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Area residents generally support Bush's request

By Trina Trice

Most Clayton County residents seem eager to support President Bush's request to Congress for $87 billion for the rebuilding of Iraq.

"If that's what it takes, they should do it," said Susan Trawick.

Trawick voted for Bush in the 2000 election and says she has supported the President in all of his efforts, including the war on terror.

Immanuel Emojamay, also voted for Bush, but is skeptical of spending so much money on Iraq.

"Where would he get the money from?" Emojamay asked. "I have no problem with the war on terrorism. Will programs for the elderly, for children be sacrificed? Does it mean we'll raise taxes on cigarettes? That's fine, I don't smoke. Raise taxes on alcohol? That's fine, too."

In Bush's speech, part of the $87 billion will cover the $66 billion it will take to pay for ongoing military and intelligence operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, "and elsewhere," over the next year.

Part of the funds, if Congress approves Bush's request, will go toward helping the 50 million people of Iraq and Afghanistan improve security; restore basic services, such as electricity and water; and build new schools, roads, and medical clinics.

Lena Holt thinks that Bush should "pay for it by himself."

"I understand there's a problem (with terrorism)," she said. "But you probably won't be able to stop it. If they could promise to hamper it in some way, then that's okay.

But how do you tear something up and rebuild it? That's crazy to me."

Charles Owens was furious after seeing Bush's speech Sunday night.

"I thought it was ridiculous," he said. "It's cutting mental health. If they didn't have (mental health) services like the one in Clayton County, I wouldn't be here today. They are closing mental health hospitals in Columbus and Savannah and they are cutting benefits for mental health patients."

The United States currently has 140,000 troops in Iraq and 11,500 searching for Al-Quaida in Afghanistan.