University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire


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Gulf War Veteran to Speak
On Iraq at UW-Eau Claire

 MAILED:  March 19, 2004

EAU CLAIRE — April 8 will mark the one year anniversary of the fall of Baghdad, and one year later Saddam Hussein has been captured and international sanctions have been removed. Many people wonder what is in Iraq’s future and what role the United States will be playing.

Erik Gustafson, a Gulf War veteran and the executive director of the Education for Peace in Iraq Center, will speak about his experiences in Iraq at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 2, in Phillips Science Hall, Room 007, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The event is free and open to students, faculty and the public.

With Iraq’s June 30 deadline for sovereignty fast approaching, Gustafson’s lecture will examine the on-going violence and perceived Sunni-Shia and Arab-Kurdish divides and consider the question: “One Year After the Fall: Can Democracy Succeed in Iraq?”

In the past three months there has been an increase in suicide bombings and other attacks outside Shiite shrines, the offices of Iraq’s Kurdish parties, Iraqi police stations and army recruitment centers. With both Americans and Iraqis looking towards elections, Gustafson will evaluate the impact of the United States’ invasion and occupation of Iraq and what progress has been made towards Iraq’s self-rule.

As the executive director for EPIC and a veteran of the Gulf War, Gustafson has been in the forefront of the Iraq solidarity and anti-sanctions movement since 1997. He founded EPIC in 1998 in Washington, D.C., to improve humanitarian conditions and human rights in Iraq after witnessing Iraq’s humanitarian crisis first hand. Gustafson has written numerous opinion pieces in newspapers and delivered presentations across the country to explain the effects on those affected by the U.S. policies in Iraq. He also has appeared frequently on such networks as FOX News, MSNBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera and BBC.

Gustafson’s presentation is sponsored by the Eau Claire Staff and Faculty for Peace and Justice, with the support of the UW-Eau Claire departments of political science, English, mathematics, philosophy and religious studies, the Progressive Student Association, and concerned organizations and individuals.


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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
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(715) 836-4741

Updated: March 19, 2004