War not far from CMC students’ minds | PostIndependent.com

War not far from CMC students’ minds

Carrie Click
Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – A group of freshmen and sophomore Colorado Mountain College students were outside Friday afternoon enjoying a gorgeous spring day on the Spring Valley campus grounds. Some were sitting at picnic tables, while others messed around on bouncy playground equipment set up for the college’s spring celebration.

Even though Iraq is nearly 7,000 miles from CMC’s idyllic mountain setting, the war there was not far from these students’ thoughts.

“We were just talking about this at lunch,” said Kat Heimerl, 19, from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. “There are other ways to take care of things rather than war. I think it’s reckless. We don’t know who we’re bombing, and we don’t know who we’re killing. It’s very upsetting.”

Heimerl said out of the six or seven people she had lunch with Friday, four or five were pro-war and two were against it.

Kathryn Peltier, 18, from Dallas, supports the war effort.

“I’m for it,” Peltier said. “There are a few things I don’t agree with, like bombing at random. Some of the those bombings on Baghdad seemed like we were saying, `I am America, here me roar.’ But I’m totally for going in. I compare this to the Holocaust. If we didn’t go in, it would be worse. It’d be really hypocritical if we stood back.”

Reilly Proud, 18, is from Honolulu. He said he definitely does not support the war, but he supports keeping the troops safe.

“And the best way to do that is not to have them over there at all,” Proud said. “People say Saddam isn’t very brave, but neither is Bush. He’s even farther away from harm than Saddam. During 9/11, he was whisked away. I find his muscle flexing disgusting and egotistical.”

Proud said among his friends, the common sentiment isn’t supportive of the war.

“In my Western civilization and American government classes, we’re constantly questioning why the troops are in Iraq. What is the purpose? We have the same chemical weapons that we’re demanding Saddam not have. Isn’t that hypocritical?” Proud asked.

Jim Morrison, 19, from Leadville said he “supports my troops, but I don’t support my government.”

Morrison said one way the United States could have avoided the war was to have “taken Saddam out in ’91.” Because we didn’t, the problem escalated, he said.

He also thinks the United States should concentrate on problems at home rather than stretch its resources to the Middle East and South America.

“The U.S. has huge problems at home that it needs to address,” Morrison said. “But instead we arm militant groups in Colombia, Bolivia, Panama, and even Saddam in the past. Maybe the best way to help people is not to give them arms. I want my children to grow up in the U.S. I grew up in. Regardless of the political stuff, it’s a wonderful place to live.”

Christopher Stratton, 19, from Lakewood, thinks “liberating Iraq is a good deal. Now those people have a chance to rule themselves, and be a freer, wealthier country.”

Stratton said among his peers, “the guys who are for the war feel that way because we were attacked. The guys who are opposed to it are against it because they think it’s just for oil. And, in general, the women aren’t for the war.”

Stratton accepts that one of the unavoidable aspects of war is that innocent people die.

“My grandpa was in bombing raids over Berlin during World War II,” he said. “Why is that OK and Iraq is not?”

Cora Lepthien-Neubecker, 19, from Eagle, questioned the concept of war as a way to solve world problems.

“I’m not supportive of the war,” she said. “I think this could be resolved in a more peaceful fashion.”

Ryan Breeden, 19, of Boulder opposes war as well.

“The Pope said violence never solves man’s problems,” Breeden said.

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518


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