Winds of war: BU students weigh in on Iraq

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Christina Beckham

Courtney Jones, wearing ball shorts and a T-shirt, flops on her bed that overlooks the basketball court outside Columbia Hall.Her dorm room is the same as others except everything is impeccably neat and in order.She’s about to go to the gym and waits impatiently for her roommate.She checks her voice mail and then slams her phone shut.

“I have a cousin who’s in Iraq and my friend’s boyfriend is in Iraq,” Jones said. “She talks to him like once every few months.One of my best friends just got deployed.Each individual went into this war but they don’t know what they’re fighting for.McCain portrays both sides of the argument of staying in or out of the war.But he does not propose a plan on how to end this war, and he doesn’t say any details.”

Jones is a Democrat, and so are her parents and close friends.Like many Democrats, Jones dislikes John McCain’s stance on the war in Iraq.McCain believes to protect peace and long-term security is to create a democratic state in Iraq that poses no threat to its neighbors.American soldiers should come home when Iraqi forces can keep their country safe.

Jones agrees with Barack Obama’s position on the war in Iraq.From the beginning, Jones and her family were against the war, as was Obama.When Obama was just an Illinois State Senator he addressed an anti-Iraq War rally in Chicago on March 16, 2003.Since then, more than 4,000 American troops have died, more than 1.75 million men and women have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, and more than 620,000 troops have completed multiple deployments.

Jones pulls her braids in a ponytail. “Barack recognizes both sides of the argument and proposes a step by step procedure on how he plans to slowly bring back soldiers to end the war.He’s neither going to leave our soldiers reckless and abandoned nor Iraq.Barack simply has more of a focused plan on how he’s going to bring our country back on its feet in terms of bringing our troops home.It’s good McCain says what’s going to happen but those are empty promises.Barack is giving us the facts, and I think that’s what we need.”

Barack promises to slowly redeploy brigades from Iraq. This process of bringing one or two brigades back per month will take 16 months.He says the war would be over by the summer of 2010, a full seven years after the war started.

Across the hall from Jones, is 18-year-oldy Erikka Bishop.Bishop’s room is messy and cluttered, like most students, but her room is a triple.Magazines sit on top of her storage bends.She sits at her desk, which is cluttered with papers, books, and dishes. “I’m a republican but that’s not the reason why I feel the way I feel.I’m not voting for McCain because he is a Republican and Obama’s a Democrat.I agree with both candidates on different issues.But I really agree with McCain when it comes to the war.”

She sits down her desk and begins to surf the Web. “My one friend just went into the military.Right after basic training, he has to go to Iraq right away.He doesn’t get to go to college and stuff.I think McCain has the best plan as of right now.I know we cannot simply get out of the war.Way too much damage has been done over there, and they can’t fix it all on their own.I think Obama’s idea of taking us out will put us right back in the position we were in.People forget that we have to think long term about how leaving the war will affect us.”

John McCain does not think troops should leave Iraq before Al Qaeda is defeated and before an Iraqi security force is operating effectively. McCain believes that Iraq’s political order is changing for the better.

Bishop continues, “I’m voting on who I agree with in terms of the war.I have always disagreed with the war, but we are already in this situation.We need more than just a quick fix.There still much more that needs to be done over there.There is no way the war will end as soon as people want it to.”

But other students such as Vanessa Tyler agree with the points of both candidates.Tyler leans up against her bed and sips from her water bottle.She’s antsy because she has a test to study for and a packed schedule.Tyler admits to not being too involved in politics.Also being in Bloomsburg, and with her schedule, it’s difficult for her to keep up with the election.She is not tied to a particular political party.She simply believes what she believes.

“I feel McCain has a point with what he saying in terms of maintaining peace.But so does Barack because our soldiers have been in Iraq for too long.And it’s just ridiculous for them to stay over there.The war doesn’t directly affect me … in a sense that I don’t have loved ones or friends in Iraq.I don’t know anyone who’s been deployed.But I do know people who have family over in Iraq … and I see the toll it takes on them.We have to do what’s best for maintaining peace in Iraq to protect our country but we also have to think of the people in our country … and everyone who is affected by the war.”

