The Greater Bennington Peace and Justice Center has lead a partnership of peace groups to craft the following letter. They are looking for individuals statewide to join them in contacting our Congressional delegates. Please contact our delegates through their webpages or by phone to share your concerns. Thank you GBPAJ for your leadership and attention to this deeply concerning issue.

  1. Senator Bernie Sanders, (800)-339-9834
  2. Senator Patrick Leahy, (800) 642-3193
  3. Representative Peter Welch, (888) 605-7270


Dear Senator Leahy/ Senator Sanders/ Representative Welch:

We, your undersigned constituents, are greatly alarmed by the statement made by Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, on the May 28, 2017, CBS program “Face the Nation.” During the program Mr. Mattis stated: “…the [North Koreans] have been very clear in their rhetoric – we don’t have to wait until they have an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear weapon on it to say that now its manifested completely. It’s a direct threat to the United States.”

In light of the July 4th launch of what most analysts agree was an intercontinental ballistic missile by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, we view the language used by Secretary of Defense Mattis as an implied threat to carry out a preemptive attack against the DPRK.

Such an attack would, quite probably, result in a counter strike against the United States, the Republic of Korea and U. S. bases in Japan. The consequences of these attacks, both direct and unanticipated, are beyond comprehension.

As you are well know, the United States and the Soviet Union confronted each other for over forty years with each possessing enough nuclear weapons to mutually assure the destruction of the other. The reason both sides were deterred was because of the thousands of nuclear warheads held by each and the negotiated treaties limiting the number and types of nuclear warheads held by each.

We urge you to do all in your power to have Congress exercise its Constitutional authority and prevent any preemptive strike against North Korea. In addition, use your office to advance the same policies that allowed the United States and the Soviet Union to survive the Cold War, namely nuclear deterrence and creative diplomatic negotiations leading to mutually beneficial treaties.

Clearly, responsible and creative diplomacy is what is needed now to avoid a catastrophic war between a nuclear-armed United States and a nuclear-armed Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.

We await your reply.