BGSU campus reacts to threat

By Chuck Soder


Most University students are against a war on Iraq, according to a BG News survey, but their wish will not be President Bush’s command, if his speech last night is any indication.

Of the 131 students who took part in the February survey, 58, or 44 percent, said they support a war on Iraq. Forty-four students, 34 percent, said they oppose an attack. Twenty-nine were undecided. There is little chance that those against the war will get what they want. Peacetime could end soon, with Bush giving Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his two sons 48 hours to leave his country as of last night.

Eighty-eight students, or 67 percent — including 26 students in favor of war — said U.N. support is necessary if the United States is to attack Iraq.

College Democrats President Hannah Kemp shares this opinion. Only with U.N. support would an attack be justified, she said. “Because of our credibility in the international community, we need to follow the U.N. as much as possible,” Kemp said. “We’re looking a little bit like a bully in some senses.”

Nick Gurich, president of the now-defunct BGSU Campus Greens, said it is wrong for Bush to expect the United Nations to always follow his interests.

“It’s ironic that when the U.N. doesn’t agree with the United States, Bush comes out and says ‘the U.N. doesn’t work,'” Gurich said. During his speech, Bush said an attack is justified without total support from the United Nations because the governing body has ignored its duty to enforce its resolutions. He cited that Iraq was in breach of 12, including one passed in November 2002, which stated that the country’s leaders have failed to prove Iraq has destroyed the arsenal of chemical and biological weapons it posesed after the Gulf War.

“[Opposing] nations share our assessment of the danger but not our resolve to meet it,” Bush said.

Not every nation opposes a war on Iraq. Great Britain and Spain would support the United States in an invasion. reported yesterday that Australia is expected to join the coalition as well. Though most University students oppose the war, 64 percent of Americans favor an attack, according to a CCN/USA Today/Gallup Poll of 1,007 adults conducted this weekend.

Some students fit this statistic, including Gregg Pitts, chairman of the College Republicans.

Though peace would be preferable, neither diplomacy nor inspections in Iraq have proven effective, according to Pitts. “Saddam Hussein has been defiant to the world for 12 years now,” he said. “At some point there has to be an end.”

Though Gurich agrees that Hussein may still have some weapons of mass destruction, he said some other countries pose greater threats, citing North Korea’s nuclear capability.

“When North Korea reopened a nuclear reactor, the U.S. and the U.N. said ‘no,'” Gurich said. “But North Korea didn’t listen.” Bush said attacking Iraq is justified by Hussein’s track record of atrocities against not only the United States, but against his neighbors and his own people as well.

Bush added that he hopes to spare not only U.S. lives, but Iraqi lives as well.

“If we must begin an attack, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country,” he said in a statement to Iraqi citizens. “Not against you.”