NIGHTLINE TOWN MEETING: Why War Now?
- When war could be just days away, Ted Koppel will host a 90-minute town
meeting tonight on the war in Iraq: WHY NOW? Has the Bush administration
made its case to you? Do you support the U.S. acting without the support
of a new United Nations resolution? Without the support of many of our
longtime allies? Without Turkey as a military staging area? We'll talk
about all of that and more - tonight.
: The scuttlebutt around Washington these days is that war is coming
: soon....very soon. And a majority of Americans, 6 of 10, support it. But
: within that support, which hasn't moved significantly in the last few
: weeks, there are many Americans who voice concern for the timing, among
: other reservations. Have all other options been exhausted? Will we act
: without our allies? Without another U.N. resolution? Have the
: consequences of the aftermath of such a war been fully explored and
: Tonight Ted Koppel will host a town meeting before a live audience at St.
: John's Episcopal Church on Lafayette Park in Washington DC, directly
: across the street from the White House. This is the church that is often
: called "the church of the Presidents" because every American president
: since James Madison has worshipped there. Surely more than one president
: has ducked into this church to offer one more prayer, or seek one more
: request for guidance, on the eve of war.
: So, in this historic and distinguished setting, we will bring together
: diplomatic, political, ethical and military perspectives for a discussion
: on the decision to go to war with Iraq. The panelists will include:
: - Joseph Wilson, former deputy chief of mission, U.S. Embassy in Baghdad
: - James Woolsey, former Director of the C.I.A.
: - Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan
: - Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona
: - Rev. Richard Land, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the
: Southern Baptist Convention
: - Rev. Susan Thistelthwaite, Chicago Theological Seminary
: If you feel like you missed the debate over this issue in the Congress,
: it's because there wasn't much of one - not in recent months, anyway. So,
: tonight we have invited every member of Congress to attend the town
: meeting, to have the debate that hasn't taken place in its own chambers.
: Not surprisingly, only a handful of members accepted our invitation, but
: we are glad to have all of them, and will allow some to speak, as they do,
: for the Americans they represent.
: We will also have a cross-section of Americans in the audience - some who
: are concerned that the decision to go to war is coming too quickly, others
: who feel that Saddam Hussein has been given ample time to disarm or step
: down and refused all alternatives, and still others who haven't made up
: their minds yet.
: Have you? We hope you'll join us.
: Sara Just and the Nightline staff
: Senior Producer
: ABC News
: Washington bureau
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-Terry Liberty Parker