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Ralph Nader > Letters To President George W. Bush regarding Iraq War > Students Letter Requesting Meeting With Bush

February 18, 2003

President George W. Bush

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

We are writing to you on behalf of students from across the country who are in principled opposition to your planned invasion of Iraq, and are dedicated to opening up a dialogue about this issue.

When you announced the Education Bill, the first bill you sent to Congress, you commented: “Both parties have been talking about education reform for quite a while. It’s time to come together to get it done, so that we can truthfully say in America: No child will be left behind, not one single child.”

Right now though, many children are still left behind: about 400,000 more students this year than last are expected not to be able to pursue higher education next fall due to finances.Your proposed war on Iraq will only draw more much-needed funds out of higher education.

Not only are college students across the country experiencing tuition increases, but primary and secondary education is also in turmoil.Among those left behind will be the very children of Americans fighting in Iraq.The local school district of Copperas Cove, Texas, where many Fort Hood children attend school, for example, will lose about 20 percent of its operating budget according to your proposed federal budget for 2003.

When we invaded Afghanistan, one of the promises of your administration was to bring education to the women of this country. Nevertheless, when Congressman Frank R. Wolf visited last year, he commented that “The girls at the school have a great desire to learn, despite the lack of resources and pitiful conditions. The school has no desks; the girls sit on the cold, dirt floor. They have no pens or paper, and few books.”In order to purchase and deliver school supplies in time for the March 2003 school year, UNICEF is need of $10 million-about the cost of ten precision-guided missiles out of the thousands of missiles and bombs which you plan to drop on Iraq in the first 48 hours of an invasion.

Before spending billions of dollars to invade Iraq, we urge you to meet with us to discuss why a preemptive war on a country we have already spent over a decade bombing takes precedence over the concerns of education domestically and abroad.As President John F. Kennedy said: “Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education.”

Thank You,

Minou Arjomand

NY/NJ Campus Antiwar Network

Campus Antiwar Network (national)

(631) 838-1373

Lenore Palladino

United Students Against Sweatshops

National Youth and Student Peace Coalition

United for Peace and Justice Youth Caucus

United for Peace and Justice Administrative Committee

(646) 279-4901

Brent Purdue

Campus Greens

(512) 473-2016

Eliyanna Kaiser

Young Democratic Socialists

(212) 727-8610

Jason Fults

Student Environmental Action Coalition
(215) 222-4711

Jo’ie Taylor

United States Student Association

(202) 347-8772

Alysabeth Alexander

Students Transforming and Resisting Corporations

(503) 235-0760

Susie Whitlock

Music Matters

(612) 377-1142

Alex Cheney

Boston Mobilization

(617) 782-2313

Garrett Wright

Student Peace Action Network

(202) 862-9740 ext. 3051


Daniel O’Neil-Ortiz

Boston Campus Anti-War Coalition

(617) 834-6575