Editor's note: This article was submitted before the war with Iraq started. The writer intended it to be an "after the fact" viewpoint.
I hate the thought of a possible war. I remember the Viet Nam war and the thousands of young, brave men that gave their life for a war that wasn't ours. I remember sitting in the yard, cross-legged, on the grass by the roadside watching for my brother to return from his stint in Vietnam. Today's generation of heroes is a mixture of men and women. They are all willing to lay their life down for the Iraqi people that suffer oppression and torture. I don't want war and I pray that the tyrant ruler takes his family and leaves before it starts. I will though, support to the end, my president's decision to attack if it comes to that.
I see the anti-war protesters on campuses and around the country but I don't see the protesters of the torture and death the people of Iraq face. Where are the protesters against Saddam Hussein's horrific treatment of his people?" Too many times we all jump on a bandwagon with narrow minds and narrower vision. We don't want to see the whole picture because it is an ugly picture. We have never suffered oppression so we don't understand what the Iraqi people feel. We can speak out in protest without fear of being shot down by our government.
I feel for the families with children and spouses going to the Middle East. The pain and anxiety over their children's, husband or wife's safety breaks my heart. But if you ask that son, daughter, husband or wife, it is a small sacrifice to them. They are courageous and have a heart full of love for their fellow man. They also know that if Saddam isn't stopped we are in danger here in our happy little safe places.
This situation in Iraq reminds me of the Bible where Moses says, "Let my people go." These people need their freedom too. They need the chance to live a daily life without fear of being murdered. To send their children to school for the day and know they will be home that afternoon. To go to bed and know that there is another day dawning for them. To live without the fear of being dragged from their beds, homes, cars or work places and shot in the middle of the street.
Of course, homeland security is our first and foremost concern. As President Bush said, "We gave him a chance. As a matter of fact, we gave him 12 years of chances. But recently, we gave him a chance starting last fall, and it said, "last chance to disarm." The resolution said that, and had he chosen to do so, it would be evident that he disarmed. And so more time, more inspectors, more process, in our judgment is not going to affect the peace of the world.
He also said, "And in the case of Iraq, it is now time for him to disarm. For the sake of peace, if we have to use our troops, we will. My faith sustains me, because I pray daily. I pray for guidance and wisdom and strength. If we were to commit our troops -- if we were to commit our troops I would pray for their safety, and I would pray for the safety of innocent Iraqi lives as well. One thing that's really great about our country is that there are thousands of people who pray for me who I'll never see and be able to thank. But it's a humbling experience to think that people I will never have met have lifted me and my family up in prayer. And for that I'm grateful. It's been a comforting feeling to know that is true. I pray for peace, April. I pray for peace."
These are not the words of a warmonger but of a man that does not play games when his country's security is at stake. They are the words of a man that walks in the will of God and prays daily for guidance. They are the words of a man that loves people and cares for their welfare. These are the words of my president, the leader of my country. I will support his decision whatever may come.
I heard we have that magic number of "250,000" military personnel there. The magic number was what supposedly we needed to start the war. Had President Bush been so anxious to fight, would he not have done it last week? Why wait another week for Saddam to throw us a few more scraps from his weapon destruction ploy, a missile here a missile there. No, instead, President Bush allowed yet another week. I pray Saddam doesn't play his cat and mouse game much longer.
Of course, when this article appears we will know the outcome of these fears and the answer to this question 'To go to war or not go to war'. Let's pray the answer will be "not to go to war". I too will "pray for peace, April, I pray for peace."