200 billion dollars, and would further erode budgets necessary to maintain the quality of life;

Whereas a war against Iraq would undermine the University's economic development initiatives, likely necessitate larger tuition increases, and decrease access to need-based fellowships and student assistance;

Whereas a war against Iraq would likely result in the call-up and interruption of academic programs of students currently in the National Guard;

Whereas the so-called "War on Terrorism" has already eroded civil liberties without any evidence of increased security through the passage of the USA Patriot Act and the implementation of various Executive Department actions;

Whereas the climate of free and vigorous debate necessary to the academic mission is under attack and has already been chilled in many institutions throughout the country;

Whereas the current climate has relegitimized ethnic profiling, racism and discrimination based on national origin and physical appearance;

Whereas a war on Iraq would likely entail increased spying on and possibly even secret internment of Iraqis and Iraqi-Americans in our community and University;

Whereas government surveillance would likely include increased pressure on the University to provide information on faculty and students to intelligence agencies and police making us complicit in ethnic profiling;

Whereas there is no evidence of ties between the Government of Iraq and al-Qaeda;

And Whereas there is no evidence of an imminent threat to the United States from Iraq;

Therefore be it resolved that the University Senate:

Opposes a military attack on Iraq, and calls on the Bush Administration to cooperate fully in a mutilateral, long-term approach to solve the problems in the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations;

Urges all members of the University community to increase vigilance and act against all attacks on civil liberties and academic freedom;

Encourages all members of the University community to educate themselves on the history and issues behind the conflict with Iraq;

Encourages all members of the University community to educate themselves on the history and issues behind and the causes of terrorism throughout the world.

And encourages wide distribution of this resolution, especially to Senators Durbin and Fitzgerald, and Representative Johnson.

Budget Facts Regarding a War with Iraq

1. The Bush Administration has proposed a 13.5% increase in the 2003 military budget ($45.3 billion) for a total of $379.3 billion.

2. The proposed military budget is 26 times larger than the combined military budgets of the Bush Administration's seven "most dangerous countries" (Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria).

3. The lowest estimate for the cost of the war is $100 billion, which is equal to three times what the federal government spends on education, and is enough to provide health care to all uninsured children in the U.S. for five years.

4. The federal deficit is now $157 billion compared to a surplus of $281 billion when President Bush took office.

Sponsored by Senators Alfred Kagan (LIBR) and James Barrett (LAS)