Middle East conflicts come to campus

By Justin Arnold and Gerry Tuoti

As tensions between Iraq and the United States mount, a war between the two countries is increasingly likely.

Opening another front in the war on terrorism may have many serious effects on people throughout the world. Though this would take place several thousand miles away, some Northeastern students feel that they could also be affected by this war.

There are many contrasting views throughout the world, including here at Northeastern, as to what the appropriate course of action is for the United States.

Mohammed Larguet, the Arabic Heritage Club’s public relations officer, feels that Saddam Hussein is a dangerous man.

“The whole world knows he’s [Hussein] kind of crazy,” said Larguet, who is originally from Morocco.

Nael Alghanem, the club’s president, said that Hussein shot missiles at his hometown of Dhuran, Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War. Alghanem and Larguet both said that most of the Arab world doesn’t like Hussein. Neither, however, believes that war is the best solution to the conflict.

“It’s wrong, not because of the cause, but because the consequences would be horrible,” said Alghanem. “It wouldn’t be worth it. A lot of innocent people would have to die.”

He also believes the region would become increasingly unstable.

“The Arab states are more or less like one country. Things that happen to people in one Arab country affect people in other Arab countries,” said Alghanem.

Alghanem said that many Arabs are sympathetic to the Iraqi people because of the trade sanctions imposed by the United States against Iraq. Larguet said that most Iraqis dislike Hussein, but remain silent because they fear that they will be harmed by the Iraqi regime.

“I have lots of Iraqi friends,” said Larguet. “They say they want to change the system, but they want to do it without foreign help.”

“The Iraqis don’t want help because they would feel like traitors,” said Alghanem.

Some Northeastern professors were also on hand to share their opinion.

“Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction and is hostile towards the United States,” said Professor Schmitt, who teaches a class on U.S. National Security Policy, “Saddam Hussein could supply them to terrorists or use the weapons on the United States himself.

“September 11th was clear documentation that the United States is not ‘fortress America’ and is vulnerable to weapons of mass destruction,” said Schmitt.

Many students at Northeastern have strong opinions about this topic.

“We don’t want the rest of the world to view the United States as a bully,” said Dan Shovlin, a middler psychology major, “But if we get proof that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, we should go in there. Saddam is a sadistic, messed-up dictator, and he would definitely use the weapons if he had them.”

Others on campus think that invading Iraq is a bad idea and would further damage the United States’ reputation in the Middle East. U.S. military action against Iraq could give terrorist groups like Al Queda yet another reason to conduct terrorism on American soil.

“We go to war with Iraq at our own peril,” said Northeastern University Professor Denis Sullivan, the Chair of the Political Science Department and Director of the International Affairs Program. “We would certainly ‘win the battle’ but risk losing the larger war

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