Since the war in Iraq began on March 19, the sentiments expressed by everday citizens about the war seem to have changed. During the first three months of the war, most people tended to support President George W. Bush and to believe his claims that Iraq was a threat to the United States.
Since mid-summer, more letters to the editor have been questioning why and how we got in this war in the first place.
To gauge the attitudes of Prince William County residents on this important issue, I reviewed letters to the editor that were published between late March and early September. Here are excerpts in chronological order:
March 23: “No connection has been made between Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.” -Jenine W., Woodbridge.
March 25: “Again it seems as if the American people are being sold a bill of goods. . . because of so many half-truths.” – Manuel P., Woodbridge.
March 27: [Bush] decided that war with Iraq became necessary because all prudent alternatives were exhausted.” -Charles C., Woodbridge.
April 2: “I hear we are at war because. . . Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.” -Laurie R., Manassas.
April 6: “[Those protesting the war] are using the First Amendment way too much now.” -Mary O., Woodbridge.
April 12: “I do not believe that the U.N., France, Germany, China or Russia should have any say in the structuring of the new Iraq.” -John D., Woodbridge.
April 13: “Our leaders are promising the Iraqi citizens freedom, but at what cost?” -Karen M., Woodbridge.
April 16: “What is this war going to solve? Nothing but death and destruction.” -Lynora L., Woodbridge.
April 20: “Saddam Hussein’s ties to and support of terrorism is (sic) well documented.” -Barry C., Quantico.
April 21: “First, weapons of mass destruction are real. This is not something invented by the Bush administration.” -Michael C., Dale City.
April 28: “My president is an intelligent, considerate man.” -Joseph M., Woodbridge.
May 5: “I disagree with the policies that are now being implemented in the name of Iraqi freedom.” – Manuel P., Woodbridge.
May 23: “Navy One should have made a low pass over the flight deck of the carrier followed by a well deserved victory roll.” -James B., Gainesville.
June 24: “I’m sorry; I didn’t know presidents were supposed to have the gift of foresight.” – Joe G., Woodbridge.
July 6: “I would like to know when the Bush daughters. . . are going to sign up so they can fight terrorism alongside our troops.” -Richard B., Dale City.
July 19: “It’s all coming out in the wash that any straw we could grab to justify our going to war, we grabbed.” -Manuel P., Dale City.
July 22: “Our president either lied or demonstrated incredible incompetence when he told the American people that we must go to war because Iraq had weapons that threatened our nation.” -Bruce S., Woodbridge.
July 26: “The notion that one is unpatriotic unless he follows Bush’s lead is preposterous.” – Two Potomac News reporters (commentary).
Aug. 5: “Another lie being expressed these days is Bush’s rush to war.”- Ord E., Woodbridge.
Sept. 1: “We have all essentially been brainwashed by [Bush’s] ‘you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists’ threat.”- Jane T., Lake Ridge.
Sept. 3: “George W. Bush, Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld have carried out a preemptive war of aggression, attacking people who did not threaten the United States and killing or maiming thousands.” – April L., Manassas.
I’ve tried to include quotes from all the letters that appeared on this important issue, but in case I missed any, let the Potomac News know.
Gary Jacobsen lives in Woodbridge.