Urges Cessation of Combat Operations in Iraq
  and the Return of US Troops

WHEREAS, the Portland City Council supports the men and women deployed in Iraq, and honors the memory of those who have lost their lives in the war; and

WHEREAS, U.S. involvement in Iraq has resulted in the deaths of more than 2,800 U.S. troops, and the wounding and disabling of more than 21,000 U.S. military personnel to date; and

WHEREAS, the costs of the call-up of Oregon National Guard members for deployment in Iraq has been significant, as reckoned in lost lives, combat injuries, psychic trauma, disruption of family life, financial hardship for individuals, families and businesses, interruption of careers and damage to the fabric of civic life in many Oregon communities; and

WHEREAS, the war and occupation have also cost as many as 600,000 Iraqi deaths, including men, women and children, according to an October 11 study by published by the British medical journal the Lancet; and

WHEREAS, countless more Iraqis have been maimed, traumatized and wounded, or have suffered the destruction of homes, schools, sanitation and water treatment plants, hospitals and the environment; and

WHEREAS, more than $343 billion has been appropriated by Congress to fund military operations and reconstruction in Iraq to date, rather than to fund desperately needed education, health care, housing, nutrition and other social services in the United States, and humanitarian assistance abroad; and

WHEREAS, the more than $419 million spent by Portland taxpayers to date on the war and occupation in Iraq could have provided one year's Head Start for nearly 56,000 Portland children; or one year's medical insurance for more than 250,000 Portland children; or one year's salary for over 7,000 public school teachers in Portland; or more than 3,700 additional housing units in Portland, or over 20,000 four year scholarships at public universities in Oregon, according to the National Priorities Project; and

WHEREAS, the Oregon AFL-CIO, in October, 2005 in convention, approved a resolution including, "...because there can be no more rapid return than now, the Oregon National Guard be immediately returned to their homes and families and that the health care benefits they receive while serving their country be continued upon their return home as long as they have no other source of equally comprehensive health care benefits," and

WHEREAS, in October 2002, the United States Congress adopted a Joint Resolution to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces in Iraq on the basis of imminent threat of attack by Iraq, possession of weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein and the role of Saddam Hussein in the 9/11 attacks on the United States, all of which have subsequently been disproved; and

WHEREAS, the war and continued occupation have resulted in the devastation of Iraq's physical and social infrastructure and led to widespread and continuous resistance to US occupation that threatens the lives of Iraqi civilians, and the men and women who compose the ranks of U.S. and other occupying forces; and

WHEREAS, the presence of United States forces in Iraq and the alleged torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other facilities have diminished the moral authority of the United States, and inflamed anti-American passions in much of the world; and

WHEREAS, the people of Iraq should not be further punished for the miscalculations of the government of the United States, and it should be finally and clearly acknowledged that only a greater measure of international cooperation can create safety and security in Iraq; and

WHEREAS, 65 percent of people in the Portland area disapprove of the way President Bush has handled the war in Iraq according to a September 2006 Oregonian/KATU poll;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the Council of the City of Portland, on behalf of the people of Portland urges the United States government to immediately commence an orderly and rapid withdrawal of United States military personnel from Iraq; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Council of the City of Portland calls upon the President of the United States and the United States Congress to take the conciliatory steps necessary to restore the standing of the United States in the eyes of the world, protect national security, and induce the cooperation necessary to help bring safety and security to the people of Iraq as drawdown of American troops commences; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the financial resources used to prosecute the war be redirected to address the urgent needs of the most vulnerable portions of our population, including education, health care and full benefits for returning veterans; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution shall be sent to George W. Bush, President of the United States, the members of the Oregon Congressional delegation, the Oregon State legislature and Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski.

Adopted by the Council:
Commissioner Randy Leonard
Sara Petrocine :sp
November 30, 2006

Gary Blackmer
Auditor of the City of Portland


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Page posted October 30, 2006; updated with the most recent version (11/20/06) November 20, 2006