s a docketer last year with Alderman Steve Linsky, at the
behest of Newton Dialogues on Peace and War, I am very pleased that Newton
through the Board of Aldermen and the Mayor has chosen to join over 300
communities across the country in requesting a withdrawal of our troops in Iraq.
It is also appropriate that we have
included language recognizing the need to mandate comprehensive health care for
our returning veterans. I want to thank Alderman Merrill for requesting this
addition to our resolution.
In the history of a country, certain events
occur of such significance that, in the words of Arthur Miller “attention must
be paid”. The war in Iraq is such an event.
Entered into on a lie carefully fed and
nurtured by the Bush administration whose objectives are very different from
what has been publicly stated, it has cost the lives of thousands of American
troops, and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis. Perhaps even more painful
to contemplate are the tens of thousands of young American men and women who
have been severely wounded during their service and who are returning home, but
will never be entirely whole again.
It has cost us billions of dollars already
and is currently costing us between 9 and 12 billion a month—Meanwhile,
municipalities across our country are struggling to fund their schools, repair
crumbling infrastructure, deal with rising healthcare costs, and meet the
general needs of their citizens as well as the needs of those who require our
care. People often do not connect the dots… but the fact is that as long as we
are sending billions of American tax dollars over there, we will not have the
means to care for our own needs here at home.
There is a time to stand up and be counted
and that time has arrived. We thank everyone involved in this Resolution’s
development and passage.
While a resolution on a war in a far off,
foreign land is not the usual purview of Newton city government, it is
appropriate that we have taken a clear and just position on our need to
disengage from this war, and that indeed, “attention has been paid”.