What is at stake in Iraq for America? This was the central question in Omar Kader’s speech that he shared with students, professors and community members on the UVSC campus, Oct. 16. The speech was sponsored by the Ethics Center.
Referring to the book, The Matador’s Cape by Stephen Holmes, Kader said the book gives analogies that the big, powerful bull is the United States, the matador is Osama bin Laden, and the red cape is Sept. 11.
He said the United States keeps charging at the "red cape," which is what Osama bin Laden wanted.
"(His) goal wasn’t to destroy America. (His) whole purpose was to engage America to get us into an hundred year war," Kader said. "By the time you finish reading The Matador’s Cape, it makes you realize, were we suckered into a war?"
He advised the audience members to become more informed about the war. He said to write a letter to their senator and ask, "Can you tell me how much of our tax dollars have been spent in Iraq, and can you justify it?"
According to Kader, the U.S. is spending $6 billion to $8 billion a week for the war in Iraq. He also stated that an estimated $2 trillion will be spent in Iraq, according to Joseph E. Stiglitz, an economist.
Although Kader is not happy about the situation in Iraq, he said that with the new presidency things will change.
"One of the nice things about democracy is that it’s self-governed. We are not in this country hopeless. We will change no matter who the next president is; it will get fixed," Kader said. "It won’t matter whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat."
Kader was born in Provo to Palestinian immigrants. In Washington, D.C., he served as an executive director of the United Palestinian Appeal, a Palestinian charity and of Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), a civil rights group.
With his experience, Kader frequently participates in speaking engagements about the development of political issues in the Middle East.
He earned a doctorate at the University of California, was an assistant dean of social science, and taught political science and international relations at BYU.