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Did President Bush make the right decision to have the U.S. spend billions of dollars on the war in Iraq while people worldwide suffer from hunger and diseases? Absolutely not! Though Bush had noble intentions to snuff out terrorism, he strayed from his original motives. Recent news says Bush doubted the reliability of the evidence regarding weapons of mass destruction, but he invaded anyway. When he didn't find any weapons, he just changed the name to a "War on Terrorism"! Okay, I can understand trying to prevent another 9/11, and for all we know Osama Bin Laden may currently live 25 feet under the sand in the Iraqi desert with weapons of mass destruction, but Bush shouldn't have invaded without U.N. support. In the first Gulf War, numerous Arab nations backed up the U.S. in getting rid of Saddam Hussein. If Bush made the right decision this time, then how come the majority of the world refuses to support him?

I realize that countries cannot easily pull out from war, so even though Bush admits the invasion of Iraq was based on faulty evidence, he cannot pull troops out. He should apologize to the families who have lost loved ones for a war that he had no right to start. Now, Hussein did kill many people and deserved to lose his power, but can Bush justify getting rid of him? Isn't Bush killing people, too, by having soldiers fight in a war half the nation doesn't support?

Bush's war has cost billions. That money could go toward a better cause, such as immunizing children worldwide. Unfortunately, Bush prefers invading countries that have something he wants (cough -- oil -- cough). If Bush has pure reasons for helping to free the Iraqi people from Saddam, how come he ignores the massacre of Christians in Africa? Why not help them? No massive oil rigs there? -- Emma Seemann, Carlsbad H.S.

President George Bush's approval rating has dropped to a level lower than that of any president in the history of the United States. The three primary justifications that he gave for going to war -- that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, that he was involved in the 9/11 attacks, and that he had obtained illegal plutonium from Niger -- have proven false. Thousands of soldiers have been killed and hundreds of billions of dollars spent. To say that things are going poorly would be an understatement. President Bush has strayed far off track in his plan to snuff out terrorism. The United States should refrain from invading another country unless there is a solid and factual reason to do so. More importantly, however, we are dismissing the reason for animosity toward America that exists in the world. The war is another example of the United States enforcing its will upon other countries. This is exactly what the Middle East detests. We will continue to deploy troops to Iraq until a stable democracy is established, but there is so much anti-American sentiment, it's possible that a future Iraqi government will be even more hostile toward the United States.

Additionally, the war is distracting the administration from domestic issues. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the victims have experienced a lack of response from the government. Funding for education is suffering, and the No Child Left Behind Act has done nothing to help the matter.

I find it ironic when people say that those who do not support the war are not patriotic. The greatest form of patriotism can be seen in wanting what is best for one's country and caring about its place in the world. Blindly jumping on the bandwagon of presidential policies does not constitute patriotism. Currently, our national debt is at an all-time high, presidential support is low, and violence and death overseas are failing to cease. There is nothing to be gained by remaining in Iraq. -- Naomi Serling-Boyd, Mt. Carmel H.S.

The war in Iraq is such a complicated topic, with so gray areas, lies, truths, and confusion. So complicated that I am reluctant to take on this topic. But here it goes. One of my friends recently spoke to an Iranian native. He said that in Iraq there is much domestic support for a democratic government and opposition to Hussein's regime. People want the help of the American government. But there are a few who remain against the effort. These extremes are the reason why American soldiers die and the reason why American soldiers are still in Iraq.

We made a good effort with good intent. But the outcome and the method don't seem to cut it.

I think that the United States was justified in entering Iraq in an effort to help their government and find weapons and get rid of terrorism. The war on terror is a worthy cause to fight for, even to die for. I believe that we, as Americans, have an obligation to help snuff out terrorism.

However, the war does seem to be failing. We are accomplishing very little over a very long period of time. I think that we have a great task to accomplish that is not best achieved through war. I don't have the answers to the problems in Iraq. I don't know what alternative would work in achieving our goals. But war doesn't seem to be working out too well.

On top of that, the war is draining taxpayer dollars and American lives. There must be another way to use these resources more efficiently.

Everyone deserves democracy, but war isn't a viable solution. America should do everything in its power to aid other nations in ensuring democracy. Everything that works, that is. -- Derrick Sun, Mt. Carmel H.S.

'Support our troops" is a message that is plastered all over the Internet, newspapers, and commercials. When I see something like that, it makes me cringe. Now, I fully support military men and women and think they are wonderful people, but I don't see why I should be supporting what they are doing. George Bush must think he is the greatest person in the world while he seeks out every terrorist in the Middle East. But whose job is it to seek and destroy all the terrorists (and all other problems) on the home front? I am all for peace in the Middle East, but when does it turn from a concern into our problem? Is it because of 9/11? We never captured or killed whoever was behind those events. What is being done to the people who ignored all the memos saying something bad would happen on that day? What is their punishment? Are innocent people being killed in the search for them? No, because we value life, as long as it is of someone important. Who cares about the schoolchildren who have been killed in bombings that targeted terrorists?

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