Iowa State Daily November 15, 2005
As deaths in Iraq increase, students comment on war
By Jared Taylor
More than 2,000 soldiers have given the ultimate sacrifice in the war in Iraq, and controversy remains among students regarding the justification for war.
As of Nov. 14, 2,049 named soldiers had died in Iraq, according to GlobalSecurity.org, a military watchdog Web site.
October was the fourth-deadliest month in the war, with 93 deaths.
The United States began an assault on a town along the Syrian border Monday, killing 34 militant insurgents. On most days, at least one car bomb goes off in Baghdad. U.S. troops are trying to stabilize the country after the removal of its leader, Saddam Hussein, and the passage of its constitution Oct. 15.
Erin Lyon, freshman in art and design, said she has family in the Air Force who could be deployed to Iraq.
"I have mixed feelings," she said. "I have two older brothers in the Air Force, so I am very supportive of the military."
Jonathon Gambrell, second-year Army ROTC cadet, said he believes the U.S. military is making strong progress in Iraq.
According to the Office of the Registrar, 34 students have stopped attending classes at ISU, citing active duty as the reason.
"This war is going better than any other war America has fought in," said Gambrell, sophomore in pre-business. "Two thousand casualties is nothing when you look at World War II or any other conflict America has been involved in. I do believe we are fighting for what we should be fighting for."
Although she remains supportive of the military for her family's sake, Lyon said she questions the U.S. military's methods.
"At times, we have lost the main focus of why we are over there and what we are trying to accomplish," she said.
"With their government and rebuilding their government, I'm not sure how we're going about it is the best way. It's causing a lot of turmoil."
Kevin Jans, senior in agricultural studies, said the United States must maintain its military presence in Iraq until the region is stabilized.
"As long as it takes. [We should] try to reduce our forces over there - build their power and military," he said. "I think we still need to stay the course and make sure when we leave, everything is not going to fall apart again."
Elliott Fifer, sophomore in pre-journalism and mass communication, said although he hasn't paid close attention to the events in Iraq, it is tragic whenever soldiers' lives are lost in battle.
"In general, it is a bad thing to lose troops in battle, especially when they have families back here," he said. "I think it has been a long time and not much has been settled."
Kinsey Olson, senior in mechanical engineering, said the general purpose for the war was justified, although she believes the government hasn't properly informed the public regarding wartime matters.
"I think we went over there with good intentions, but some issues have been handled wrong," she said.
"I support its purpose, but not how it's been carried out. There's been a lot of speculation and misinformation for going into the war."
Gambrell said he is prepared to serve in Iraq once he completes his time at Iowa State.
"If they tell me that's where I'm going, that's where I'm going and I have no problem with it," he said. "If we are still over there in three years, I will gladly go."
Olson said she knows three people closely who have served in Iraq and has several acquaintances who have served or are waiting to be deployed.
"I just feel lucky that anyone I know hasn't been hurt or killed over there yet," she said.
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