Local reaction to war comes quickly

Mayor to join governor at press conference in Honolulu — Reaction to the war on Iraq was swift Wednesday night, with local residents, leaders and church groups offering their opinion on the war, and making plans in reaction to the start of the conflict.

Mayor Bryan Baptiste is withholding a comment on the effect of the war on Kaua’i County until he appears at a news conference with Gov. Linda Lingle and other Hawai’i mayors at the State Capitol late this morning.

A county public information officer said Baptiste is expected to announce new developments in securing Kaua’i as the war in Iraq unfolds.

Congressman Ed Case faxed a message from his office in Washington D.C. to The Garden Island.

“We will long analyze why it came to this, why diplomacy and multilateral effort gave way to war, and what we can do to prevent it from happening again,” Case said. “But for now, regardless of our individual views, we all owe our full support to those now placing their well-being and very lives on the line for us, and our prayers must be with them, their loved ones, and all innocents now in harm’s way.”

Pete Stys of Princeville, a veteran of the Viet Nam war, said he expects some changes to day-to-day life while the war is on.

“I think things will slow down here for a while until we figure out what’s going to happen with the war, and what the eventual outcome will be,” Stys said. “People will probably hold back on travel plans.”

Stys said of the war: “I’m hoping its going to be short and that there’s a good outcome and a few people as possible killed. I think the president has gone as far as he could in negotiating, it’s now in Saddam Hussein’s hands; their army can still surrender and he can go into exile.”

One religious group immediately reacted to the start of the war, with the Rev. Jan Ruddinoff of St. Michael’s and All Angels Episcopal Church scheduling an ecumenical service for 5 p.m. today. Rudinoff hosted an anti-war demonstration at his church several weeks ago.


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