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Senator Warner addresses politics course

Senator and University alumnus John Warner, R-Virginia, addressed a crowd of about 500 in Wilson Hall yesterday, focusing on the war on terrorism.

Warner spoke for Politics Prof. Larry J. Sabato's Introduction to American Politics class. The senator devoted most of the hour-long session to answering audience questions.

Warner, a 1953 graduate of the Law School, "is one of the University of Virginia's greatest sons," Sabato said.

As the ranking member of the Senate armed services committee and a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, Warner stressed the value of national defense to American life.

"We all look to the armed services for protection," Warner said.

Yet he told the audience that the nature of warfare had changed substantially.

"You're faced with a complexity in terrorism unlike anything my generation has confronted," he added.

Warner said that homeland security was imperative, even at the cost of some civil liberties.

"Here at home, we've got to adapt some security measures that are more stringent on our lifestyles," he said.

Warner spoke on the possibility of future operations in Iraq, saying he would support such operations if it were a collaborative effort with other countries. He also said that if Americans were to go to war with Iraq, they would need to be better prepared than they were with Afghanistan.

Going into Iraq "is the toughest decision that faces not only our president, but other governments," he said.

Warner also spoke on his personal experiences at the University, calling his University degree "one of the most valuable assets that I have received."

He anecdotally mentioned a 1972 graduation speech for the University's Navy ROTC branch during which he was interrupted by a streaker.

Warner advised that students aspiring to political careers must be persistent and intellectually curious, as well as lucky.

However, he encouraged audience members to participate in public service.

What distinguishes America from other countries is its volunteerism, he said.

Warner's visit was sponsored by the Center for Governmental Studies, founded by Sabato.

"It was the kickoff event in the Symposium on Wartime Politics," Sabato said. "He felt that this was the best audience reaction that he's had in the eight times" he has visited the class since the early 1970s, Sabato said.

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