Tuesday, March 25, 2003

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DEBATING THE WAR: I spent this evening debating the merits of Operation Iraqi Freedom at Loyola's medical school in front of about 100 students and doctors. I was debating Doug Cassel, who's affiliated with Northwestern's law school. You can get a sense of his take on the issue from this Chicago Tribune op-ed he wrote a few days ago. He was honest in saying that he preferred to see Saddam Hussein remain in power rather than fight a war of liberation, and I was honest enough to disagree. It was a healthy exchange of views.

This was my first public debate. I'll admit, when I walked into the room and noticed that the first people I saw either had big "NO WAR" buttons on their lapels or were wearing chadors, I felt some trepidation. And I did get one question from a faculty member that asked how I could trust an administration that had passed such a massive tax cut and rambled on from there. However, although the audience was probably 80/20 opposed to war, the students were both inquisitive and polite -- I wound up staying there for an hour after the debate ended in order to answer all the questions I could.

I'll be doing more of these in the future. They do absolutely nothing for my tenure chances, but like blogging, they provide me a way to translate my academic pursuits to a wider audience.

posted by Dan on 03.25.03 at 10:49 PM