Panel discusses ways to end the war in Iraq

Nicole Wilcox

Students were informed about the war in Iraq and were able to speak out against the conflict during a panel discussion, “You are the Change,” on Tuesday.

One of the speakers, Rebecca Tobias, provided many statistics about the number of deaths in Iraq and told the audience how the rest of the world views the U.S.

“We are the black sheep of the world,” Tobias said. The government needs to realize the world doesn’t like what it sees the U.S. doing, Tobias said.

Tobias, program director for the Raoul Wallemberg Institute of Ethics, said the U.S. is using resources faster than it attains resources.

Tobias compared the war to genocide.

Fourteen percent of the deaths during World War I were civilian casualties, Tobias said. Iraq war civilian casualties account for 96 of all deaths, Tobias said.

“That is genocide, targeted killings,” Tobias said.

One action Tobias recommended was impeachment of the president. Before the meeting, Tobias said Dennis J. Kucinich introduced a bill to the House floor to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney.

Colonel Ann Wright said it’s the right of the people to demand impeachment. Wright said U.S. citizens should go to Washington, D.C. to let the government know what they want.

Wright, a former U.S. diplomat, said she spent more than three decades of her life as a government employee. In March 2003, Wright said she “resigned in opposition to the war in Iraq.”

Wright said she’s using her “voice to help get rid of the Bush administration.”

Wright said the U.S. wants to rule the world and “we are going to invade and occupy any country we want.”

If other countries don’t join the U.S., Wright said “we will cut you off cold turkey” in regard to monetary funds given to other countries.

America needs to observe how it does things and how it affects its citizens and other countries, Wright said.

“The rest of the world thinks we are little hogs,” Wright said. Citizens need to take action to control the situation, Wright said.

Wright recommends peaceful demonstrations, going to a local congressperson’s office, sending faxes to their local and Washington, D.C. offices.

Another action Wright recommended was sending voided checks to political parties and that would remain that way until they execute the proper actions.

Jabbar Magruder, a CSUN student and member of the Army National Guard, encouraged students to stand up for what they believe in and do what’s right for America.

“What will it take for us to do something? I am ready for action,” Magruder said.

Tobias recommended a way to bring the impact of the war home to members of the government: instill a draft.

The most substantial problems people have include buying a car, where to go on a Saturday night, or where to go on spring break, Tobias said.

“This war has been silent and invisible,” Tobias said.

Creative ways need to be found to end this war. Tobias said it’s a “waste of life and a waste of time. Our planet does not have time.”

CSUN history professor Mike Powelson also spoke during the panel discussion.

Powelson provided students with a historical overview of wars and the U.S.’s interactions with Iraq.

“It seems that the United States, like an alcoholic, can’t get enough of war,” Powelson said. The government will “point their guns next at Syria,” Powelson said.

The CSUN Greens club organized and hosted the event on Tuesday night in the Balboa Room at the University Student Union.

The purpose of the CSUN Greens is “to uphold ecological wisdom, grassroots democracy, personal, social and global responsibility, nonviolence, decentralization, community-based economics, post-patriarchal values, respect for diversity and future focus.”

The CSUN Greens meet Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Juniper Hall.

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