The possibility of a war with Iraq is on the minds of many Temple students these days.
Most students have mixed feelings about another war, reflecting the general mood of the nation.
“One part of me says go in and blow them all up,” said history major Casey Conroy, “[and] one part says no.”
Conroy connects George W. Bush’s plan to the Persian Gulf War.
He said that Bush feels we should have finished it then; that he just wants to finish the job his father started.
“I don’t know what [Bush’s] motives are. It baffles me,” said social studies education major Matt Montagna.
Montagna said that he is afraid that a war on Saddam Hussein could turn into another Vietnam and would only benefit the defense industry.
He added that Hussein is a threat but that the United Nations is best suited to deal with him.
Shannon Barton, a junior majoring in Elementary Education said that a war is necessary if the U.N. doesn’t get the authority to conduct inspections of Iraq’s weapons programs.
Barton said that her greatest fear is that a war against Iraq will be fought by people her age, but that Hussein must be stopped at all costs.
Freshman James Choi, said that Hussein is not the threat Bush has said he is because Hussein does not have the military power that the U.S. does.
“I think it’s a bad idea,” he said, “We shouldn’t use force. We should talk it over first.”
Bush’s handling of the Iraq situation has been a little opportunistic, said law student Jennifer (who asked that her last name not be revealed).
“He’s trying to use the increased power of his office after Sept. 11 to try to vindicate his father,” she said.
She added that she thinks Bush is using Iraq and Saddam Hussein to distract from economic problems in the U.S.
She said that Bush is used the issue of war as a ploy to help Republicans recapture control of Congress.
Will Igoe, another law student, said that the U.S. should search for long-term peaceful solutions instead of war.
“It’s hard to set a precedent against someone who hasn’t done anything to you at all. Striking against [Iraq would set] a bad precedent,” Igoe said.
Igoe said that the economy will suffer if the U.S. goes to war with Iraq.
“Higher fuel prices would affect the automobile industry, the plane industry and shipping industry,” he said, “[which] have been already hit by the economic slowdown that happened [since Sept. 11].”
“Iraq is a dangerous country,” said adjunct political science professor Mark Cohen, “They have purportedly gassed their own people. They invaded Kuwait, the Kurds and according to the administration they’re making weapons of mass destruction.”
Chair of the political science department Joeseph Schwartz does not feel that Hussein is a dire threat.
“According to the CIA, Iraq is years away from dealing with a nuclear device. They’ve hardly used nuclear devices, only against their own people and Iran,” Schwartz said.
Lorie Maher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org