The Great Debate: Should the US attack Iraq?

Students and professors were engaged in a detailed and sometimes heated debate last night in the Union theater.

Discussing whether or not the US should wage war on Saddam Hussein and Iraq, each side of the issue was represented by a professor and student.

In favor of attacking Iraq was Dr. Jeff Peake, assistant professor of political science, and senior history major Jason Truett. Representing no attack were Dr. Marvin Belzer, associate professor of philosophy, and senior political science major Sara Kaminski.

The team in favor of attack presented many reasons for US action. They noted that Iraqi citizens have lived under a tyrannical government for decades. They also said that U.N. resolutions meant to contain Iraq have failed.

“History has shown that the containment policy has not worked with Iraq,” Peake said.

The team noted that Iraq has violated 17 UN resolutions. Saddam Hussein’s actions only seem to change when there is a threat to his livelihood. According to the side, leaving Saddam in power could result in decreased safety for Americans.

“Imagine an attack similar to September 11th with nuclear or biological weapons,” Peake said.

“Once again America is called upon to insure the safety of not only our people but the people of the world,” Truett said.

Presenting a strong case in their favor, those opposed to war argued that currently Saddam’s actions have not warranted an attack. The group noted that concrete proof for the existence of weapons of mass destruction has not been found. They feel that funding for the war could be used for better national security.

“Relative to national defense, is Iraq where our resources should be going?” Belzer said.

The team thought the US should not act unless without complete support of the U.N.

“US is not the supreme interpreter of U.N. policy,” Kaminsky said.

The team also said that an attack on Iraq could provoke Saddam to move any weapons, if he has them, to terrorists. They also said that Saddam would not consider using weapons of mass destruction on the US.

“Saddam Hussein is not suicidal,” Kaminsky said.

Students from the packed theater were allowed to ask questions or make statements, following the presentations from each team .

Despite some disruptions stemming from students’ comments, the debate remained civil.