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South Georgians say use force in Mid East

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August 9, 2002

By Mitch Kimbrell

The United States's role in the Middle East, specifically Iraq, has not gone unnoticed to South Georgians.

Some like the Bush administration's proactive approach, while others think the less U.S. presence there, the better.

Saddam Hussein. A Middle Eastern dictator and a household name in America since the Gulf War in the early '90s. So how do we get rid of him? Students in Leslie Brunson's U.S. history class at Westover High School say we should use force.

"I say we go ahead and do whatever is necessary to ensure the peace," junior Jason Therrien.

"You can't just sit back and do nothing because if we didn't do anything, then that would open up the U.S. to any kind of attack," agrees junior Robbie Cohen.

As for Iraq's belligerent leader... "I think we should just go ahead and get rid of him," says Therrien. And Cohen says, "He knows that the U.S. will do what we have to do."

Veterans at Philema Road's VFW post echo the younger Americans' take on Middle East force. "We need to plan a strategy," says marine veteran Don Zirkelbach. "Get our allies to back us, give him a time period and an ultimatum. Either he will cooperate with us, not support the terrorists or we'll go in and kick his butt. Simple."

Jim Scharback, a 69-year-old Navy veteran, thinks all our troops over there, well, shouldn't be.

"In my opinion, we should be sitting at home, not in the Middle East at all. Our forces are spread too thin. We're everywhere."

Whatever someone's take on our presence in the Mid East is, one thing's certain, finding a south Georgian with an opinion on Saddam Hussein or Iraq is not a hard task.

These comments come just one day after Saddam Hussein said that anyone staging an attack on Iraq would "die in disgraceful failure."