CHICAGO — Chicago on Wednesday became the nation’s largest city to urge the Bush administration to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq at once.
The resolution, approved 29-9, seeks an “immediate and orderly” withdrawal. The City Council has 50 aldermen.
Chicago joins other cities – including San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Calif., 50 communities in Vermont and the Chicago suburb of Evanston – in calling for the withdrawal of troops.
The vote followed an hour of emotional debate, including an impassioned speech by Alderman Burton Natarus, who fainted afterward.
“It’s time to call a halt to the bloodshed,” he said. “It’s time to load up the ships, load up the planes and welcome home the troops to a ticker-tape parade in New York and a ticker-tape parade in Chicago.”
Natarus, 71, was in good condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and would be kept overnight for observation, a hospital spokeswoman said.
During the debate, Alderman Bernard Stone said he had backed the invasion of Iraq but changed his mind as the death toll of U.S. troops climbed.
“Do you think we can make the citizens of Iraq accept democracy by having our troops killed in the roads?” he said. “We’re not supporting our troops by having them killed.”
Alderman James Balcer voted against the resolution, saying he was demoralized by anti-war sentiment while serving as a Marine in Vietnam.
“I know everyone in this council wants our troops home, but I can tell you this (resolution) does not help our troops nor does it help the war on terror,” said Balcer, who followed his “no” vote during the roll call with “Semper Fi,” the Marine Corps motto.