Nation on brink of war

Herald Staff Report

A line has again been drawn in the sand.

President Bush gave Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and his two sons 48 hours to leave their country last night in an internationally televised speech.

If they refuse, Bush said, the United States will attack Iraq at “a moment of our choosing.” There are 250,000 troops awaiting Bush’s order to invade the Middle Eastern nation.

“If Saddam Hussein attempts to cling to power, he will remain a deadly foe until the end,” Bush said.

Speaking in the White House, Bush said Hussein could some day use weapons of mass destruction or terrorists to threaten the United States and its allies.

Bush’s father, former president George H.W. Bush, led a campaign in 1991 to force Iraq out of an occupied Kuwait.

The President laid out several instances since then where Baghdad has balked at international demands that it disarm. He said in two resolutions passed a decade ago, the United Nations gave the United States the right to use force in disarming Iraq.

“This is not a question of authority,” Bush said. “It’s a question of will.”

Several nations, including France and Russia, have openly opposed a U.N. resolution authorizing war. Accordingly, Bush said the United Nations has not lived up to its responsibility of ensuring peace.

The possibility of war has already been cast over the Hill.

“Students have already been impacted,” said George Masannat, an optional retiree in the government department. “They have been called, and that disrupted their studies. Hopefully they’ll come back safely.”

An uncertain future may also face those left behind.

“We’re in for economic hard times,” Government Department Head Saundra Ardrey said. Gas prices will continue to rise and the stock market could plummet in the event of war, she said.

Already, a war in Iraq is a divisive issue at Western.

“Killing is always murder. Bombing is always terrorism,” Louisville junior Whitney Crews said. “There is no justification for killing other human beings.”

Others back Bush.

“He has my support,” Hopkinsville senior Steven Reyes said. “Most people don’t have the power or ability to do what we do, so we have a lot of responsibility.”

Herald reporters Joseph Lord, Shawntaye Hopkins and Jessica Sasseen contributed to this story. Reach them at [email protected]