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Old 26th July 2005
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Letter from the late Senator Paul Wellstone

Here is a letter written to me by the late Senator Paul Wellstone. As this letter was written on October 24th, 2002 and he was killed at 10:22 am the following morning, it may very well be the last thing he wrote. I had written him asking his opinion about going to war in Iraq, and though I didn't see it at the time, his words turned out to be pretty insightful.


Subject: Reply from Senator Wellstone
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 14:51:12 -0400
From: <[email protected]>
To: <[email protected]>

October 24, 2002

Mr. xxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Eden Prairie, MN

Dear Mr. xxxxxx:

Thank you for contacting me regarding U.S. policy towards Iraq. I have
been hearing from many Minnesotans about their concerns on this very
important matter. I appreciate knowing your views.

I do not believe the Bush administration has yet made a case for taking
pre-emptive unilateral military action against Iraq. Serious questions
about the nature and urgency of the threat posed by Iraq, the range of
possible U.S. policy responses, and the consequences of a possible U.S. or
allied military attack are still unanswered. Other questions remain about
the impact of unilateral military action on our preeminent national
security priority, the continuing war on terrorism; on our ongoing efforts
to stabilize and rebuild Afghanistan; on efforts to calm the intensifying
Middle East crisis, especially the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and on
the dangerous situation between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.

In the early morning of Friday October 11, the Senate approved the
President's requested resolution to allow him to take military action
against Iraq. I opposed the resolution because it would authorize military
action now in Iraq - including pre-emptive, go-it-alone military action -
even as the US seeks to garner support from our allies on a tough new UN
disarmament resolution. I voted in favor of a substitute amendment to
improve the resolution, which would have authorized the use of appropriate
force by the United States and our allies, pursuant to a new UN Security
Council resolution, following exhaustion of efforts to disarm Iraq, in
order to obtain compliance by Iraq with its international obligations.

Saddam Hussein is a brutal, ruthless dictator who has repressed his own
people, attacked his neighbors, and remains an international outlaw. The
world would be a much better place if he were gone and the regime in Iraq
were changed. That's why the US should unite the world against Saddam and
not allow him to unite forces against us.


I oppose a go-it-alone approach, allowing ground invasion of Iraq without
the support of other countries, because it could give Saddam exactly that
chance. A pre-emptive, go-it-alone strategy towards Iraq is wrong.
Instead, I support ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction through
unfettered UN inspections which should begin as soon as possible

The President has said he has not yet decided to use force against Iraq
and that war may yet be avoidable. I believe the primary focus of policy
toward Iraq now should be targeted on the verifiable disarmament of that
country's weapons of mass destruction. It is the goal that our allies
support, including Britain. It is the goal most likely to be successful,
and from which our strategy should flow. I hope the President will focus
on disarmament, which will help strengthen and sustain international
support, enabling us to be most effective in dealing with Saddam Hussein.

Again, thank you for contacting me. I hope you will continue to stay in
touch with me on matters of importance to you.

Sincerely,

Paul David Wellstone
United States Senator







More about Senator Wellstone:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Wellstone