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BYU's Kennedy Center hosts conference on Iraq Nov. 21-22

The David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies at Brigham Young University will host "Countdown Iraq: A Spectrum of Informed Opinion," an interdisciplinary, two-day conference to discuss the ongoing issue of war with Iraq, Thursday and Friday (Nov. 21-22) as part of International Education Week events.

Organizers believe an informed citizenry is the best safeguard for a healthy democracy-especially in foreign affairs.

"The conference includes a series of diverse panel discussions with experts on topics such as international law, regional perspectives, the media, Latter-day Saint experiences in conflict, weapons of mass destruction, U.S. foreign policy, military strategy and the global economic impact," said Cory Leonard, Kennedy Center assistant director.

The conference comes at a time of increased global focus on Iraq's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction and on the heels of a key U.N. Security Council resolution and U.S. Congressional mandate.

"Countdown Iraq" is organized for the general university and local communities and offers attendees a greater understanding of the issues and implications surrounding American and international action.

"We envision this conference as a kind of 'teach-in,' with scholars and practitioners addressing some of the relevant international issues on the Iraqi situation," notes Jeff Ringer, Kennedy Center director. Panelists will make only short statements to be followed by panel discussion and questions from the audience.

Noted presenters include John Hughes, Deseret News editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning international affairs writer; Kerry Kartchner, arms control negotiator with the U.S. Department of State; Gary Stradling, nuclear scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory; and Lt. Col. David Kirkham, United States Air Force Academy and former senior official at the United Nations (Geneva).

BYU faculty from colleges and departments across campus, including business, history, law, physics, political science, religion, ROTC and sociology will also present.

The Kennedy Center is named for David M. Kennedy, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, ambassador to NATO, banker, and special representative of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Center hosts international relations and area studies degree programs and research, develops CultureGrams, as well as other outreach educational materials, and sponsors lectures, conferences, and other events to promote international education and cross-cultural awareness.

Although the conference is free, seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

To accommodate broad interest, the Kennedy Center will webcast all sessions live and provide on-line archives at *~**~*. For more information, please contact Marilyn Reynolds, (801) 422-3377, or

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