"I Am Concerned"

Minnesota vets on the war in Iraq

What is going on right now, you are going to have some innocent people [hurt]. It is not our fault and it is not Bush's fault by any means. It is because that creep over there put those innocent people in a position to be harmed. To me, that guy is like the devil himself. He was warned and warned and warned and warned. And finally it got to the point where push came to shove. It's an honest war. We told him exactly what we were going to do if he didn't change his ways and continued executing and starving his own people.

CP: Do you trust that Bush knows what he is doing?

Feeney: Yup. Because Bush is the final figurehead. He is the most powerful person in the world. But anyone who has been in the service knows that he has a multitude of very great minds behind him. And it is an education process for him too. He does not solely control. There are too many very great minds out there that are sitting at the helm with him. You and I don't even know the direct plan and if we did, that would be wrong. You don't let the foe find out what you are going to do.

What we are doing over there now, in my personal estimation, is ridding that poor country of all the bad guys. Bring the good guys in there. We'll bring in--if it's dirt, we'll bring in a shipload of dirt. Bring in a shipload of money. Bring in a shipload of people to teach them how to use that soil. And bring in a shipload of hope and medicine. Fill the stomachs of all the people there, the guys and all their families. Put a roof over their heads. To me, that has to happen.

 

Saturday afternoon, back at VFW Post 251 in Columbia Heights. Jim Foley, who served in the South Pacific during World War II, is eating a plate of spaghetti alongside two other World War II vets who refused to give their names. "They want to be stealth bombers," Foley jokes.

Foley: I think they have to have more proof than what they've got to go to war. I saw Rumsfeld on TV this morning; now 72 hours into war they haven't found one weapon that these guys described Iraq having in their presentation to the UN. I think our government has been lying to us like they did in Vietnam and I don't think we should have ever gone to war until we had given these guys a chance to inspect the country.

CP: If the U.N. had decided to go to war--

Foley: I would have went for it.

CP:Do you think this will increase terrorism or reduce terrorism in this country?

Foley:It's gotta increase it. We've got more damn enemies around the world now than we've ever had. When you've got a president who talks to a head of state and says, "Either you're with me or you're against me," that's like two little kids out on the playground.

Stealth Bomber One:One thing I think they should do is take all these protesters that are burning flags and send them out so they can be with France.

Foley:Burning flags, that should never be done.

Stealth Bomber 2:Saddam said he didn't have any scud missiles, but our troops are blowing them out of the sky right now.

Foley:But they don't know if these were some that the inspectors had asked be destroyed.

SB2:No. Saddam said they didn't have any.

Foley:Today when a reporter asked Tommy Franks, 'Have you found any weapons of mass destruction?' Tommy Franks says, 'No, but we're sure we're gonna find them.' He said, 'We're only 72 hours into the country but we're sure we're gonna find them.' Well, they haven't found any yet.

SB2:Soldiers aren't looking for weapons, they're looking for the enemy. They'll find them. They were shooting scuds off.

CP: Is the fact that this war is preemptive and not defensive, does that matter to you?

Foley: Not really. But I think what we did, we made a lot of enemies throughout the world. Christ, we've got Canada and Mexico, our two closest neighbors, both aren't joining with us.

There is something goofy going on. Did you see what the France guy said yesterday? He said the United States isn't going to redevelop Iraq alone. Evidently it is about oil. With France wanting to get in there now and help redo the country, it is evidently about this goddamn oil, which is what some people have said all along. Maybe it is. I don't know.

CP:The tough part will be rebuilding Iraq afterwards, won't it?

Foley: We're gonna feed the children over there, we're gonna build schools for them. Bush came out the other day and said we're gonna educate these kids. But he cuts the goddamn budget in this country to educate our kids. Cuts the food program for our kids. But he's going over there to educate those kids. It don't make sense. I can't figure it out.

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