Even though it may not make a difference in the outcome, I think it's important for those of us who oppose the US blindly going to war on the UN's behalf (but without the UN's approval) to say something while we've still got the chance. Essentially, the President is being given a blank check to declare war against Iraq, whether there is a new U.N. resolution that authorizes it or not.
Of particular interest to me is this article, which shows how the new U.N. resolution that the US is trying to force through the Security Counsel is, in fact, designed to be completely unacceptable for Iraq or any other soveriegn state to accept. In other words, the government's goal is to go to war with Iraq, not to bring back weapons inspectors. This also explains why the CIA has been withholding information to Congress relating to Iraqi military strength, and their weapons of mass destruction. The truth of the matter is that Iraqi military strength is only half of what it was at the time of the Gulf War, and there is no proof of continued development of weapons of mass destruction. That, incidentally, is why we keep hearing conflicting reports, saying things like "Iraq can have dirty bombs in half a year" or "Iraq can have nuclear weapons in eight years". It's all speculative, as, without weapons inspectors, we don't *know* anything.
Is Saddam a dictator? Certainly. Has he done bad things to his people? Definitely. Then again, the same could be said of Saudi Arabia, a US-supported dictatorship that is violently repressive to any opposition, and especially to women. The real issue is whether he is willing to comply with weapons inspectors, which, despite all their previous weaknesses, greatly reduced the threat of Iraq to other nations.
I don't know whether it's a moot point or not, but it may make you feel better to say something now before the bombing starts and people start losing their lives on your behalf.
The Senate Page has a summary of the resolution. (The full text is also available.)
If you have an opinion on this resolution, it's easy to write your senator an email. Go to the Senate page and look up your Senators by state (very slow right now) or, if you know the names of your Senators, look up their email addresses alphabetically.
I won't guarantee this is true for all Senators, but the pattern seems for the email addy seems to be:
senator@[senator's last name].senate.gov
Proper letter address is:
Dear Senator [senator's last name]:
I think it's helpful to include your home address to show that you are a constituent.
I don't know if I'm going to write Senators other than my own, but I think in a matter this important it's certainly proper. I think it's also perfectly reasonable for people outside the U.S. to send emails too. (Just in case anyone is reading this journal outside the U.S.)