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Can we win this war?

Sir John seniors offer their views on terrorism and the war against it

Sir John Franklin high school seniors, from left, Julian Morse, Darcy Bourassa, Kyle Bussele, and Brad Elliot spent some time with Yellowknifer earlier this week, expressing their views on the war against terrorism. - Mike W. Bryant/NNSL photo

Mike W. Bryant
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Nov 09/01) - It has been nearly two months since terrorists attacked the United States, but its global ramifications are still a hot topic in Bruce Madore's Grade 12 social studies class.

Like most people, the class of Sir John Franklin high school seniors has been following the news a little more closely since Sept. 11., and again like most people, they worry about the future.

The following is an interview with four of Madore's students. They stayed behind after class last Wednesday to share their views with Yellowknifer on war, terrorism, and what Canada ought do about it.

What was the first thing you thought when you saw the World Trade Center's twin towers on fire Sept. 11?

Julian Morse: I thought it was bad. I thought it was going to be more than it really turned out to be.

What do you mean? We're you thinking the war against terrorism would have a wider reach?

Morse: I think the war on terrorism is going to die out in a year. It's only there to appease the people.

Darcy Bourassa: It's not even a war.

Kyle Bussele: It's a war on Afghanistan, not terrorism. The Taliban use to be freedom fighters, now they're the terrorists.

Morse: It's a beating up the smaller guy kind of thing.

Brad Elliot: But you can't just let it (terrorism) happen. They (coalition forces) had to do something.

Some of you seem to feel that the war on terrorism is increasingly becoming an unwinnable situation. Did you feel that way right from the beginning?

Bourassa: Right then and there I thought it (terrorist attacks on U.S.) was disgusting, and that they should retaliate right then and there, but after a while it just seemed kind of pointless. They're not really solving the problem.

Bussele: There is no short-term solution. That's the question everyone's been asking. If you don't bomb, then what do you do?

Do you think life will ever be the same again, that we can just go on with our lives?

Bussele: I think it has affected everybody. George Bush was saying, "just go back to your lives and your jobs," but that was the problem before. What have we learned after Sept. 11?

Morse: A big problem is George Bush. He's not a thinker. He does what the majority want to see. His popularity depends on bombing Afghanistan.

What about Canada's role in the war on terrorism? We started off with a tentative response, and then became one of the coalition's greatest supporters overnight.

Bourassa: We should say for once, that our Canadian government shouldn't be the ones making enemies.

Morse: If George Bush isn't thinking, then maybe we should. There's probably a lot more countries that would stand behind Canada than the U.S. They're not targeting bin Laden as a sick person, and that gives them the excuse to go after another country. When the government building got bombed in Oklahoma, Timothy McVey was just seen as a sick person, so they didn't go after anyone else.

I think it's safe to say that none of you think the war on terrorism will have a positive conclusion. What about the rest of the school?

Bussele: It's pretty mixed. I think it's just like any other part of society, but when you take a course like this you learn about the factors that lead up to them.

One of the things you were talking about in class today was the complacency of the rich, and the desperation of the poor. We live in a consumer society, do you think you could live with less?

Elliot: Maybe we should have a little bit less stuff.

Bourassa: We'll probably have less, because we're losing our resources anyway.

Morse: I think peace is the biggest luxury you can have.