Council Opposes War in Iraq

In a 4-1 vote (Republican Rob Schilling dissenting), City Council approved a proclamation against unilateral war against Iraq last night. Charlottesville is one of 62 cities in the nation that are “Cities for Peace,” along with towns like San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Boulder, Des Moines, Baltimore, Detroit, Santa Fe, Ithaca, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. WINA has the story.

29 thoughts on “Council Opposes War in Iraq”

  1. Who does Charlottesville think it’s helping with it’s peace resolution? Iraq is a brutal dictatorship. It’s people are oppressed, murdered, and starving because of the exploits of it’s leader and his dozen palaces.

    Even if you could care less if Saddam has nukes, anthrax, nerve gas, and a really bad attitude, you could at least care about the oppressed people of Iraq. These oppressed countries full of discontent and poverty are breeding grounds for terrorist and future brutal dictators.

    It’s in the best interests of the World that people like Saddam be removed, for whaever reason. And yes, it is for us to decide, because someone, somewhere, has to step up to the plate and start making the world a safer place.

    Obviously, Charlottesville’s bleeding heart liberals do not have the stomach for doing what it takes to try and make the entire world free. It’s in our best interests and the interests of the Iraqi people that this guy go away.

    Perhaps if Saddam is exiled he can retire in Charlottesville.

    All I can say is thank God I live in Albemarle and not Charlottesville ….

  2. This is just so WRONG on so many levels, regardless of how one feels about the likelihood of any impending war with Iraq. The Charlottesville City Council (Grand Soviet of the People’s Republic of Charlottesville…???) does *not* have any business setting foreign policy for the United States government or declaring itself unilaterally opposed to that policy. I think there were about equally balanced groups, pro and con, at the meeting that decided this, and this issue is obviously highly divisive politically. Wasn’t this issue about local power versus federal power decided once and for all during the Civil War and again during the 1950’s and 1960’s? Just because it’s being done for politically correct reasons rather than to support slavery or institutionalized racism doesn’t make it any better!!

    I think it’s time to investigate whether the city council’s exceeded the powers of its charter. I wonder if the state government in Richmond might be interested? Time for some research, I think…

  3. Not a darn thing. This is exactly what I expected.

    And, as a Gulf War Veteran, I think my opinion counts more than some liberal, snot nosed college kid who thought the Boy Scouts was a rough ride.

    It’s because other’s have fought and died for our freedoms that a tree-hugging town like Charlottesville can run it’s mouth without fear of retribution.

    Enjoy it.

  4. Well said. Now that Council has crossed that line (rather willingly, it seems), does that make foreign policy, abortion, military readiness, income tax reform, campaign finance reform, energy policy, and other formerly-national topics fair game for the next City Council race?

    It’s a shame that none of the Democrats on Council had the political or personal courage to stand up and state that, while they may agree with the sentiment, that wasn’t the appropriate forum for such a grievance, and any such resolution is outside the Council’s scope.

    I’m thinking Rob Schilling may have converted a few more folks last night.

  5. I am a firm believer that anything you take before this council, as long as it has something to do with art, or freedom of speech will get passed. I am disgusted that this group is speaking for the whole city. This "City of Peace" designation gives the impression that the majority of the citizens want this and that just isn’t so. Thank you Rob Schilling for voting against this stupid, but traditional liberal Charlottesville action.

  6. #1: The resolution is to oppose a <b>unilateral</b> war; in other words, one in which we go it alone or go to war without UN consent. It isn’t a blanket statement opposing all war in Iraq or blessing Saddam’s regime or weapons programs. So all you right-wingers out there can calm down a little.

    #2: Republicans do have a big point in regards to the fact that this ever showed up on City Council agenda. Why doesn’t City Council work on dragging the bureaucracy into the 21st century by allowing me to pay my friggin’ parking tickets/city sticker/property taxes/trash fees online?

    I would much rather see the City deliver on the services they’re SUPPOSED to give us than trying to send messages about things they don’t have the authority to worry about. Thank you, City Council, for wasting my local taxes on this extremely irrelevant proclamation.


  7. I can’t wait to see how the P.R.C.’s going to "provide for the common defence," since now, just like Renaissance Florence or Venice, we are apparently a sovereign city state. We obviously won’t have any firearms or tanks, as they’re examples of the "warmongering, fascist state" and ecologically dubious. I guess the Council could send for Noam Chomsky, give him a megaphone, and have him bore any invaders to death with his usual prattle.

