The talk of war with Iraq gained additional momentum this week, as Congress voted to allow President George W. Bush the use of military force to bring the Middle Eastern nation in compliance with U.N. resolutions.
Public reaction has been wide and varying, ranging from solid support to staunch opposition to a potential war.
While the protesters try to sway public opinion behind the safety of their respective picket lines, the military personnel who may actually be called upon to do the fighting, seem to have a different take on the situation.
“I support the president,” said Executive Officer, Maj. Willie Jackson of FAMU’s Army ROTC program. “I am a defender of the country.”
The veteran soldier of 21 years, has seen combat action in the Desert Storm/ Shield operations of the early 1990s.
Faced with the threat of impending war, Jackson says the intense training he and other soldiers go through, gives the the necessary confidence to deal with whatever decision the president makes.
It is both confidence and a call to arms that goes beyond personal views for Army cadet and Florida National Guard soldier Jermaine Nairn as well.
“When you sign on the dotted line, you have to perform, no matter what your personal views are,” said the 22 year-old English student from Homestead. “In order to my job effectively, I must believe in what I’m doing.”
Nairn describes that job as the “killing business.”
Still others believe the only business the U.S. needs to mind, is its own.
“It’s a bunch of hogwash and bull ****,” said 22 year-old criminal justice student Musa Akbar. ” The U.S. has been oppressive to its own people, now it wants to assume the role of an international dictator.”
Akbar described the possibility of the U.S. using military force as a dictator who wants to topple a dictator.
“I’m totally opposed to it,” said Akbar.