A four-member panel directed an anti-war discussion last night at Dudley House and sharply criticized President Bush for his decision to launch attacks on Iraq.
Urging more than 250 students, teachers and Cambridge residents to protest Bush's decision to start the war, the speakers agreed that citizens across the country must take drastic actions to convince the President to pull American troops out of the Gulf.
Sherry Wolf, a New York representative from the International Socialist Oranization, which co-sponsored the event with Students Against War in the Middle East, said that people should focus on altering Bush's actions instead of demonstrating their disgust with Saddam Hussein.
"We must go tell Bush that we don't accept his decisions, and that we don't accept the projected 50 to 60,000 casualties," Wolf said. "We must build support in the cities, on campuses, and everywhere. The real enemy is not in Iraq--he is right here at home at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington D.C."
Zachary Lockman, associate professor of history and an expert on the Middle East, said that Bush, in initiating war by "following the law of the jungle," is not justified in inflicting such suffering upon the Iraqi public.
"The people of Iraq shouldn't have to experience severe shortages in food and medical supplies for a situation over whish they have no control, and hundreds of thousands of them don't need to die," he said. "Bush said he made every last effort to negotiate peace, but he didn't even look at many solutions proposed by other countries. It was only George Bush who could wait no longer."
Lockman said that instead of injecting money into the Gulf and continuing to assert the U.S.'s military dominance in the world, Bush must wage war on domestic problems such as education, poverty and the faltering economy.
"Unless Bush changes his present direction," Lockman said, "the decade of the 90s will be extremely bleak for all of us. There is a certain price that all of us will have to pay for this--and we're only at the start."
According to Lockman, opposition to the war is growing fast and the anti-war movement must quickly tap these sentiments to pressure the President.
"The support for this war is very weak--it's difficult to find anyone who is really gung-ho," he said. "It's quite a change from war protests 20, years ago. I think we need to take years ago. I think we need to take advantage of that by talking to more and more people, because those who disagree with us today will agree with us tomorrow. They are just waiting to be convinced."
Rounding out the panel were Alejandro Reuss '92, a social studies concentrator, and Howard Zinn, professor emeritus of science at Boston University.