In this highly populated retired military community, home to the now defunct George and Norton Air Force Bases, March Air Reserve Base, and many other military facilities in the surrounding area, a random survey conducted by Black Voice Media Center found overwhelming support for the troops but a strong rejection of the war.
In Riverside, there has been moderate, but very passionate protesting. In Redlands and San Bernardino students have walked out of class. Counter protesters in Riverside stabbed one man.
The Black Voice Media Center asked a number of questions to I.E. residents, with varying responses:
Do you think the war could have been avoided in Iraq?
Respondents said overwhelmingly "yes" (77%) it could have been avoided.
Do you think Iraq had anything to do with 9-11?
Overwhelmingly people said "no" (69 %) while 23% were still undecided.
Do you think the United Nations was given enough time to work?
The response was 50/50.
Do you think this preemptive strike is good for America?
Overwhelmingly the response was "no" (71%).
There was a distinct difference in the respondents ages and professions: the youth were more evenly divided on if we could have avoided the war. Both sides were just as passionate about the issue. We have included a sampling of what people said about the subject.
A former Buffalo Soldier felt that the war could not have been prevented because Saddam is such a bad character. He joined the 6.5% of respondents who felt Iraq had something to do with 9-11.
Some felt it wasnt clear if he had anything to do with 9-11 but said although there is no proof, Saddam may have financed and given safe harbor in his country to those who were responsible.
Another respondent said, I think they (Iraq) financed it more than Bin Laden did. A Vietnam Vet said, "Nobody likes war, freedom does not come for free. There is a cost and many lives have to be lost for us to be free."
Very outspoken also were the respondents against the war and against Bush. "We struck first and we look like the bully of the world. This is going to set up a breeding ground for their young children to go into terrorist organizations.
They are trying to associate why we went to war with not supporting the troops and that is wrong. We still have the right to speak out against the war without being called to task. This is Bushs war.
They havent found anything (weapons of mass destruction) yet.
Another respondent said it is about the oil, This is a manifestation of the scriptures. They want free oil. They (Iraq) are burning up the oil and it is more liability than a spoil.
What is the reward of our spoil? A youth summed it up, You cant tell people how to run their country. How would we feel if they (Iraq) told us how to run America?
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