Earlier this month, the council overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution urging the president and Congress to "pursue peaceful alternatives to outright war in the Persian Gulf." Only Councilman Howard Shook dissented, while four other council members didn't vote.
"This is the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement," says Councilman Jim Maddox, who sponsored the resolution. "I believe that if Dr. King were alive today, he would say, 'Let war be the last resort.'"
Maddox, who chairs the council's Advisory Committee on International Relations, argues that the city had a special responsibility to promote peace over war. Numerous other cities have passed similar resolutions, including Atlanta's sister city, Nuremberg, Germany, Maddox says. But Atlanta appears to be the first in Georgia.
Atlanta's resolution alleges that "a driving factor" for waging war is Middle Eastern oil and that the U.S. hasn't "made a convincing case that we face such an imminent threat to our national security that a unilateral, pre-emptive American strike and an immediate war are necessary."
The resolution doesn't make the council pro Saddam Hussein, Maddox says. "Nobody's supporting Saddam Hussein; he needs to leave power. But let war be the last resort."
Mayor Shirley Franklin isn't required to sign resolutions, and she didn't sign this one. But Franklin also chose not to veto it.
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