- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 6, 2003

Jim Peck, a retiree in Eldorado, Ohio, said he was "very impressed" with the case Secretary of State Colin L. Powell made against Saddam Hussein at the United Nations yesterday. But he concedes he already believed war was necessary.
"We probably let things go too far already … I'd like Saddam's head on a silver platter," said Mr. Peck from Schultz's Family Cafe in Eldorado.
Another Ohio resident, Carrie Butler of Dresden, concedes she's less enthusiastic about attacking Iraq but fully expects it will happen.
"I hate to go to war, but I think it's inevitable. I think we're ready for war," said Miss Butler, an associate with Dresden Dry Goods, a gift shop.
Asked what she thought of Mr. Powell's speech, she said: "I watched it, but I didn't pay real close attention … I think he gave a little more proof that people wanted" to justify war with Iraq.
Calls around the nation yesterday found many Americans remain nervous about the prospect of war with Iraq. Nevertheless, they thought the secretary of state did a good job of laying out proof that Saddam's regime is lying when it says it has no weapons of mass destruction.
"They've got all the evidence in the world on them," said Michael Burke of Hyattsville, who commended Mr. Powell for offering some new evidence in his U.N. address.
But Mr. Burke said U.S. and British troops "need to be ready for mustard gas, nerve gas, and other chemical and biological weapons if they attack Iraq.
"That's what scares me … I think we should drop the big one on Baghdad before we even go over there to give a hint of what's coming," said Mr. Burke, commander of the Sons of the American Legion in Cheverly.
In Archer City, Texas, the manager of a local nursing home said several residents watched Mr. Powell's speech.
"I caught the remarks of one 85-year-old woman, who watched it. The only thing she said was, 'We're on the brink of war,'" the manager recalled.
Neal Boortz, a radio talk-show host on WSB-AM in Atlanta, said he played most of Mr. Powell's one-hour, 20-minute U.N. speech on his program yesterday.
"Most callers said they thought Colin Powell made a very credible case," Mr. Boortz said in a telephone interview.
However, the talk-show host said he doubted many minds were changed as a result of what the secretary of state said yesterday. "Those who were inclined to believe" the administration's case thought Mr. Powell provided new and valuable evidence, said Mr. Boortz, adding:
"But those who were against" military action against Iraq "think Colin Powell is lying."
Jim Buist, owner of Jim's Barbershop in Kalamazoo, Mich., said, "I only heard a portion of Powell's speech. But what I heard was not enough to persuade me we should be attacking Iraq. I firmly believe we should not be getting involved."
However, Mr. Buist makes it clear his admonition against a military offensive does not extend to all countries in the Persian Gulf, "We should attack Saudi Arabia, not Iraq, because the Saudis are perpetrators of 9/11," the businessman said.
At Steve's Barbershop in Peoria, Ill., "Republicans liked" Mr. Powell's speech, and "Democrats didn't," said co-owner Steve Bainter.
As for his own opinion of the speech, the barber said: "What Secretary Powell said was pretty direct. I hope everything he said was legitimate. And if it was true, I don't see how the U.N. could fail to act."
Mr. Bainter says he is "not a big proponent of war." But he thinks it's a feasible strategy to use against someone like Saddam, who is "a thug" and "has not lived up" to any commitments.
But Mr. Bainter says he fears Saddam might retaliate against a military attack by unleashing weapons of mass destruction. "I'm particularly concerned about biological agents. If someone can come over here with a vial of something capable of killing 100,000 people, that's scary," said the Illinois barber.
Dave, an employee at Sykes Grocery in Kalispell, Mont., said he believes some of the "new information" Mr. Powell brought out yesterday was significant. "But he should have brought it out earlier," he said.

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