ENMU debates war in Iraq

By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer

One Eastern New Mexico University professor said George W. Bush’s decision to attack Iraq was based on oil. Another professor pointed to a history of the U.S. overthrowing governments.

The arguments were part of a public forum on Monday evening on the ENMU campus to discuss the merits of the war in Iraq. It is the second in a four-part series of public forums at ENMU designed to encourage students to talk about global issues.

Daniel Acheson-Brown, associate professor of political science, believes the Bush administration made a mistake in the way it dealt with Iraq. Acheson-Brown believes instead of an all-out war, the Bush Administration should have sent covert missions and used military intelligence to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

Acheson-Brown said the reason the United States attacked Iraq was because of oil. He said the Bush Administration felt in order for Iraq to be a U.S.-friendly nation, the United States had to overthrow Hussein.

A second member of the three-member panel, Doug Morris of the ENMU Education Department, said the war on Iraq is nothing new when it comes to the United States using its military power to overthrow governments in other countries. Morris said the U.S. helped in overthrowing governments in the Congo, Panama, Guatemala and Brazil.

“The United States since 1945 has engaged in military aggression,” Morris said. “The attack on Iraq is not unusual.”

He also said the U.S. assisted in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in the Congo before participating in bringing the dictator Mobutu to power.

ENMU student Jorge Barraza felt not all use of military force by the United States is bad. Barraza said the United States helped France, Poland and other European countries during World War II.

Barraza said there is no telling what would have happened if the United States had not interfered in World War II and fought against Germany, Italy and Japan.

The final member of the panel, Jim Lee, chair of the Roosevelt County Democrats, said he was against the alleged torture of Iraqis to gain truthful information.

“It doesn’t bring truth out of anybody,” Lee, who is an Armed Forces veteran, said. “It does bring out information. I’ve learned that a person will say anything to stop the pain.”