    Have we surrendered to the invasion force from Crozet yet? Tell Rob Schilling I’ve joined the partisans hiding out in the hills above Monticello.

  8. I am sooo very happy to see the comments against the Grand Poobah Council of Charlottesville`s action.

    One of the things which irritated me most was when (After Council had passed the resolution) Blake Caravati adamantly (as if he had been laundry marked) said the one "WHEREAS" which supported our Armed Forces was not gratuitous – Well it surely was not in the original resolution and to see it tossed in as a sop was insulting to the Armed Forces and all military families.

    I hope we will use part of our Bush tax cut funds to donate to the Republican Party come election time.

  9. Thank you, Rob Schilling, for giving the non "politically-correct-liberal-bleeding-heart" citizens of Charlottesville a voice.

    Though this doesn’t really surprise me, I still find myself disgusted that the City Council would presume to pass such a resolution. It would be funny if they weren’t so capable of screwing with our lives in other ways.


  10. To say that opposition to war equates to support for Saddam Hussein is foolish, as I imagine (optimistically) that you know.

    I am opposed to the death penalty, but I am not in favor of rapists and murderers.

    I am in favor of freedom of expression, but I am not in favor of loud-mouth bigots picketing the funerals of gay men.

    I am in favor of a woman’s right to choose, but I am opposed to the death of fetuses.

    I am opposed to war, but I am not in favor of Saddam Hussein as the ruler of Iraq.

  11. Disclaimer: I really don’t mean this as any kind of trick question or entrapment. I’m genuinely interested in the answer.

    If you were a member of the City Council, would you have voted to pass this resolution?

  12. Sure, it’s a deliberate attempt to be dramtic.

    However, what does it say when people claim they are opposed to something/someone, but unwilling to do anything about it?

    We’ve tried sanctions for 12 years. We’ve had our no-fly zone. We’ve had inspectors on several occassions.

    As I see it, there are several options.

    1) Become Saddam’s friend, lift the sanctions, and give him weapons. We can get back on his good side and the world will be safe, right?

    2) Kick his butt.

    3) Keep things as they are. And SAMEDAY, Saddam will give a terrorist a big, bad weapon and they will kill 50,000 Americans.

    There are certain things that you cannot deny.

    1) Saddam is a bad, bad, bad person. Around the world and especially to his own people. This dude gassed his own people.

    2) Saddam certainly has a lust for power. He also loves big, bad weapons. Remember the super cannon?

    3) Saddam certainly has had some ties with terrorists. Perhaps not Bin Laden, but he does give cash gifts to the families of suicide bombers.

    4) Sadaam is for no cause but his own. He cares nothing for the world or his nation.

    5) He is a man that cannot be reliably negotiated with, as many reports indicate that he is probably psychopathic.

    All these things being true, what else can we do but remove him by force? Sure, Iraq is no direct military threat to the United States. But the guy has weaponized Anthrax, and guess what boys and girls, we got nailed with weaponized Anthrax last year.

    Regardless of what some bleeding heart liberals would claim, most of us don’t WANT a war. If Saddam went away and was replaced with a responsible ruler, we could all go home.

    I don’t insist that Iraq be populated with an American puppet government. You don’t have to like us to be responsible. But it is certainly the right of the world to insist that countries be ruled by responsible leaders who don’t use posion gas on their own people.

    So, give me asolution to the Iraq problem that does not involve useless sanctions that starve Iraqi people and negotiations with a madman, and we’ll talk.

    I also ask this of all those who are opposed to a war. At what point is is OK to attack another country? How many people do they have to kill before it’s OK for you to act? How many people died in the genocide of the Balkans before NATO got the balls to act? How many Kurds need to be gassed? 1,000? 10,000? How many Iraqi children must starve because Sadaam spends all the money alloted for food on weapons? How much longer do we (the world) have to put up with crap from pissant rulers like Saddam?

  13. If you were a member of the City Council, would you have voted to pass this resolution?

    Probably not. I would certainly write letters, attend marches and protests, and use my position as a councilor as a bully pulpit to oppose war. But I’m not sure that I’d have passed this resolution.

  14. Since when is our right to act in the interests of our national security an issue for France? or China?

    I think that if an airliner had crashed into the Eiffel Tower the UN would be singing a different tune.

    Perhaps if someone has spread Anthrax all over Munich the UN would be singing a different tune.

    It’s so easy for those who were not victims to be critical of the actions of those who were.

    You are correct in the fact that this was certainly a "me too" effort on the part of the council. I think someone who lives in the City should sue to have the proclamation state that it does not reflect the opinions of all residents, or something to that effect.

