CAP Senate passes Iraq resolution with a twist
by Betsy Costilo
The sophomore class of the Communication Arts Program (CAP) passed two Iraq resolutions Mar 13, during their first session of foreign policy CAP Congress. While both bills called for the United States to use military actions against Iraq, the students ensured that America would not go to war.
Led by "Senators" Daniel Greene, Ely Portillo and Matthew Fritz-Mauer, the pro-war team was greeted with difficulty while trying to pass their resolution, which stated "Be it resolved that the U.S., with or without further UN approval, will use military actions to disarm Iraq, and replace Saddam Hussein and his regime."
Heated debates in both student run "Senate" bodies followed the introduction of the resolution. Many peace advocates, such as Karima Tawfik, claimed that "the U.S. is using September 11th as a window of opportunity to wage a war," and, as Roxanna Hadadi pointed out, "Saddam was [the United States'] ally in the 80's, yet he was doing the same things to his people. Why is this situation any different?"
Others in support of the war, such as Robin Weiss, maintained that the United States was merely "enforcing" previous UN resolutions, not engaging in premeditated aggression.
An amendment to the resolution proposed by "Senator" Hannah Fegley all but eliminated the chances of the United States waging a war against Iraq. The amendment stated that the United States would only go to war under the approval of the United Nations, which, according to the majority of the "Senate", is unlikely to occur. "If the United States goes to war without UN approval, it will lead to the deterioration of the United Nations and increase our chance of losing allies," explained "Senator" Caitlin O'Brien.
In the second "Senate", an amendment was proposed stating that the U.S. must intervene no sooner than August 1st, 2003 and no later than August 15th, 2003, further minimized the possibility of war.
Many students, such as Alexa Gabriel, were frustrated with the proposed amendments. "We can't wait for the UN," stressed Gabriel. "Hussein is an oppressive and inhumane man who uses biological weapons on his own people."
Despite their efforts, the pro side was unable to defeat the wide spread anti-war sentiment surrounding the Congressional session. Greene, Portillo and Fritz-Mauer continued to stress throughout the debate the importance of using diplomatic means as a primary tool for unseating Hussein, yet said they will not hesitate to use armed force if necessary. "The Iraq conflict is a dire situation that requires the direct attention of the Senate," argued Greene. "Iraq poses an imminent threat. We have on our hands a humanitarian issue, as well as the possibilty of an attack made on our homeland using weapons of mass destruction. The United States' national security is our foremost priority, and [the senate] can't afford to take a chance."
The "Senate" majority, however, was not swayed. The final bills, which included both amendments, passed with votes of twenty-eight to four and twenty-six to five, are to proceed to the next Congressional session, where they will be reevaluated for matters of funding.
Other issues discussed in the 2003 CAP Congress included the Israel and Palestine conflict, the situation in Afghanistan, counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics efforts in Colombia, the conflict between India and Pakistan, conditions in the Ivory Coast, and the crisis in North Korea.