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The Daily Tar Heel

Students React to Retaliation

During a discussion in the Pit, students expressed both sadness and support for the American and British attacks on Afghanistan.

Some students said they are surprised and even shocked at the strikes because they did not anticipate them so soon. But many said they felt retaliation was inevitable.

"I was shocked because I didn't expect this to happen so quickly and really thought there would be more warning," said sophomore Laura Buchanan.

Regardless of students' surprise at the attacks, opinions of the air strikes remain divided. Some students are expressing the need for patriotism while others are in favor of a more peaceful approach. "I agree 100 percent with the government, and even though war is horrible, we have to send the message to terrorists that the United States will not tolerate their actions," said sophomore Kedrick Perry.

Other students are concerned that innocent Afghan citizens will be harmed by the air strikes. But the rations the U.S. military dropped in Afghanistan influenced some students' opinions of the strikes.

Senior Charlotte Brock, who is involved with Navy ROTC, said she supports the rations because they are meant to sustain Afghan citizens. "I've never heard of anything like this," Brock said. "We're bombing the terrorists and those that support them, while trying to support the citizens of that country at the same time."

Students denouncing recent attacks in Afghanistan had the chance to engage in a heated discussion Monday evening with Tom Short, a Christian speaker from Columbus, Ohio.

Short stood in the Pit for hours Monday, advocating American retaliation as students gathered to support or argue against his views.

Junior Ben Apple, also involved with Navy ROTC, said he overheard the commotion in the Pit and wanted to speak his mind. "Chapel Hill has always come across as a more liberal environment," he said. "At this point now, I'm very convinced bin Laden (is responsible for the terrorist attacks) -- the world is convinced. I think we're doing the right thing."

But Stephen Ball, a senior history major, expressed his discontent with going to war while he was participating in the discussions. "I think it's really scary when people start preaching that war is just," he said. "Military action will only breed more terrorist attacks in 20 years."

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