About 15 students gathered and listened as a panel of four men sat behind a folding table in LAC’s dimly lit Nordic Lounge and discussed the widely debated issue of Democracy in Iraq Monday, Nov. 7.
The panel, chosen by the Political Science Club, included two liberals, LBCC history professor Dr. Julian DelGaudio and political analyst Peter Mathews, and two conservatives, LBCC political science professor Dr. Donald Douglas and republican activist Ed Williams.
Panel members spent an hour answering 9 questions, conceived by political science students, that focused on the United States’ decision to invade Iraq, issues present in Iraq, and the future of Iraq.
“The invasion of Iraq is illegitimate,” said Dr. DelGaudio. The history professor was quick to respond to Dr. Douglas’ support of the U.S. invasion. Douglas said that the invasion was justified because Saddam Hussein was violating a United Nations truce from the Gulf War. DelGaudio continued calmly, “This was actually done in opposition to the U.N. which never voted for an actual invasion of Iraq. In fact, I recall the Secretary General of the U.N. at the time saying that this was an illegal war.”
The panelists then discussed Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, or the lack thereof, and the effect that this issue had on inspiring pro-invasion sentiment amongst Americans.
“We in this country talk about our soldiers that we’ve lost in this war, but they don’t amount to one week of the death squads of Saddam Hussein,” Williams said as he hunched over the table to get closer to the microphone, his volume and tone indicating angry excitement.
“No weapons of mass destruction? You ask a Kurd and they’ll tell you yes, there were weapons of mass destruction used against us,” Williams continued, pounding his index finger on the table. “Why aren’t we talking about that, do the Kurds not matter because they are desert people?”
As the debate moved on, three of the four men openly agreed that President Bush is, in the words of DelGaudio, “a pathological liar”. Douglas was the only one who didn’t comment on the statement, though he said nothing to argue it.