U.S. bombing of Iraq draws local support

The U.S.

bombing of Baghdad drew support from several people gathered at a bowling alley bar Wednesday evening in Kingman, but others expressed fears of violent repercussions as they followed television coverage.

"I say, 'Kill them all," said Shane Long, a cable service technician who lives in Kingman.

"Why should we wait for another bad thing like 9/11 to happen to us before we respond?

"Diplomacy has lost its touch, buddy," Long said.

"We tried that for 12 years.

Finally, ((President George W.) Bush has got the (guts) to do something."

Long's friend, Kingman cowboy Nathaniel Chamberlain, echoed his hawkish sentiments.

"Hell, I'm for it," Chamberlain said.

"Why? Because I support President Bush's stand on the deal: Hit them before (the Iraqis) hit us."

Chamberlain and others contacted by the Miner said they have relatives and friends serving in the military.

He said his first cousin, former Kingman resident Paul E.

Chamberlain III, is serving in the U.S.

Navy in a submarine unit in the Persian Gulf.

He criticized anti-war protesters.

"All these people that want to protest the war: What happened on 9/11?" Chamberlain asked.

"Everybody threw up a (U.S.) flag.

If (the Iraqis) had hit us first, would these (protesters) feel the same way? Would they protest the war? Hit first and ask questions later."

War protesters also drew fire from Brian Hreha, a tire technician from Kingman who gathered at a sports bar on Stockton Hill Road before the 6 p.m.

deadline arrived for Hussein to give up power or face war.

"All these protesters are saying, 'Don't do this,'" said Hreha, whose Army career got cut short because of a medical discharge.

"I disagree with them for the simple fact for a long time we have let smaller countries take advantage of us.

We have always helped them out when they needed help, and they strike on us."

However, Kris Nelson, a retired telephone operator who lives in Kingman, said she had reservations about the war.

"It scares me to death," she said before the United States attacked Iraq.

"I'm afraid it is going to open up a Pandora's box.

There is just going to be a lot of repercussions."

Nelson, who was watching a card game in the bowling alley before the war started, described Iraq as being unstable and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein as unpredictable.

She said her grandson, James Nelson of Succasunna, N.J., is entering the Marines in July.

"(Hussein) is such a wild hare," she said.

"You don't know what he has got in his skinny, little brain.

Who knows what he has got cooked up for us? I feel sorry that we have so many young people over there."

Brenda Miller, a downtown business owner, also expressed doubts about military action when she was contacted before her business closed at 6 p.m.

"I just wish we had the backing of the United Nations," Miller said.

"I hope we have not hurt our ties with our allies."

Mark John Fife, a Phoenix resident who was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and is working on a building remodeling in Kingman, was more optimistic.

He said the thinks the war will be over in three days.

"Right now, Saddam is on a plane to France," Fife said with a laugh as he sipped a drink and smoked a cigarette at the bowling alley bar.

The looming war occupied the minds of Hreha and others who gathered for drinks and dinners at the sports bar.

They watched CNN as the 6 p.m.

deadline neared and passed.

Bar patron Michael Soprano, a retired city employer Rochester, N.Y., who now lives in Kingman, expressed a view aired by others: The United States should have taken out Hussein during the Gulf War in 1991.

"The only thing I can tell you is this war is crazy," he said.

"I hope they get him this time."

Customer Linda Ffield, a karaoke hostess who lives in Kingman, agreed, saying, "I think we have to do this.

I hope that they get Hussein out of (Iraq)."

Ffield, whose son, Richard Ypina, is a military policeman, said she feels for families of members of the armed forces deployed to the Middle East.

"They are going to miss their boys and husbands," she said.

"I just pray that the casualties are very minimal."

Hreha said he feels for innocent Iraqis and American troops, but he acknowledged members of the military signed up for serving knowing they could face war.

Jimmy Jackson, an auto detailer in Kingman, said he hopes his brother, Michael Alford, escapes harm.

Alford, a 16-year member of the Navy, is serving in Kuwait.

"Just make sure he comes back alive," Jackson said.

"He's got to do his job."