More than five months after the attacks on the United States brought the campus to a temporary standstill, students at Northern Kentucky University are forming their own opinions on the complex issues surrounding the U.S. and its current war on terrorism.
The students’ sentiments now range from the patriotism initially expressed in the days following the tragedy of Sept. 11, to feelings that our country is not acting as effectively as it should be.
Some students believe that we are doing everything we should be, while others have the overwhelming feeling that we are only setting ourselves up for another attack.
“I think what we are doing is definitely worthwhile,” said Jon Moore, an undeclared freshman. “We were bombed, so this is our retaliation.”
Moore’s response, when asked what he expected as the end result of the fighting, mirrored the confusion many students feel while trying to grasp the effects of the war.
“We will wipe out al Qaeda or the Taliban, whichever one is bad,” he said.
Though he is trying to keep up with the developments of the war, Moore wasn’t sure what the news had said about it a few hours earlier.
Other students have a less optimistic view of what will happen once the war has ended, if an end is even possible.
“I don’t really see any resolution coming out of this,” said Kevin Warwick, a junior English major. “Things will be the same as before, with no clear winner or loser, only a larger list of casualties as the war continues. I don’t believe the ‘eye for an eye’ approach will prove to be effective.”
Jeremy McMonigle, a junior music education major, hasn’t been paying much attention to the war recently, but believes the United States is making some progress now that the Taliban is out of power.
“The only thing that is really important is that we create and continue to support a stable government for the people of Afghanistan,” says McMonigle.
He added, “If we find Bin Laden and punish him and leave it at that, then the same thing will happen again unless we can improve our relations with other countries.”
The belief that another radical group will rise up once the current crop of bad guys are hunted down is echoed across the campus.
Chris Snyder, a sophomore broadcasting major, said he isn’t paying much attention to the war, but doesn’t think much progress is being made.
“I think our retaliation is just fueling the fire for religious fanatics in other countries, or anyone else who is looking for a reason to hate the United States,” Snyder said. “If we are going to stay so focused on Afghanistan, we still need to keep our eyes and ears open everywhere else.”