Please sign the statement here

We believe that the best way to resolve the present Iraqi crisis is to help Iraqis establish a government of the people, by the people, and for the people of Iraq, and that no others can legitimately do so for them.

We reject the notion, constantly repeated, that there are only two choices, diplomacy or war, and that since diplomacy is allegedly failing, war is the only answer.

We reject the fatalistic view that if one wants to free Iraq from tyranny, there is no alternative but a war decided by a foreign power. We reject any manipulation of the U. N. to justify war and the purposeful confusion made between inspections and regime change. Regime change is a separate matter from inspections. Even if the U. N. decided against Iraq, this would restrict intervention to the strictly defined goal of disarmament and give no legal mandate to forcefully depose the leader of a sovereign nation.

But in accordance with universal principles, we believe there is a simple and moral alternative to freeing Iraq from tyranny without a preemptive war.

This alternative is to help the Iraqi people, represented in these circumstances by all opposition groups with no exceptions (Sunni, Shiite, Christian, Arab, Kurd, Assyrian, Turkomen, liberal, monarchist, communist, etc.) and the three million Iraqis in the Iraqi Diaspora, to immediately create a truly independent transitional democratic government.

To create such a transitional democratic government in a credible fashion should be the priority of those wishing for peace and democracy.

Therefore, we demand that President Bush, who has repeatedly promised to exhaust all alternatives to war, keep his word and, together with other governments, publicly commit to the following:

1) as a general goal, the promotion of a truly independent and free democratic government in Iraq, chosen by the Iraqi people themselves, that will hold free and fair elections and be committed to civic and human rights

2) as an immediate practical step, the support of an open and transparent constitutional convention to write a transitional constitution and create a transitional democratic government, this convention to include representatives of all Iraqi opposition groups together with representatives of the three million exiled Iraqis and be completely open to all the world's media

3) the political and diplomatic recognition of such a transitional democratic government instead of Saddam Hussein's government, thus raising pressure on the dictator and further politically isolating him,

4) non-intervention of any kind except to the extent that the new government specifically requests it,

5) helping the new government, once it is established in Baghdad, to conduct free and fair elections to a final constitutional convention of the entire Iraqi people.

We believe that a transitional democratic government of, by, and for Iraqis will have greater legitimacy in deciding how to free Iraq from dictatorship.

A government that has to rebuild the infrastructure of its country has a vested interest in freeing it without massive destruction carried out by hundreds of cruise missiles.

A government that has to deal with the health and social consequences of large-scale human suffering and death has a vested interest in avoiding them.

A government that has to deal with the horrifying consequences of the use of inhuman weapons such as landmines and depleted uranium artillery shells has a vested interest in barring their use.

This is why we believe that a new democratic government of Iraq will safeguard the interests of the Iraqi people better than a foreign government, and that such a government is the only legitimate authority that can decide how to free its own country.

We believe that preemptive democracy would vastly reduce the risks of terrorism, which would be highest in case of a preemptive war.

Finally, we believe that preemptive democracy, unlike present war plans, is in accordance with the founding principles of the United States of America, with its ideals of freedom, democracy, and representative self-government, and that therefore people everywhere will support it.

Signed: concerned citizens of the world