As war looms, we can still hope for peace

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Tribune Staff

On Monday, 37,000 soldiers were ordered to join roughly 60,000 troops already training in the Persian Gulf. On Tuesday, defense officials speaking on condition of anonymity said Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld will order two more aircraft carriers to the Gulf region.

In a series of deployment orders dating to December, Rumsfeld has given the go-ahead for at least 125,000 U.S. forces to head toward the Gulf. Pentagon plans call for the total eventually to reach 250,000 for war and postwar stabilization.

Email newsletter signup

What does this mean to Lawrence County? Chances are someone you know may be shipped out to the Middle East any day now.

Many Lawrence countians serve in the military, whether it be active duty, the National Guard or the Army Reserve. When Uncle Sam calls, they will be waiting to fight for their country.

President Bush leaves little doubt he wants Saddam Hussein gone and Iraq disarmed, but the question of whether or not military force will be used to accomplish these goals remains. President Bush has said time and again if it takes military action to thwart the threat of Saddam possessing weapons of mass destruction, that is the route America will take.

Unless Saddam Hussein comes forward and assures us the world is a safer place with the elimination of his weapons of mass destruction, we agree we have to stand firm, be strong and do what is necessary to protect our nation. As much as we think force may be the answer, it is only natural that we feel a sinking pain as our soldiers stand on decks of ships sailing away into uncertainty. For this reason, we hope and pray a more peaceful solution surfaces.

Is war with Iraq imminent? It depends on if you are an optimist or a pessimist.

Only time will tell if war or peace carries the most weight. But in the meantime, the fate of thousands of Americans and Iraqis lie in the balance. Some of these folks will likely be from Lawrence County -- perhaps one of our neighbors.