posted October 6, 2003

Profs to Debate Use of Force in Iraq

Issues related to the use of force in Iraq and the role of international institutions will be debated at Hope College by two members of the political science faculty on Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 4 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Dr. Jack Holmes will argue in favor of the U.S. decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein and his regime and the nation's leadership role in managing the rebuilding of post-war Iraq.

Dr. Joel Toppen will argue that the war should not have taken place without another United Nations resolution and that the reconstruction should be conducted under the auspices of the UN.

The debate is being supported through a $200 mini-grant from the United Nations Foundation through the national program "The People Speak: America Debates its Role in the World." The program is helping to organize 1,000 debates across the country, primarily between October 5 and 18, and is jointly funded by the Open Society Institute, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the United Nations Foundation as part of their ongoing missions to support grassroots community involvement in foreign policy.

Although now faculty colleagues, Holmes and Toppen were formerly professor and student. Toppen is a 1991 Hope graduate, and while attending the college enrolled in three classes that Holmes taught: International Relations, Model United Nations and U.S. Foreign Policy.

Holmes is a professor of political science and chairperson of the department, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1969. Toppen, who is an assistant professor of political science, has been a member of the faculty since 1997.

The moderator for the Hope debate will be Olim Alimov, a Hope junior from Tajikistan.