Local opinions on the U.S.-led war in Iraq

By Jennifer Lassiter
Star Staff

There is constant debate around the world whether or not the United States should have initiated the war in Iraq, let alone be helping in the process of rebuilding the country. Supporters think our presence in Iraq keeps terrorists out of our own backyard. Others feel that we should bring our troops back home because, after all, the war has been declared officially over.
   Since the war is over, do we owe it to the Iraqi people to help re-build their government? If we don't, will other terrorist groups gain a stronghold and destroy any chance of freedom for the Iraqi's? Should we bear the burden alone? Should we bring our troops home?
   All of these unanswered questions where asked in an informal poll taken by The Elizabethton Star. Local citizens were asked their opinions about the war in Iraq, and reactions were mixed.
   One local citizen, Joshua Scalf, believes that the United States has attracted more terrorists since the war began, but said, "We should stay over there now, since we started it."
   Several others in Carter County feel that we have an obligation to help the Iraqi people. Fern Street said, "It's too late. The dye is cast. I would not be in favor of the war but we should be helping. They don't know freedom."
   One citizen, Lawrence Boone, believes that the "good" part of this war is never told and agreed with most that we shouldn't back out of the rebuilding process.
   Mac McKinney said, "I think that it is important that he (Hussein) has been removed from power and having to face his criminal charges ... For the vast majority, we are doing good."
   Ashley Garcia believes the United States shouldn't be in Iraq at all anymore, but feels we are eliminating terror against our country.
   Kenneth Foxx, a proud Vietnam veteran, has quite a different story to tell. Foxx said confidently that we are experiencing another Vietnam. "We bite off more than we can chew," he said.
   Rev. Paul Lacus Sr., also a Vietnam veteran, said, "We are succeeding," and "those who don't support our troops hinder the process."