Arkansas Reacts to War

March 20, 2003
Posted at: 4:22 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- As American cruise missiles and warplanes streaked over targets in Iraq, Arkansans tuned in to President's Bush's wartime address and prayed for deployed families and

Representative John Boozman says everyone is concerned about the young men and women at the forefront of the war. According to Defense Department figures, there are Two-Thousand-189 Arkansans from the National Guard and reserves in the current war effort _ not including those deployed from the Little Rock Air Force Base at Jacksonville.

Many Arkansans said they think the United States did all it could to avoid war with Iraq by giving Saddam Hussein years to comply with world requests to disarm before starting that war today.

People at the West End Sports Bar in Little Rock stopped everything they were doing tonight to watch President George W. Bush tell the nation war with Iraq had started. Jeff Davidson, one those who stopped playing pool to watch Bush's speech said --quote-- we're fighting for the freedom of everyone to stay away from nuts like that --unquote--.

Davidson and everyone in the bar erupted in applause after the president's speech.

Not everyone stands behind starting a new war with Iraq. At a mid-afternoon rally near the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, nine women wearing nothing but pink masks protested military action. An organizer of the protest said no other forms of protest seemed to work.

The United States and its coalition of the willing launched aerial attacks when it was early Thursday in Iraq. The attacks are aimed at toppling Saddam and eliminating any weapons of mass destruction.

Governor Huckabee watched Bush's speech from the Governor's Mansion and he agreed that force was necessary.

He says that no one is thrilled to see U-S forces go into battle, but it is necessary to keep the battle from being fought by police, firefighters and doctors on the streets at home. Huckabee says this is a war where the battlefield has no limit.

Arkansas Representative Mike Ross says that Saddam has had 12 years, five months and 48 hours to disarm and he didn't do it. Ross said he hopes for a quick war and he offered his prayers for the military and the country.

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