On the evening of Friday, Oct. 19, eight students met to stop a war. This event, titled “How to Stop a War – Lessons in Vietnam,” was sponsored by the International Socialist Organization (ISO) and discussed the tactics necessary to stop the current war in Iraq by looking back in history at wars such as Vietnam.
Matt Hoke, sophomore history major, ISO member and speaker at the event, believes this goal is attainable through determination. In his lecture, Hoke outlined two things: the causes of war and the tactics necessary to stop it.
Hoke cited capitalism as one of the main reasons for war.
“Capitalism controls war,” he said. “Because of competition, a few companies have the power to control the government.”
It is this capitalism, he said, that started World Wars I and II, as well as the Vietnam War.
Hoke called for “revolutionary opposition to capitalism.”
Another way to end the war is through protest, Hoke said.
“Everyone who goes to a protest knows what they saw,” he said. “It can’t be ignored. A large group of people protesting is one step from a large group to overthrow the government.” Protesting also helps to sway the “politicians (who are) afraid of losing power.”
Hoke cited a number of forms of protest. During the Vietnam War, civilians protested by supporting soldiers that were against the war. Soldiers threatened their officers, sometimes killing them in order to keep power in their hands.
Several questions were posed about what can be done to raise awareness, which led to a conversation about how ISO could help. Suggestions included advertisements in The Signal, written statements around campus and simple peer influence by talking to other students.