Profs. stay cautious about war in Iraq



Yale professors acknowledged that Monday’s stock market rally was an advantageous departure from America’s economic recession, but cautioned the nation — and Yalies — to prepare themselves for the possibility of war in Iraq.

Some political science, history and economics professors cautioned against reading too much into the stock market surge and urged people to keep the Iraq situation in perspective. History professor John Gaddis said the international political scene may be improving, but the world is still not entirely safe.

“The Europeans are divided on this issue as they were last week,” Gaddis said. “I don’t see anything different in today’s news.”

School of Management professor Paul Bracken analyzed the situation from an historical point of view and said last weekend’s anti-war rallies around the world do not necessarily indicate the United States will not go to war. Bracken said the stock market gain may be temporary.

“Short-term fluctuation has no meaning,” he said. “The stock market has been volatile for 70 years and will be volatile in the future.”

Gaddis said the German and French positions against war in Iraq remain largely the same after the anti-war rallies. Nevertheless, political science professor Charles Hill said the German and French leaders might now be even more wary of the Bush administration’s potential actions.

“The markets have been disturbed by uncertainty over whether there [will] be a war or not,” Hill said. “The reaction of the European Union leaders to those protests have produced a European position that is not that far from the position of the United States.”

Professor of Middle East history Abbas Amanat said the weekend demonstrations did not surprise observers in the Middle East.

“As far as the public demonstrations against the war in Iraq are concerned, they only confirm the views of the peoples of the Middle East,” Amanat said. “The majority of the people in the region believe that the war is not the wisest course of policy the U.S. could take against the Baathist party in Iraq.”

Some Yale students said they were wary of war in Iraq.

“I’m opposed to the U.S. going into war without U.N. sanctions,” Hector De Haro ’06 said. “I think Bush is using the war as a campaign platform.”

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