  15. I opposed this toothless proclamation and I sent an email to the Democratic members of Council saying as much.

    The Bush administration has bungled foreign policy so badly that I no longer have faith in its abililty to successfully wage a war in the Middle East without reaping harmful consequences that outwiegh the benefits. However, I do not think that it is appropriate or desirable for City Council to go about issuing editorials on the White House’s foreign policies as part of its official duties.

    If President Bush issued an Executive Order condemning Charlottesville’s free ‘Hoo Bus’ as a failure, I think that we’d be furious. Whether or not he would be right is irrelevant- it’s none of his concern and no good could come of his misuse of office to play at editorializing. The Council’s anti-war proclamation is no different.

  16. BTW, I waffle in my answer not because I don’t know how I feel — I do — but because I am not, in fact, a City Councilor. It is all too easy to criticize decisions made by those in power, particularly after the fact, and I recognize that they were subject to pressures and beliefs that are unique to them due to their role in local government.

  17. Actually Mike, since Charlottesville has a "sister city" in a foreign country that gives our wonderful councillors the expertise to dabble in international affairs. HA!

  18. yes Waldo, you are correct, but you had equal numbers at the meeting last night and they still chose to do what they did. Come on, do you think that is right?

  19. If the result of your action is to help rapists and murderers get away with rape and murder, then you are supporting rapists and murderers, whether you personally agree with what they’re doing or not.

    Likewise, if the result of your action is to help Saddam Hussein get away with his crimes, you are supporting Saddam, whether you personally approve of his actions or not.

    Unintended consequences are just as real and just as important as intended ones.

    If you make a rational choice that, bad as Saddam is, opposing war is more important than getting rid of him, that’s your choice to express, but you should recognize that helping Saddam get away with war crimes is the price you pay for your position – just as Kissinger et al decided that defeating global communism was more important than stopping murder and torture in Chile.

    Anyway, this is just City Council blowing off steam as a result of realizing its own irrelevance to the most pressing issues of the day. The sad thing is that there is plenty of work that could be done on things that *are* in the city’s power to fix, but they’re wasting time on empty gestures like this instead. Then again, at least this is a free boondoggle to the taxpayers instead of one that spends more of our money on bad art or Congress-style pork barrel projects.

  20. I agree.

    One point: even though it is every citizen’s "concern", including local governments’ council members, and even though I happen to agree with the gist of their stance, they have no right representing Charlottesville’s position officially. They are perfectly entitled to state their opinion, even attach their credentials (i.e. Mayor, …), but they have no right extending this as a city sealed proclamation.

    It would be the same thing if they stated their opinion of abortion, for instance (as mentioned higher), but failed to issue a referendum on the matter. To me, this is another indication of both a lack of focus and of comprehension as to their duties as elected government officials.

    But… come to think of it, isn’t this true of George Dubbya too? His presidential charter does permit this unilateral executive resolution by way of his Commander in Chief position. But is this desirable? The American people elected him, but should that allow him to act like a king and single-handedly deciding “war or peace”?

  21. Spoken like a true politician who will be running in the near future…

    That’s hardly fair. This is the sort of issue about which I am most conflicted. Every ideal that I have tells me that we are all obligated to use every resource at hand to make our opinions known, particularly with an issue of such grave importance as known. On the other hand, I also believe that elected officials ought to fulfill their duties and not abuse their positions; it seems to me that taking a vote on federal issues about which that vote has no actual relevance is an abuse (albeit a harmless one) of the purpose of a city council.

    I do not fault those who supported this measure, nor those who voted in favor of it. I recognize that their scales are slightly different than mine are at the moment, in that they believe strongly in fighting war at the costs of a breach of what is essentially council etiquette. My opposition is one bred largely of ignorance of the proper role of city council, I suspect, though I await evidence demonstrating that.

  22. Come on, do you think that is right?

    Certainly I do. You said yourself that the people in chamber were evenly split, so council could safely disregard them in terms of numbers. Presumably (hopefully), they all voted their conscience. Isn’t that what we want out of our elected representatives?

  23. Likewise, if the result of your action is to help Saddam Hussein get away with his crimes, you are supporting Saddam, whether you personally approve of his actions or not.

    You’ve set up a false dichotomy: we must choose between war or a country led by an evil dictator. Obviously, these are not the only two choices with which we are faced.

  24. The Nation is in mourning over the loss of seven patriots.

    The President is compassionately speaking to the nation.

    Come now the City Council of Charlottesville to denounce the President`s policies………… What great timing.

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