Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) spoke at a community meeting held yesterday to discuss America’s place in the war with Iraq.
The meeting, sponsored in part by the Cornell Democrats, was well attended with people for and against the issue.
“I feel part of college is taking a stand politically, so I am glad I was able to see Congressman Hinchey speak,” Anthea Cooper ’06 said.
Focusing most of his comments on the recent resolution to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq, Hinchey expressed concern about the current state of affairs in America.
“I voted against the resolution for several reasons,” Hinchey said. “Only congress can declare war. I thought Senator Rob Bird was right when he said this resolution was unconstitutional. I also think that it is potentially injurious to the United States and other nations.”
Hinchey went on to attack the Bush administration’s reasons for proposing the resolution.
“The administration is frustrated and cannot concentrate. One might say this is a serious case of Attention Deficit Disorder. This resolution takes away from the immediate threat to the U.S., al Qaeda and we need to focus our attention on them. The economy is suffering but there is no economic plan in place. My belief is that the intention of the Bush administration to keep our attention away from al Qaeda and the economy by focusing on Iraq. It doesn’t make sense and it is dangerous,” Hinchey said.
The congressman had contacted Cornell Democrats through his district office in Ithaca.
“Congressman Hinchey wanted an opportunity to speak to the Ithaca and Cornell community and we were happy to provide him with that,” said Jamison W. Moore, president of Cornell Democrats.
After Hinchey’s initial comments, discussion covered international views of the U.S. as well as the war on Iraq.
“People in Europe don’t know what to make of us. N.A.T.O. thinks we’re becoming a dictatorship,” Hinchey said. “We’re missing an opportunity to solve this problem. We should have a first-class negotiating team in North Korea right now but right now the Iraq issue is front and center. Rank and file members voted for the resolution because they thought it would be used against them in re-election but I believe we need to get the Iraq issue off the table.”
Overall, students seemed pleased with the meeting.
“I thought he was a very interesting speaker and I enjoyed the meeting,” Cooper ’06 added.
The meeting’s sponsors were contented as well.
“We’re very pleased that Congressman Hinchey chose Cornell as a venue and we were very glad to help him publicize his position and answer the questions of the community,” Moore added.
Despite strong interest from the student body, Hinchey gave no suggestions for further student action.
Archived article by Logan Bromer