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UNITY STATEMENT

The members of Stand Down hold a wide variety of different and, indeed, conflicting political positions, but all are in agreement on a single proposition: that the use of military force to effect "regime change" in Iraq is ill advised and unjustified. We do not deny that the current Iraqi regime is monstrous, but we hold, following John Adams, that the United States need not go "abroad in search of monsters to destroy" unless they pose a clear and direct threat to American national security.

The high costs of invasion in the form of the death of innocents, the destabilization of the region, and the swelling of the ranks of terrorists as anti-American sentiment is inflamed, require that the decision to go to war not be taken lightly. In the absence of clear evidence that Saddam Hussein is so suicidal as to have undertaken or planned attacks against the United States, we hold that the wise and moral course is to pursue, by a variety of means, the strategies of deterrence and containment that have effectively shielded the U.S. from attack by nuclear-armed adversaries for the past 50 years.

No one party or perspective has a monopoly on opposition to war. The more shrill advocates of invasion have tried for some time to imply that lack of enthusiasm for military action implies insufficient patriotism, or even hatred of America. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is precisely our affection for the ideals of a constitutional republic that leads us to believe that a country imbued with America's enormous power must exercise equally great restraint.