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We are over there to preserve freedom

The issues in the Persian Gulf are not cloudy. The whys are not vague. They're as clear as crystal. It all amounts to this: Who and what is Saddam Hussein?

If he is indeed the vicious aggressor our government portrays him to be, if he is capable of the atrocious acts of brutality he is accused of, if he is a force that threatens our way of life and very existence, he must be stopped.

If this man poses a major threat now, without nuclear forces, think about what the world will be faced with when he has atomic weapons capable of transcontinental destruction. No home front would be safe.

Those who believe we have no business in the affairs of the Middle East could be right if we could measure Hussein's appetite. Unfortunately, we can't. All indications are that his appetite is huge and Kuwait is only an hors d'oeuvre.

This much is clear about Saddam:

He invaded Kuwait in a war-like manner. He was not invited.

He holds more than 2,000 hostages.

So far, he refuses to leave Kuwait and continues to brutalize, torture and treat the Kuwait people as captives in their own country.

If we knew for sure that Kuwait was Hussein's last stop, then maybe there would be some small logic in ignoring his aggressions, as immoral as this would be. But we don't. He could be on our doorstep next.

So the question of why is answered clearly: freedom and the preservation of the American way of life, as corny and old-fashioned as this cliche may sound.

Care about troops, but fight the policy

I would like to address a letter published Nov. 26 in The Buffalo News which complained about the lack of American support for the men and women stationed in Saudi Arabia.

There is a big difference that this person, and others, do not seem to understand. Just because I do not agree with the actions of President Bush in regard to the Persian Gulf does not automatically imply that I do not care about our servicemen and women who have been sent to Saudi Arabia.

Many of my friends and I have been writing to these service people -- sending letters of encouragement and care packages to people who are sometimes friends but are frequently people we have never met.

However, we will be the first people to speak out in a discussion and say, "We, the United States, have no business being over there."

Of course we should support these men and women, but if we don't speak out against the government's actions, who will be the one to tell the grade school students that their pen-pal friend overseas won't be writing anymore -- to anyone?

I do not want to write to a GI one night and attend the funeral for another the next day. In that respect, there is no reason why we shouldn't do our part to prevent the start of a war while we support the people whose lives could depend on the actions of concerned citizens in the U.S.

Canisius College
Protest an Iraq war that may not come

I am a 16-year-old high school student and I have just read Mike Royko's column: "If we're going to have a draft, let's draft those who most deserve to serve."

My family has just said goodbye to my sister, who is in the 365th Evacuation Hospital. Students at my school as well as myself want to let you people at The Buffalo News know Mr. Royko expressed our ideas as well as those of a lot of our draft-age friends. We, the students of Attica Central School, have agreed and started the protesting of a war that may never come about. We realize however that our protesting will have no effect on President Bush's decision.

But we want to ask the citizens of Buffalo to help us with our protest by wearing yellow ribbons and red, white or blue bandannas. It is a relief to us students to see that there are some adults who agree with our decision to protest.

Oh, what an honor we have been given

We Americans should be so proud and happy. The United Nations has just given us its blessings to initiate a war with Iraq and begin to sacrifice 1,000 young lives a day along with another 15,000 wounded (by current estimates).

What an honor to know that as we send off our young to death and destruction, the U.N. is behind us all the way. There's yet another privilege -- we pick up the $1 trillion tab. What a great victory we have just won in the U.N.

There's no country worth dying for

Iraq invaded Kuwait. So what? Does that mean the draft should be enacted? Since I am of draft age, should I be willing to give my life for my country? A resounding "no" is the answer to both questions.

I hear people say, "I'd gladly give my life to serve my country."

Fools! Their gravestones will read: "I died for my country."

No country is worth dying for. Life is all that there is, and I am going to try to hold onto mine for as long as I can.

Call me unpatriotic. Frankly, I would rather keep my life than be a dead patriot.


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