sealPurdue News

February 5, 2003

Experts can discuss impact of possible war

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Below are a list of Purdue University experts who can discuss the economic and social impact of the possibility of war with Iraq.


Did Colin Powell make the case for Iraq war?

Michael Wartell, chancellor of Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne, can comment on Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the United Nations Security Council today (Wednesday, 2/5).

Wartell, a professor of chemistry, has expertise in chemical warfare, decontamination and terrorism.

He serves as chair of the Defense Intelligence Agency Science and Technology Board, working on advanced technologies for arms control monitoring and drug interdiction. He served on the US. Army Science Board from 1981-87 and 1997 to present.

CONTACT: Wartell (260) 481-6103 (office), (260) 485-7587 (home),

Economist: Iraq war is no big economic threat

War with Iraq, far from dragging down the U.S. economy, could actually have a stimulative effect, says an economist from Purdue University's Krannert School of Management.

"There is excess industrial capacity that will come into use that will help the economy," says George Horwich, emeritus professor of economics. "This excess capacity can create jobs because it does not take away from other sectors of the economy."

Horwich is worried neither about the cost of the conflict in Iraq nor the consequences on the world oil market.

"No one knows what the cost of the war will be because we don't know what kind of war it will be," Horwich says. "But $200 billion is very little in a $10.5 trillion economy."

Oil, he says, is largely "irrelevant," as a factor in the United States going to war.

However, Horwich says oil revenues could make rebuilding postwar Iraq "self-financing." "Oil is a money-producing machine that can defray the costs we incur in rebuilding the country."

Horwich conservatively calculates that Iraqi oil revenues could generate $20 billion per year that could be put into rebuilding the country.

CONTACT: Horwich, (765) 494-4443,

Mediator: Time is prime to negotiate Iraq settlement

A Purdue University professor and mediator says President George W. Bush has followed the classic steps that could lead to a negotiated settlement with Iraq.

"He's done a masterful job of putting into place the three conditions that can lead to a negotiated settlement of the impasse with Iraq," says John E. Lillich, an emeritus professor of organizational leadership and supervision who is an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and a mediator for the Indiana Farm Counseling Project.

"The president has set a deadline," Lillich says. "You can't get anything done without a deadline."

Second, Lillich says, there is no doubt of the president's seriousness when he's positioning troops in the Middle East.

Third, the president has gathered support for his position from eight European nations. "France and Germany would have been stronger endorsements, though," Lillich says.

Lillich says President Bush has run afoul of one rule of negotiation, however, by his absolute vilification of Saddam Hussein. "This is a big minus," he says. "Even if a guy is as bad as Hitler, he's a human being, and you have to do negotiations with human beings.

"What the president may not realize is that he can be a bigger winner by negotiating a settlement than by winning a war. If he could settle this without a war, he'd win the Nobel Peace Prize.

CONTACT: Lillich, (765) 463-7417,

War talk has impact on pop culture

The waiting game and guessing whether the United States will wage war in the Middle East has an affect on pop culture, says Purdue University professor Randy Roberts.

"As history is being made, it's important to think about how the threat of war and/or going to war will have on daily lives," says Roberts, an American history professor who specializes in pop culture and sports.

Roberts, who co-authored "John Wayne: American," can speak about war in films, as well as how war affects American sports.

CONTACT: Roberts, (765) 429-9870 or (765) 423-7711,

Expert talks about how war affects children

A Purdue University child expert says parents should be aware of their children's impressions regarding the threat of war.

"Some children, especially young children, become very confused about international conflicts," says Judith Myers-Walls, who has collected data regarding children reactions, and parents' impressions, to international conflicts.

For example, one child said George Washington decided to start the war Americans are facing now.

"Children are likely to have a range of feelings in reaction to the possibility of war," Myers-Walls says. "In addition to being afraid, children are likely to be sad and angry. It is important that parents and other adults talk to the children about these reactions."

Myers-Walls also has a Web site about talking with children about terrorism.

CONTACT: Myers-Walls, (765) 494-2959,

Communication prof.: Media should seek balance

As the media continue coverage of the threat of war with Iraq, they should strive for balance and not just reiterate the administration's message, says a Purdue University expert.

"The media needs to balance their reports by including diverse perspectives and in-depth analysis of the implications of the war rather than mainly relying on government and military sources or serving as megaphones for the administration's agenda," says Yahya Kamalipour, professor and head of the Department of Communication and Creative Arts at Purdue University's Calumet campus. "The media have to provide reliable and thoughtful news and information to the public."

Kamalipour is one of a handful of researchers who studies mass media in the Middle East. He is the author of half a dozen books including "Global Communication" and "The U.S. Media and the Middle East: Image and Perception." His next book "Globalization, Media Hegemony and Social Class" will be published next year. He also is editor of Global Media Journal.

CONTACT: Kamalipour,, (219)989-2880.

War could affect spending on other programs

Americans should keep an eye on the amount of money being invested in war preparations, says a Purdue University political science expert.

"The large amount of planning and preparing for the pending war is causing significant damage to the United States economy," says Harry Targ, a professor in the School of Liberal Arts. "Over the last year and a half, there has been a dramatic increase in defense spending, and Americans need to be concerned how these spending patterns will affect public education and health care programs."

CONTACT: Targ, (765) 494-4169,

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