Between Iraq and a hard place

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By Fatima Najm

Here are many reasons why the United States wants to attack Iraq, but self-defense isn’t one of them, according to Ryerson’s social justice chair.

Judy Rebick spoke at a panel discussion about the looming war against Iraq held yesterday in Jorgenson Hall.

The panel included Ryerson professor Mustafa Koc, who recently returned from a visit to Iraq, James Clark, a member of Student Association Sanctions on War Against Iraq and Colin Mooers, chair of Ryerson’s politics department.

While Rebick is against a war on Iraq, she said she does not support Saddam Hussein.

“Hussein is a terrible dictator,” she said. “If this is about fighting dictatorships, then what about Saudi Arabia? What about Kuwait?”

Rebick said there are three main motives for the U.S. interest in Iraq.

Rebick said the U.S. is citing self-defense but the pending war is really about oil, the right for the U.S. to strike first and the country’s desire to maintain its position as a world super power.

Koc argued that a war against Iraq will not result in a democratic society in the country.

“Will it bring democracy to Iraq? War did not mean democracy for Afghanistan. War did not result in democracy for Kuwait,” he said. “My hope of bringing democracy to Iraq by military means is nil.”

According to Mooers, bombing Iraq will only incite hatred against the U.S.

“The only thing Bush will achieve by bombing Iraq is to create more disillusioned young people who feel they cannot fight a conventional war and so their only resource is terrorism.”

Koc said he is worried about the death roll that may result, in part because of Iraq’s poor economic state.

“This is not going to be a war,” he said. “This is going to be a massacre and we’re all going to be equally responsible.”

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