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Last modified: Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Media advisory: IU experts available to comment on possible war with Iraq

EDITORS: As the clock ticks down on the U.S. deadline for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to leave his country, the world is bracing for war. Indiana University faculty experts can provide insights on various aspects of the situation including the areas of politics, Near Eastern cultures, Islamic studies, Jewish studies, law and medicine. IU's Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses are on spring break this week (March 17-21), and these faculty members are currently available. The university will offer other experts next week as events continue to unfold.

For additional assistance in reaching faculty at IUPUI, contact Diane Brown at 317-274-7711 or habrown@iupui; and at IPFW, Susan Alderman at 260-481-6165 or

-- Nazif Shahrani, chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at IU Bloomington, is a native of Afghanistan. Shahrani is a professor of anthropology who is familiar with conditions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and he says, "I will be happy to share my extremely critical view of this impending war." He adds, "Neither peace nor democracy has returned to Afghanistan because of our war on terrorism there, despite the claims of this administration to the contrary." He will be available to the media on Wednesday (March 19) and then out of town until Monday (March 24). He can be reached at 812-855-5993 (office), 332-8868 (home) or by e-mail at

-- Zaineb Istrabadi, associate director of the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program at IU Bloomington, is an Iraqi-American woman who is very well informed about conditions in Iraq. She has relatives there but is nevertheless willing to speak to reporters. Her fields are Islamic studies and Arabic languages and literatures. She can be reached at 812-856-0372 (office), 812-855-5993 (department office), 812-339-9263 (home) or by e-mail at

-- Salih Altoma, professor emeritus of Near Eastern languages and cultures at IU Bloomington, was born in Iraq and has been associated with IU since 1964. He is a distinguished scholar of comparative and Arabic literature and was director of the Middle Eastern Studies Program and chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at IU Bloomington. He will respond to media queries through e-mail at

-- James Lutz, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at Indiana University Purdue University at Fort Wayne (IPFW), teaches courses on terrorism and Middle Eastern politics. He can be reached at 260-481-6688 (office), 260-432-9136 or He also is very familiar with current arguments about weapons of mass destruction.

-- Alvin Rosenfeld, director of the Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program at IU Bloomington and a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, will be available March 19 at 812-855-0453 (office), 812-339-8101 (home) and by e-mail at He can speak about the war's impact on Israel and Jewish reaction to the war.

-- William Bradford, an assistant professor of law at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), teaches national security law, military law and the laws of armed conflict. A retired officer of the U.S. Army who served overseas in the Persian Gulf and Bosnia, Bradford also holds a doctoral degree in political science with concentrations in U.S. foreign policy and Middle East politics. His office number is 317-274-4884 and e-mail is

-- John McCormick, political science professor at IUPUI, can discuss the impact of war talk on relations with allies and the resentment in the Middle East, Europe and Russia regarding U.S. policy. He can be reached by phone at 317-274-4066 and e-mail at

-- Scott Pegg, IUPUI associate professor of political science, teaches classes on war and international conflict, guerilla warfare, and security. Pegg previously taught classes on international relationships and security studies at the University of Bilkent in Ankara, Turkey. His office number is 317-278-5749, his home number is 317-636-7718 and his e-mail is

-- Michael McGinnis, associate professor of political science at IU Bloomington, can comment on the problems of dealing with the refugees of war and delivering food and other supplies to civilians in Iraq. He also has a general research interest in international conflict and can discuss the situation in Iraq in those terms. He is available Wednesday and Thursday (March 19-20) and will then be out of town until Monday (March 24). He can be reached at 812-855-8784 (office), 339-9668 (home) or by e-mail at

-- Robert Rohrschneider, professor of political science at IU Bloomington, can offer European perspectives on the war, especially that of the German government. He requests that you contact him via e-mail at or through the Department of Political Science at 812-855-6308. The office assistant will forward reporters' calls to his home number.

-- Charles Winslow, retired political science professor at IUPUI, can discuss the Middle East conflict. His office number is 317-274-1463 and his e-mail is

-- Eric Meslin, professor of medicine, medical and molecular genetics, and philosophy and director of the IU Center for Bioethics, has experience in discussing ethical issues in bio-terrorism. He can be reached at 317-554-0148 and by e-mail at