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Lanesville seniors have mixed feelings about results of war

Lanesville Junior-Senior High School students in Michelle Scarber’s 10:30 a.m. senior English class shared their views on Operation Iraqi Freedom during a discussion Friday. While most of the students seemed to believe the United States’ motives are just, they have mixed feelings about what results the conflict would bring.
“I believe our motives are right at the moment. With a new government, things will be better off for the people who live there,” said Isac Williams.
“We know that Saddam is capable (of mass destruction). I think it is mostly preventative,” Dan Powers said. “It seems like the United States is kind of like the world’s babysitter. We live in a country founded on Christian qualities and values.”
Most of the students didn’t express concern over the lack of U.N. support. In fact, several showed a lack of confidence in U.N. inspections, and most believed Iraq was dishonest about its weapons inventory.
Thomas Frankford said he believed Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. Williams agreed saying, inspecting a country the size of Iraq is futile.
On the other hand, German exchange student Fabian Schuebner said, “How do you prove that you don’t have something?”
Schuebner said that war will provide more incentive for Iraqis to hate Americans. He said that lifting the U.N. sanctions would have been a more positive approach.
“I think that’s why a lot of Iraqi people hate Americans. The only people who get hurt by (sanctions) are civilians. The United States uses its veto power to prevent lifting embargoes,” he said.
Julia Schaefer, another German exchange student, said she thought a lot of lives would be lost, but Saddam Hussein would not be captured or killed. Even if Hussein were killed, Powers said, he could become a martyr.
When asked about financial implications of the second Persian Gulf War, Alicia Barnickle said she didn’t understand why the United States was spending so much on war when there are Americans in need of financial assistance.
The students showed little concern over terrorism because of Lanesville’s rural location. The consensus is that Lanesville would not be a target. In fact, only Powers and classmate Katie Rothrock know people serving in the conflict.
Rothrock said she has a friend in the U.S. Air Force in the Persian Gulf region whom she hadn’t heard from in some time.
Where victory is concerned, Jake Johnson felt there’s no doubt the United States would win the war, but, he said, for a people who are used to being controlled, freedom could have a negative impact on Iraqis.
Though the students were confident the United States would be victorious, some felt that what constituted a victory was a little more vague.
Bryan Hambley said he agrees with U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd. Hambley said that victory will be judged when the United States asks for the help of Russia, France and Germany in a future conflict. If those countries give the United States their support, Operation Iraqi Freedom will have been a success.

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