America's Involvement with Iraq: A Christian Perspective

by Jessica Boggs '03

Students for Social Justice hosted a forum November 12 in the Cougar Dome concerning the USA’s involvement with Iraq. The two-hour session featured Konrad Hack, an instructor in the Department of Communication Studies, and Dennis Adel, an APU guest. The two discussed their ideas on whether or not America should go to war with Iraq.

“I came to be more aware of global issues,” said Christy Schell ’04. “We have to be informed Christians to know how to interact with the world today.”

Hack presented why he felt America should go to war. His argument was not based on terrorism or revenge, but on two main points: The Iraqi threat is real and will not just go away; and inaction can only make the situation worse. He used examples from the past and looked at Saddam Hussein’s history of violence.

“What is the greater help — to allow a person to continue in a destructive pattern, or to confront the person?” asked Hack. “Action might not be the easy and most comfortable thing to do, but inaction is not the social justice thing to do.”

Guest speaker Dennis Adel followed Hack, and gave his arguments as to why war is not the Christian thing to do. Apel shared from his post-Gulf War Iraq experience, reflecting on the affects of war, and informed students about the humanity of war. He then showed a video, “Genocide by Sanctions,” discussing the affects of the UN sanctions on Iraq. He talked about dying children, destroyed water treatment plants, and a country that was not in a position to recover. “The people of Iraq are suffering,” said Adel.

“I think it was very powerful to have both sides of the spectrum presented,” said Sarah Holcomb ’05. “I think this is one of the serious issues that we don’t talk about in our ‘APU bubble.’ It was good to see so many students interested.”

After the two presentations, students were invited to ask the lecturers questions about the material presented. Questions included: Do you see a way of meeting in the middle? What is the active Christian response to do? Who is the good cop, bad cop in this situation?

Students for Social Justice meets every Sunday from 6-7:30 p.m. in front of Marshburn Memorial Library.