Possibility of war concerns students, faculty

Jerry Manter

Like America, many Missouri Southern students stand divided on the possibility of war with Iraq.

“I think it’s unnecessary,” said Mysti Byrd, senior speech communications major. “The government is trying to link Iraq to Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and what happened on Sept. 11.”

Byrd said the government should think of a variety of different solutions before it invades Iraq.

“I don’t believe in war, period,” Byrd said.

On Feb. 5, Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke to the U.N.’s Security Council where he presented evidence from U.S. intelligence of banned Iraqi weapons.

Although there’s evidence, it still bothers Annetta St. Clair, associate professor of history, that other world powers aren’t supporting the United States.

“France and Germany are afraid of how we use our power,” St. Clair said. “Well, so am I.”

St. Clair said the U.S. government can be looked at like a professor-student relationship.

“A professor has power over students,” St. Clair said. “You just hope they use that power appropriately and with respect.”

St. Clair agrees with Bush and his feelings on Saddam Hussein, but still questions the movement.

“Saddam is despicable,” she said. “But is it our choice to see him go…is that our right?”

Heidi Hockensmith, junior criminal justice major, disagrees. She believes war is the only way.

“Yeah, let’s go to war,” Hockensmith said. “Don’t mess with us, right.”

On Jan. 29, members of the Joplin Peace Awareness Group, including some Southern students and faculty, participated in an anti-war demonstration. Several peaceful protests have occurred in the past couple weeks throughout the region.

Penny Honeycutt, social science secretary, believes in a peaceful resolution as well.

“We should be able to defend ourselves, but we shouldn’t be a bully either,” Honeycutt said. “The whole world should not be Americanized.”

During the Gulf War, Honeycutt was in high school. Back then, she didn’t stay involved with current events, but with the latest round of war talks in the Middle East, it’s a different story.

“I have children now,” Honeycutt said. “This makes the situation totally different.”

Although Byrd hopes for a peaceful solution with Iraq, she still believes in the U.S. government, regardless of what the future holds.

“I still have faith in the government and stand by them,” Byrd said. “I think they are doing the best for everyone’s well being.”

Jon Frazier, sophomore education major, thinks President Bush’s plan with Iraq is right on target.

“I think the war should have ended the first time we started with Iraq,” Frazier said. “We need to take care of those who are threatening America.”