Students discuss Iraq War direction

Katie Mastro

With American troops being in Iraq for quite some time, Saddleback College students are actively conversing about it. On Nov. 14 from 12-2 p.m. an Iraq War peace discussion was held in the Village Quad.

“This is to promote campus awareness and bring knowledge to students about the Iraq War,” said Democrat Club member Sean Godlewski, 20, political science. “Eventually getting out is a major goal, and this [discussion] promotes different ideas for the eventual end of the war.”

Many students have not been exposed to the reality of war and how it began. The lecture gave them a chance to become more informed.

“This gives people the opportunity to speak about the war,” said Iraq War peace discussion coordinator Anthony Sarashid, 23, anthropology. “Many students are on the fences of what to think.”

The first hour was designated for four professors, Timothy Braatz, Lee Haggerty, Mike Merrifield, and Carmenmara Hernandez Bravo to lecture on the Iraq War, evaluating its fermenting debt, its astounding consequences for the American public, its speculative justification for it and the impact on Iraqi citizens.

“[A total of] $720 million are spent [each] day on landmines, tanks, missiles, and other equipment,” Braatz said. “We should be advocating creation, not destruction. I use irony to make clear the insanity of the society we live under. We are not at war, but the war is at us. We pay in resources, lives, and sanity. If this is sanity, I’d like to be insane.”

Many are at a loss for why this war started due to the government’s elusiveness.

“The policy of the administration has changed so much in regards to the Iraq War,” Haggerty said. “The current administration went in without a plan.”

The discussion got the audience fired up and led people to seek more involvement in politics.

“I have this feeling that my country’s been hijacked,” Merrifield said. “Who’s the army? Who’s the enemy? I plan on becoming more and more vocally active. I am going to do something.”

The second hour of the discussion was an open mic session where everyone had the privilege to make their voices heard.A couple of war veterans took the stand and reflected upon their experiences and what they learned from them.

“Most wars have to do with economics and business,” said Iraq war veteran David Curry, 26, sociology. “The real question is what type of society do you want to mold and have your children grow up in? I don’t want corporate interest to speak on my behalf. I want to speak on my behalf.”