- The Washington Times - Friday, February 14, 2003

A handful of area college students gathered in front of the French Embassy yesterday to protest France's opposition to war with Iraq.
At the United Nations, France along with Russia and China wants to give Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein more time to satisfy U.N. requirements, perhaps by tripling the cadre of 100 U.N. inspectors scouring a nation the size of California for illegal weapons.
The protest was organized by American University College Republicans, which invited students from across the Washington region to protest "France's appeasement of terror and its obstructionism in the United Nations Security Council and [North Atlantic Treaty Organization]."
Slightly more than a dozen showed up.
"We're tired of watching news reports of anti-war protests and we want to make it clear that plenty of students support President Bush and his administration's call for Saddam Hussein to disarm," said Bob Nardo, 20, president of the group.
"Those who would deny America's right to protect itself, and those who would deny the rights of Iraqis to live in a country free from fear, need to know that they cannot dominate this debate. I mean, there isn't a day that goes by that inspectors don't find more weapons in Iraq."
The students stood on Reservoir Road NW in Georgetown holding flags and signs that read "Appeasement Protects Saddam" and "We tried this with Hitler."
They sang the national anthem and "God Bless America" and shouted slogans against France's position to passing cars while a half-dozen D.C. police officers looked on.
"I am here to show my contempt for the guiding principles of French foreign policy," said American University student Zachary Constantino, 19. "They are trying to gain at our expense."
Soon after the protest began, they were joined by a dozen peace protesters who chanted "Give peace a chance" to drumbeats that often drowned out the original protesters.
"It is important not to alienate ourselves from Europe more than we already have," said Patricia Stumpf, 21, a student at Georgetown and a member of Georgetown University Peace Action. "These [pro-war] protesters are protesting France's right to have a different opinion. That isn't what this country is about."

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