As Iraq declared a state of emergency yesterday, many University
students voiced strong feelings about the war in Iraq and the
foreign policy of President Bush.

Students, no matter what political party they support, are
coming to terms with the outcome of the election. However, many say
they feel upset about the war in Iraq and the direction of the
country for the next four years. Others say they feel the need to
stay the course and support President Bush in his next term.

One cause of this uncertainty could be the belief that Bush will
not make many changes to his approach to the war in his second
term.

“I think (Bush) will be firing and hiring new people, but
whether it will be for the best, I don’t know,”
Engineering sophomore Navin Sridhar said. “I would guess that
he goes in the same direction he’s been going.”

LSA seniors Michael Frederich and Dan Goshorn expressed similar
conclusions.

“I think he may change Cabinet members, but not his
approach to the Iraqi war,” Goshorn said.

“Though I think Kerry would’ve been better
domestically, I don’t think he had a plan for Iraq and
wouldn’t have been any better with foreign policy,”
Frederich added. “I think the troops will be over there for a
while.”

Yesterday, the Iraqi government declared 60 days of emergency
rule throughout most of the country and American troops seized a
small area of Fallujah, which has been the site of heavy bombing
recently. It is feared that developments like these will spark a
new wave of violence and consequently sabotage Iraq’s planned
January elections.

Students such as LSA sophomore Elizabeth Stanley say they
approach the next four years under Bush with more optimism.

“I have faith in President Bush’s decisions on how
to address the war in Iraq,” Stanley said. “We as
students need to realize that the government always knows more than
we do, because we hear things from indirect sources and the media
misconstrues things. We need to put faith in our government and
intelligence agencies to make informed and proper
decisions.”

However, some students feel that such U.S. military actions will
continue to perpetuate anti-American thoughts and the position of
the United States as a country with the wrong priorities.

“Instead of trying to figure out what would work best for
their country, I feel that Bush is trying to push U.S. policy in
Iraq and I don’t see it working over there,” LSA junior
Christina Wilk said. “We should give guidance, not orders. We
are dictating instead of being friends.”

Celimar Valentin, a senior in the College of Engineering, echoed
Wilk’s sentiments.

“The world community has lost respect for what the U.S.
stands for and for its leaders. It is OK that we want to help, but
we should focus more on the U.S. as a country instead of trying to
be a hero to other countries,” Valentin said. “There
are bad things happening in the world besides Iraq, like Africa,
yet the U.S. feels the only place they have the right to be is
Iraq.”

Valentin also expressed surprise over the outcome of the
election in regards to the country’s feelings toward the
war.

“I feel like American citizens wanted a change and
weren’t happy at all with decisions concerning the
war,” she said. “It was really surprising to me that
the outcome was to keep (Bush) as the leader.”

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