Local youths mostly anti-war
June 13, 2008 · Updated 11:05 AM
By KENNY CHING
South King County-area college and high school students interviewed this week were by and large skeptical about the wisdom of a war with Iraq.
However, a minority pledged to support the Bush Administration in war or peace. A still smaller minority was almost icily fatalistic about the inevitability of a second Gulf War.
One said President Bush doesnt understand the concerns of regular people, a criticism similar to one that helped limit the presidency of Bushs father to one term.
For example, Bush seems to be neglecting the U.S. economy while he plays the war drum, according to 20-year-old Highline Community College student Myishia Barnett. The president should focus less on war and more on whats meaningful to Americans, she said.
Hes not in our shoes, Barnett said. He doesnt have to worry about having a job, like my father who has been out of work since December because no one has money to hire him. So now my mom is stuck with four kids to support, with no transportation because gas prices are too high. Its hard to transport four kids on the bus. But (Bush) doesnt have to deal with that. All you ever see is publicity about the war.
Other students felt that the conflict with Iraq was hardly periperhal and not only that, but they felt comfortable with Bushs style.
Something needs to be done, and hes the man for the job, said Justin Binetti, an 18-year-old Highline CC student. who will soon join the Marines.
Im not afraid to go to war, he said.
Binetti expressed a visceral trust of Bush rather than intellectual assent to any particular policy. He said he and most military personnel trust Bush .
Im more comfortable with Bush than I would have been with Clinton, Binetti said. I dont know why. (Bushs) dad took us through the same thing. Maybe he can, too.
But more students criticized the current presidents leadership.
I believe Bush jumped the gun, said Tahina Dudgeon, a 20-year-old Highline student. He made too many threats publicly.
At this point, we dont have a choice. Weve already threatened war. If we back down, next time theres a crisis and we need support, well look like the boy who cried wolf.
Some objections werent aimed simply at the handling of Iraq, but at the deeper issue of Bushs values.
His biggest problem is that he thinks Americans are more important than other people, said Justin Bell, an 18-year-old senior at Highline School Districts Occupational Skills Center. On 9-11, we lost 3,000 people. But how many more in Iraq are going to lose their lives or their livelihoods? Were going to lose a lot more by going to war than we would by not going. But how should the United States deal with Iraq, and particularly its troublesome ruler Saddam Hussein?
Saddam should be overthrown, but not by foreigners, said Mahdi Hedayat, a 17-year-old junior at Tyee High School. He should be overthrown by his own people.
Other high school and college-age students attending a town hall-style meeting hosted Monday in Federal Way by U.S. Rep. Adam Smith also questioned Americas role in a potential war with Iraq.
Staff writer Kenny Ching: 925-5565. firstname.lastname@example.org