Dolan: Practice what you preach, Villanova

Mike Furno

Despite the increased cooperation from Iraq, our government stands by its decision that the only way to disarm Iraq is by force.

Powell has enlightened us with all sorts of evidence that no one is able to find, and Saddam himself has told us to use our spy planes to find it. Is he cooperating? Even if he isn’t, he is at least making it harder on himself to hide those weapons of mass destruction we are so eager to bomb him over. Perhaps we should soften up our hardliner approach and open our eyes to the possibility of diplomatic disarmament.

If anything, the developments over the last couple weeks have increased the rest of the world’s support of further more thorough inspections and disarmament rather than going to war.

Support all over the world is increasingly allying with peaceful diplomatic measures. Even the Vatican has been opposing the violence we wish to inflict, which shows that no matter what our American capitalist “Catholic” representative Novak has to say, the people who invented just war theory see no justice in United States aggression.

So why are the only people speaking out against the war in the United States a bunch of students and some adults who get their news from places other than CNN? Where are the organizations, the political parties and democratic institutions? A number of university student governments have passed symbolic resolutions condemning a pre-emptive attack on Iraq. A number of local governments have passed resolutions along the same lines. Even a number of churches have made statements against the aggression.

Nowhere have I been able to find that a major university as a whole has condemned the war on Iraq. I think that this represents a true opportunity for Villanova University to break this silence.

We as a community should speak out against a war without justification.

We teach students to make peace in the world within Peace and Justice, theology and ethics, as well as other departments.

Students learn to apply these things to their life, but they are not seeing the University apply it here when it really matters.

Our University does have a duty to discuss the war, even if one believes that institutions of learning should stay out of politics or foreign policy. The war affects our community because it will shape the lives of students and future graduates.

We have large and prestigious NROTC, ROTC and Marine Corps programs here on campus, and this war will affect those students who have been studying and training to defend our country. The University cannot allow for its students to be sent off arbitrarily to be used to fight wars that do not reflect the dedication and patriotism that has compelled them to this duty.

A statement from the University condemning this war alone may not stop the unjust aggression and careless loss of life, but it would be a step in a direction towards more universities and institutions standing up for their values as well.

We live in a country with free speech, a right meant to foster democracy and the ability for the people to guide their leaders.

Remaining silent denies that we have a duty to speak when so many other countries must remain quiet while their leaders commit unspeakable atrocities.