WAR, what is it good for? Perspectives from the neighborhoods on the conflict in Iraq

The war, whether you are for it or against it, has been a constant topic of debate since then.
Not just by television pundits, but everywhere.
Queen Anners and Magnolians are no exception, and a few of them shared their views with the News.

In the neighborhoods
A random survey of residents reveals a split opinion in Queen Anne and Magnolia about the war in Iraq. Some believe the war is justified, some don't, and everyone is concerned about the future.
"I think it was a bad idea, and I think it's looking worse every day," said Magnolia resident Deborah Kinard.
She also doesn't buy the justification the Bush White House has given for the war. "I didn't see the proof."
Citing former Pres. Ronald Reagan as an example, Kinard added that those who trust the government to know what it's doing have short memories. People, she said, have a duty to look beyond the rhetoric.
Queen Anne resident John Mueller has mixed feelings about the war. "I think Saddam has to go, but I just have a bad feeling about this."
Mueller also worries that the war will drag on for some time. "I don't think it's going to be easy."
Steve Drake, another Queen Anne resident, has no doubts about the need for war.
"It's our only option to protect homeland security," he said.
Hussein's political machine has been fueling terrorism with Iraq's wealth and power, Drake added.
"It'll take the money out of terrorism," he said of the war.
Magnolian Dan Clifton is skeptical about the war.
"I don't think it's a particularly good idea," he said.
Clifton also worries that America will get bogged down in Iraq. "I'm concerned now that [the war] is going to be much tougher than the administration is letting on."
Clifton also faults the govern-
ment for its explanations of why the war is necessary.
"They were all over the map," Clifton said of the justifications. "Even if I was supporter, I don't think they did a very good job."
"There was no justification [for war]," said Queen Anne resident Karen Christiansen. "It was a horrible idea, but I understand he's daddy's little puppet," she said of Bush junior and senior.
"I'm not saying Saddam is not a little Hitler - he gassed his own people. I just think there had to be a better way."

Support for the troops
Daniel Raphael, who recently moved to Magnolia from Austin, Texas, would have preferred diplomacy.
"I've got a couple of buddies over there," he said of friends in the military.
But now that we're there, Raphael said he supports the war. "You know, something needed to be done."
Still, he wonders about Iraq's connection to terrorism, one of the justifications the government as given for the war.
"They use that as an excuse, I think," he said.
Raphael believes that Pres. Bush is doing a good job, though.
"I'm glad we got a Texan in office who's willing to kick [butt]," he said with home-state pride.
Queen Anne resident Joey Norwark thinks the war is a mistake, and he doesn't believe the government's rationale for invading Iraq.
Norwark said he remembers government officials lying about the Vietnam War.
"I don't know if I can trust them now."
It's possible the war could end up causing an increase in terrorism, "but it's certainly not going to decrease it," he added.
Kevin Doig, a Scottish national living in Queen Anne, is a little ambivalent about the war.
"I'm kind of torn," he said, "but no, I don't think they should have gone in."
Doig wasn't sure about the justifications behind the war, but he faults the media for its coverage, charging that it has become a propaganda machine for the government.
"I don't believe a goddamn thing
I see on television," he said of one example.
Diane Magee, a Canadian national who often visits her sister in Magnolia, supports the war. "Go for it," she said.
Magee also thinks taking Hussein out of the picture is a good idea. "By getting rid of a rat, it'll make it better, I hope."

Mixed feelings
about protesters
Magee has mixed feeling about the demonstrators protesting the war.
"I feel they have a right to speak," she said, "but not to stop traffic and not to put any more stress on people than is already there."
Protesting against the war won't do any good anyway, according to Magee.
"It's too late. It's a done deal."
Queen Anne resident Bridgett Markillie said going after Hussein is enough reason for war.
"I think he should be taken out of power," she said, adding she has no preference on how.
Like Magee, Mar-killie faults demonstrators for their
She said the driver's side window was broken
by a demonstrator on a bicycle when she was getting a ride home from downtown Seattle during the demonstration last Thursday.
Christiansen, a Queen Anner who is against the war, also slammed the demonstrations.
"Now the war is on, I think it's just disrespectful," she said. "There should be more support for our troops."
Raphael, the transplanted Texan who approves of the war, doesn't see it that way.
"Hey, man, they've got a right
to say their piece," he said.
Raphael added that he has some friends who view demonstrators as traitors.
"But I take exception to that."
Clifton in Magnolia said it's OK with him to have demonstrations, and he even went to one a few months ago.
But Clifton questions whether the demonstrating against the war serves any purpose now.
"It clearly hasn't stopped them from carrying out the war," he said.

The March 20 antiwar rally
A rally and march from the Federal Building in downtown Seattle on March 20 - the day after the United States' opening salvos landed in Iraq - was headed by such groups as the Veterans for Peace Western Washington Chapter and the Washington Association of Churches.
While the March 20 protest achieved numbers nowhere near the size of the Feb. 15 rally and march from the
Seattle Center to the Immigration and Natu-ralization Service at the edgeof the Interna-
tional District, the po-
lice presence was far stronger.
On Feb. 15, the police were dressed in their customary uniforms and were almost nowhere to be seen.
The fact that the United States had gone to war with Iraq seemed to bring about a sea change.
Despite the small number of participants in the March 20 rally, police in riot gear lined the streets around the Federal Building and waited in groups nearby.
Tom Barnard, with Queen Anne Neighbors for Peace, was at the March 20 antiwar rally. He said that although earlier protests did not prevent the war, there
is still good reason to
"We need to speak up. This is not just about the war. It's about life and the next election."
John Morris and his wife, Sheila Morris,
serve as moderators of Queen Anne Neighbors for Peace.
He said he is encouraged by the number of protests around the world.
"Even if Bush isn't listening, the protests shows the strength of the peace movement," Morris said.
The Morrises emphasized that their group, like many demonstra-tors, is protesting against the decision to go to
war with Iraq and not against the troops.
Some members of the Queen Anne group carried signs that said "Support our troops, hell yes, bring them home."
Magnolian Alison McWilliams, also a member of Queen Anne
Neighbors for Peace, said that ob-
jecting to the Iraq war marks her
first involvement with political activism.
"In the '80s I worked at AT&T and did the corporate thing. The Gulf War was not even on my radar screen."
McWilliams, who now works as a dog walker, said that this time she had to speak up when she saw the country heading toward war.

A force of voices
Brad Stracener, an editor at the Mountaineers Club and a member
of Queen Anne Neighbors for Peace, felt strongly about continuing to
protest even though the war has
"My reason for being here is
to contribute to a force of voices
that will hopefully shorten this
misdirection and this killing of in-nocent civilians as a byproduct of
our bombing," Stracener said.
Stracener is also looking at the
long-term impact of the protests, feeling that there are lessons to be learned.
"It is important to build a force in society that comes out before any war.
"It's important we all stay the course on that.
"It's important for us to be in front of our government whenever they want to go to war."
Stracener predicted that the size of the antiwar protests would increase as the war continues.
"A lot of people feel like they've been hit in the stomach by the war right now.
"I believe we're going to see more opposition as the days stretch and the war goes on."
He said people objecting to the war need to make their views known so the government can see the strength of that opposition.
"There are a lot more people against this war than the government realizes or the press realizes. They need to step out.
"I see a lot of people honking at our group's signs [when we are out] on Queen Anne, but they won't step outside their cars and do the protesting themselves."

Staff reporter Russ Zabel can be reached at rzabel@nwlink.com. Editor Maggie Larrick can be reached at mlarrick@nwlink.com.

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