In the fall, a large number of faculty members signed a petition, circulated by Professor Steven Lee, against the Iraq war. Lee submitted the petition to the White House, and the response from the President's office is below.
THE WHITE HOUSE
March 18, 2003
Mr. Steven Lee and Petitioners
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, New York 14456 3397
Dear Mr. Lee and Petitioners:
Thank you for your letter to President Bush about Iraq. The President appreciates hearing your views and welcomes your suggestions.
For the security of the American people and our friends around the world, the United States is confronting the gathering threat of the Iraqi regime. Last year, the United Nations Security Council gave Saddam Hussein his final chance to disarm, and since then he has shown utter contempt for the United Nations and for the opinion of the world. The dictator of Iraq is not disarming, but instead deceiving the United Nations inspectors that were given broad authority to look for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. From our intelligence sources, the United States knows that thousands of Iraqi security personnel are at work hiding documents and materials from the U.N. inspectors, sanitizing inspection sites, and surveilling the inspectors themselves. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441 requires Saddam Hussein to cooperate actively with inspectors. Recently, Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the United Nations Security Council again to review Iraq's numerous and ongoing violation of U.N. resolutions.
Armed with nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, Saddam Hussein would resume his ambitions of conquest in the Middle East and create havoc in the region. President Bush also believes this Congress and the American people must recognize another threat. Evidence from intelligence sources. secret communications, statements by people now in custody reveals that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists. including members of al-Quaida. We cannot allow Saddam Hussein to provide terrorists with the world's most dangerous weapons. President Bush has stated that “trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.” Because our country values life, and because we know the horrific nature of war the President joins many Americans in hoping that Iraq will fully comply with the world's demands. The President is determined that, if the regime does not cooperate with the United Nations, the United States will act with a coalition of partners to disarm Iraq.
President Bush has stated that a military conflict would be a last resort. To avoid conflict, President Bush believes the international community must continue to stand together and not allow the Iraqi regime to undermine our shared goal of peace.
Thank you again for bringing your views to President Bush's attention. Best wishes.
Desiree Thompson, Special Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Correspondence