This article also appears in the Sept. 25th issue of The Voice.

Comments

comments

11 COMMENTS

  1. Even though I do not agree with the cause we are fighting for in Iraq, I 100% support our military and I wish them all a safe return.

  2. Hey Christina,

    Your article was great, keep up the good work. In addition, it is good to know that the younger generation is taking an interest in politics, because what happens today can and will affect you guys tomorrow.

    Love, Cousin Charmayne

  3. Christina,
    Great job on the article. We certainly are proud of you. Information and knowledge are power. Love, Cousin Crystal

  4. Troop moral is everything… When troops do not realize what they are fighting for, and the people do not support them then you are just asking for trouble.

    Politics will remain semi-neutral on the subject… Then again I am not a big fan of politics…

  5. Hey Chris!

    Wonderful article. We are so very proud of you. Keep up the good work!

    Love Always,
    Aunt Gail & Uncle Bruce

  6. Excellent work, Chris! Your article is both informative and well rounded, and your future is bright! Keep up the good work.
    Love,
    Cousin Jackie

  7. Here I sit in Asadabad, Afghanistan, about to come home in a month or two, I’ve been to Ramadi, Iraq back in 05-06, and now here, and one thing stays true for both of my deployments, politics have nothing to do with anything..in the moment. I’ve already submitted my absentee ballot and voted republican, mostly just voting for the party and for a fellow veteran, but I also voted for McCain because I think he’ll see the wars through to some sort of closure. I recently was on top of a mountain chatting with an Afghan soldier and his biggest fear is that we’ll leave before things are safe. Imagine the president redeploying all the soldiers and leaving these people with no protection from the taliban or other warlords. I know most Americans want nothing more than to have thier soldiers home, but do they also want all the time, money, and lives put into this war to be in vain?

  8. my bro may be deployed later this year,or early next year. It is a tense situation, but i believe that Obama has the right pov. We can’t stay there forever, especially now with our struggling economy. We also need more troops in Afghanistan. Hopefully we will be able to slowly withdraw from the area.

  9. I can’t help but sit here, (Combat outpost Najil Afghanistan) and think about how tired I am of hearing people discuss timetables and what they believe will bring about the end of the war.
    Everyone is so quick to offer time frames for withdrawls, overall redeployment plans and their 2 cents on how to end the conflict. What everyone seems to forget is that we are involved in an asymetrical fight that has little room for the application of conventional tactics or resolutions. Al Queda and the Taliban aren’t going to sit down and discuss terms for resolution, regardless of who wins the presidency. That being said, as far as the costs of war, the 4000 soldiers killed in action since the begining of the conflict is a testament to our success both in iraq and afghanistan. June 6th 1944 over three thousand americans died in one day of fighting on the beaches of normandy. We have been at war since march of 2003 and in almost seven years of sustained fighting 4000 soldiers have been killed. As soldiers, we are well aware of the costs and whats on the line. To make any decision prematurley, especially one that results in a pull out before the job is done, is to have let 4000 soldiers die in in vain.
    I guess the point that Im trying to make here is that no one person is going to provide the answers to the questions everyone is asking. So instead of pretending I have the answers Ill ask all of you to do something. To, as Americans, be patient so that the right decision can be arrived upon. To rush something of this magnitude is surely a recipe for disaster. In the meantime we will keep carrying the rifles, climbing the mountains and making the sacrifices.

    -Corporal Craig.

  10. Love the article, Christi. Way to go!
    Corporal Craig’s comment strikes a strange chord in me.4000 dead? I don’t care what comparison or how many days’ war he’s talking about. 4000 dead as of October!!! Imagine if that number died in a flood or plane crash, or other disaster. Well…, imagine the life each of the dead would have lived. All of this for a cause; good or bad, I can’t say.
    A suggestion: perhaps you should write a follow-up to your article. I mean, some months after the elections, do BU students think the right choice was made, in terms of decisions about the Iraq war.

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