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Ralph Nader > Letters To President George W. Bush regarding Iraq War > Letter to President Bush from Business Executives Against the Iraq War

March 6, 2003

President George W. Bush

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Before you decide whether to attack Iraq, we the undersigned business executives, Republicans, Democrats and Independents, respectfully request the opportunity to meet with you to discuss our concerns about the economic consequences of such a war.

It is no coincidence that in recent weeks the stock market has risen with talk of peace and plummeted when war seems more likely. America is teetering on the brink of renewed recession. The huge surpluses of recent years have vanished into huge deficits which will be magnified by the tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars that fighting a war and securing the peace will require. In the mean time, the budgets of the states and cities, whose services we count on to create positive climates for our businesses, are in shock. And our schools — the training grounds for our future work force and source of the creative minds we will need to prosper in a globalizing economy — are cutting back teachers and programs and increasing class size.

We believe that a war with Iraq could exacerbate all the economic problems that America faces today. For example, a recent analysis by experts convened by the Center for Strategic and International Studies predicted that any war would knock down stock prices by as much as 25 percent, more than undoing any benefit that might accrue from eliminating the tax on dividends. Other experts have pointed out that the war could also raise oil prices, lower consumer confidence, force cuts in federal, state and local programs, disrupt transportation, tourism, and shipping, create a backlash against American brands abroad, and more.

We well understand that the state of the economy should not be the overriding factor in decisions of national and international security. But, as business people, we believe that the economic consequences of going to war should be part of the cost-benefit analysis that drives your decision. We also believe that the potential economic effects of a war need to be understood by the public and those running businesses before the shooting starts.

National dialogue on the potential economic impacts of the war is required. One way to initiate such dialogue would be to meet with a delegation of the undersigned business leaders at your earliest convenience. You can reach us through Gary Ferdman, Executive Director of Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities, TEL: 212-243-3416.


Peter A. Benoliel

Chairman, Executive Committee

Quaker Chemical Corporation

Dan Mendelson

Senior Vice President

Enterprise Social Development Corp.

Frank A. Butler

President (Ret.)

Eastman Gelatine Corp, a KODAK subsidiary

Mike Dixon

Co-Founder, Principal Architect

PlaceWare, Inc.

Dal LaMagna

CEO and Founder


Peter Matson


Sterling Lord Literisic, Inc.

Nick Sheridan

Cuisine Catering

Pat McGrath

Jordan McGrath Case & Partners

Leland E.G. “Lee” Larson


The Larson Legacy Foundation

Thomas R. Durkan, Sr.

Charman of the Board & CEO (ret.)

Durkan Patterned Carpet

Mark Lichty


Bustin Industrial Products

Ted Williams

Chairman & CEO (Ret.)

Bell Industries

Arnold Hiatt


The Stride Rite Foundation

Alan E. Kligerman


AkPharma, Inc.

Paulette Cole


ABC Carpet & Home

Jonathan Rose

Affordable Housing, Inc.

Richard W. Torgerson

Registered Principal,

Progressive Asset Management

Erik Thompson


Prarie Land & Lumber, Inc.