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Unity needed as Iraq war begins

The disarmament of Iraq has begun, and Operation Iraqi Freedomis under way. Our thoughts and prayers are with our soldiers in thewar theater, with their families here at home, and with theinnocent Iraqi citizens.

Last night’s attacks begin after months of diplomaticnegotiations that failed to find a solution to the worldwide threatof terrorism. It is a sad day for the world that such hostilitymust prevail and innocent lives must be lost because of thefanatical beliefs of a few individuals.

The United States enters this war without full support of theworld’s leadership and without the full support of some of our ownpolitical leadership here at home — an unsettling situation thatwill serve no other purpose than to disrupt the attention of thenation from the situation at hand.

While the foundation of this country is built on the ability ofone to voice his or her opinion — something the Iraqi citizens donot share — it is important that we stand unified as a country andsupport our troops now that war has begun. Unfortunately, one ofthe more disturbing anti-war comments comes from Misssissippi’s ownRep. Bennie Thompson, who criticized President Bush yesterday.Politics plays in every situation, and already Democrats andRepublicans are pointing fingers at each other. We hope they allwill stop the rhetoric and present a unified front.

This war will be like no other in which this country has beeninvolved. For the first time, we here at home are confronted withthe real possibility of a homeland attack by non-conventionalmeans. Unlike Korea, Vietnam or the Gulf War 12 years ago — wherewe watched from the comfort of our living rooms — Sept. 11, 2001,showed us that we, too, can now be victims of an attack.

Freedom has its price, and today we are paying the bill toinsure our children can live in the safety and comfort pastgenerations have enjoyed.

Godspeed to our troops, our leaders and this country on thisdark day.