Panel Largely A Success

To the Editor: I would like to thank the University for organizing a timely panel discussion of the impending war. Five of the six panelists offered well-reasoned, factually-based arguments against attacking Iraq. In contrast, lacking any substantive argument for the war, Professor Robert Kauffman resorted to assuring the audience that Bush will wage war despite what people say and that war will give this “very, very good man” a chance to become a “great man.” He then observed that most American professors are opposed to the war. If this is true, it is because universities exist to promote the common good by cultivating knowledge based on reason, scientific observation and historical accuracy. The enlightened discourse of reason is incompatible with the irrational ideology of religious warfare. During the Q & A, a student questioned the credentials and the right of professors of economics, history and religion to offer their views on foreign policy. As a political scientist, Kauffman should have been the first to offer this student two basic definitions. 1) Fascism: a political practice based on mystical worship of violence, rejection of humanitarian ideals, abject submission to the leader and the crushing of dissent. 2) Democracy: a form of government of, by and for the people based on concepts of inalienable human rights, rule by law and free discussion of ideas. It is not only the right but the *patriotic duty* of *every* citizen in a democracy to seek information and to express their views.Kari WinterAssoc. ProfessorDepartment of English