Backing Bush

flagIt is hard listening to teachers or students at school say "Bush is an idiot," or "It’s all for the oil." I bite my lip and try to continue my work, although many times I have found myself in a debate rather than studying Spanish or history! Here’s what I feel: George W. Bush is not an idiot. President Bush is protecting us as a nation from the serious threat of Saddam Hussein. We as Americans should stand behind our president; he is an honest man and deserves our respect and support.

As Bush pointed out in his State of the Union Address, Saddam Hussein has developed nuclear, chemical and biological weapons such as anthrax. Hussein says he doesn’t have them, but he is lying about it, as he has been for years. Bush said, "The dictator of Iraq is not disarming. He is deceiving."

Hussein could easily pass these weapons on to terrorists. Bush said, "Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans—this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that that day never comes."

"We’ll be protected from this threat."
I found this comment both inspiring and comforting. I feel good knowing that the Bush administration can see the threat and is taking steps to protect us. How can people say that we should let Hussein stay in power? Colin Powell told the United Nations that Hussein experimented with weapons on prisoners. Powell also described Hussein’s use of mustard gas and nerve gas against the Kurds in northern Iraq in 1988 as one of the 20th century’s most horrible atrocities. Since Hussein has used these chemicals on his own people—what would keep him from using them on the United States.

Yet many people feel that Iraq is not an enemy. Friends often tell me that I am wrong, and that Iraq has nothing to do with the terrorists. When they ask why I support the U.S. in killing innocent people, it’s hard to respond. I try to choose my words carefully. I do not hate the people in the Middle East. I do not want people to die. I do however, want the terror to stop. I want all Americans to stop feeling anxiety, stop fearing that at any minute America could be attacked. War must stop it. War must put people’s minds at rest, and war must take Hussein out of power. War will risk lives, but countless lives will be saved. War will bring an end to Saddam Hussein’s feeding support, money and supplies to the terrorists who are staying in and around Iraq.

Some of us may lose family members or friends in this war. I beg you not to hate President Bush for this. As he said in his speech, "Sending Americans into battle is the most profound decision a president can make... This nation fights reluctantly, because we know the cost and we dread the days of mourning that always come."

Remember, too, that the people who chose to enlist in the armed forces knew that they might risk their lives for America. Their family members were aware of the danger. And for their sacrifice, they have my utmost respect. I feel we should be proud of them, pray for them and know that they are fighting for us and our country!

Our soldiers can be proud that they are doing what’s right. As Bush said, "We strive for peace. And sometimes peace must be defended. A future lived at the mercy of terrible threats is no peace at all. If war is forced upon us, we will fight in a just cause and by just means—sparing, in every way we can, the innocent."

While this is my opinion, I respect and am open to what others have to say about President Bush and the war. But if you hate President Bush and are against war, know all the facts before coming to a conclusion about both. Because if you do, who knows? Perhaps you will have a change of heart.

Valentina Cardenas, 15, is a student at Ramona Convent and a writer for LA Youth.

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