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Kent, Ohio


"Five speak on war with Iraq"

Lauren Krupar
Daily Kent Stater

"Saddam Hussein must be removed," a Kent State history professor told 300 people yesterday, "but he must be removed by the Muslims of Iraq."

However, Assad Pino said, the prospects of that happening are not very good.

"President Bush has made it clear that this war against Iraq will not only be a map-making venture but a crusade against Islam," said Pino, associate history professor.

Pino was one of five speakers who addressed a crowd at a forum on a possible war with Iraq, hosted by the history department, political science department and the Lyman L. Lemnitzer Center for NATO and European Studies.

Mark Cassell, assistant professor of political science, said war with Iraq would cost roughly $100 billion. He said Ohio residents could pay $3 billion.

"And we haven't even talked about the cost of rebuilding Iraq," Cassell said, adding the number does not include the human cost.

"How do you measure the cost of lives?" he said. "How do you put a value on the loss of civil liberties?"

Tom Hensley, chairperson of the political science department, said the goal of the forum was education about the possible war with Iraq.

"We wanted to provide a forum where students and faculty could listen to the opinions of those who have researched this issue," Hensley said.

Abbey Beach, sophomore advertising major, said she hoped the forum would give her more information about both sides of the issue.

"Am I for the war?" Beach asked. "I don't know, but we need to back America."

Steve Hook, associate professor of political science, said the policy of pre-emptive strikes, which includes dominating a region and attacking before another state could attack the United States, began after the fall of the Soviet Union but was then forgotten during the Clinton administration.

"This policy of primacy and pre-emptive strikes was dusted off, and Iraq was the first order of business," Hook said, referring to foreign policy changes after Sept. 11, 2001.

Jack Gargan, emeritus professor of political science, said it is unclear how U.S. forces will be used.

"If the U.S. does attack Iraq, it will be the first pre-emptive strike the U.S has ever launched," Gargan said.

He said he thinks Hussein will not use conventional warfare, and military leaders should plan for worst-case scenarios, including the possibility of Hussein sending soldiers into urban areas, using human shields, torching oil fields and using biological or chemical weapons against Iraqis and U.S. troops.

"Saddam is not without options," Gargan said.

Victor Papacosma, director of the center for NATO and European studies, said NATO recently agreed to send aid to Turkey, and the EU agreed Iraq should disarm in a "peaceful manner and that force should be used only as a last resort."

Pino said he agreed war should be the last option.

"We, the Muslims, do not want this war," Pino said. "This war should be stopped."

He said war with Iraq is "the beginning not only of a series of Middle Eastern wars but a beginning of a global war. A World War Three."