Volume 95, Issue 21

Wednesday, October 10, 2001
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New recruits rush to sign up

Western residence fears bomb threat

Terrorism up for debate, says UWO prof

BOG profile: Scott Belton

Left-wing views cause 'uprising'

Terrorism up for debate, says UWO prof

By Kristina Lundblad
Gazette Staff

Students flexed their academic muscles outside the classroom Tuesday during a debate on terrorism.

Josh Morgan, University Students' Council academic programming commissioner, organized the debate entitled "Can terrorism be stopped?" as the first in a series of scheduled academic debates in the University Community Centre's McKellar room.

Political science professor Peter Langille, a specialist on international conflict management initiated the discussion and fielded questions and comments from students.

"There is no universally accepted definition of terrorism," Langille said.

However, it is often defined as the use of violence for political ends, violent actions of one state against another or the intentional creation of widespread fear, among other definitions, he said.

Eman Loubani, a second-year medical student, said we often only hear "America's definition" of terrorism.

"Often they are called freedom fighters if they protect American interests, but terrorists if they oppose American interests," Loubani said.

"We have to go beyond a military response," Langille said, adding international effort is needed if the United States is to be successful. "It would be preferred if [the response] was co-ordinated by the United Nations security council."

"You can't run a prolonged war and humanitarian campaign effectively for a long time," Langille said. If the U.S. is willing to run this humanitarian campaign they must be prepared to deal with the consequences after the war, such as nation rebuilding, refugee resettlement and a sustained relief effort, he added.

"It would be better if this was seen as a conflict versus a war," he said, explaining that a conflict is more long-term, while a war is often more of an immediate response without long-term plans.

The academic debates, which will happen about once a month, focus on a variety of topics and current events, Morgan said. "The whole point of these debates is to get students out of the classroom debating in an academic environment."

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