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Events influence campus political landscape

The Iraq war and the 2008 Presidential Election seem to be two of the most controversial topics in the United States this year. Yet most students seem disinterested in the topics and some have developed their own opinions already.

?I don?t think the war in Iraq will do any damage,? Frank Daniel, ’11, said. ?Iraq is a democracy now. We removed a dictator and now it?s a friend to us.?

According to the 2007 Failed States Index in the magazine Foreign Policiy, Iraq is second only to Sudan in terms of the level of instability. The country had been in fourth place in 2005 and 2006.

?The war in Iraq has its roots with Sept. 11,? Connor Gibes, ’11, said. ?Iraq was responsible for that so I think we had to fight them.?

Like Daniel, he held an optimistic view of the war, but his opinions contrartdict those of the Democratic Party, especially those who would rather not praise the new government of Iraq or link Saddam Hussein to the 2001 attacks.

“We have been there long anough and have not made that much progress,” Jason Herron, ’09, said. “We should use the resources that have gone into the war for something else and withdraw the troops gradually and leave enough to maintain order.”

While some Americans believe both the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq began with a desire for more oil, many others believe a sheltered terrorist organization and illegal weapons, respectively, were the reasons.

?I think that the war against terrorism was necessary,? Malachi Romero, ’10, said. ?I was appalled at the attacks on the towers.? He did not, however, specify further on his opinions.

It was at the time after the attacks that President George W. Bush?s approval ratings rose to almost unprecedented levels before plummeting down dramatically by mid-decade because of dissatisfaction with the Iraq war.

?Well as far as we knew, they had weapons of mass destruction,? Jacob Balderas, ’11, said. ?They could have just hid them, but I never hear people take that into account. They still want to attack us, but a lot of people just want us to pull out.?

To some, one of the most important subjects may be the supposed long-term effect of the Bush administration?s policies on America and the world. Some decry the current administration for what they see as failure on many fronts, especially actions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“I was not all for the war since it began because I do not like the fact that we are overseas in a foreign country,” Andrew Biehler, ’08, said. “If we did go to war, we should have gone in and gone out quickly.”

Others, however, see these criticisms as exaggerations and the critics as excessive worriers.

“I think President Bush is doing a pretty good job,” Nicole Erickson, ’09 said. “I am pretty sure there won’t be anyhing bad that can come from the adminstration’s policies.”

Besides the war on terrorism, other issues such as health care and the economy will be important subjects of discussion during the 2008 Presidential Elections.

?I would vote for a Republican in 2008, probably Rudy Giuliani,? Will Gonzales, ’11, said. ?I just wouldn?t vote for a Democrat.?

As the candidates battle for their respective parties’ presidential nominations, students begin to make the decision for which candidate to support.

“I would vote for Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential Election,” Whitney Chessum, ’08, said. “I do not really like the other candidates because they just go with what people think at the time.”

With the presidential election coming closer, more issues will be discussed and debated among students in the months ahead.

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    Aaron WebbDec 16, 2009 at 6:47 am

    You look funny Juliette; that’s my cousin.

    Reply