St. Louis Public Radio News
3:45 pm
Wed March 19, 2003

Zero Hour Arrives

Washington, D.C. – Area congressional representatives are weighing in on the issue of war with Iraq.

Democrat William Lacy Clay of St. Louis says that he's still opposed to the conflict. He says it will harm diplomatic relations with long-time allies and put American servicemen and women in harm's way unnecessarily.

However, Republican U.S. Senator Jim Talent of Missouri says a peaceful resolution is no longer an option because Saddam Hussein is a "murderous despot with nuclear ambitions."

And U.S. Senator Kit Bond of Missouri says the United States has the legal and moral authority to act now. Bond adds he is praying for a quick resolution to the conflict and very few casualties.

Finally, Missouri Republican Congressman Todd Akin says there's no doubt in his mind President Bush is doing the right thing in preparing troops for attack.

Akin says the U.S. would rather deal with Saddam Hussein now before he has the capability of developing nuclear weapons. Akin says he expects developments in a war against Iraq to move more quickly than during past military campaigns. He says that's because there are valuable assets in Iraq the U.S. doesn't want to see destroyed by Saddam Hussein.

Democrat Dick Gephardt, who's running for President, noted the need to keep Americans safe. "And to do that, I think we have to disarm Saddam Hussein," he said.

"I wish the U.N. had been behind this. But that didn't come to pass, and we've got to do what is right to do and I hope our young people do it safely."

Imediately after the war began, Governor Holden was in contact with Missouri's homeland security adviser Tim Daniel.

The governor encouraged "all Missourians to show support for our troops and to be vigilant as they go about their daily activities."