MARCH 2003

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Greenpoint Fears War
From Nowy Dziennik
January 30, 2003

Complied by Karolina Kowalska

Poles in Greenpoint are against invading Iraq and are afraid of the consequences. They talk unfavorably about the precedent's state of the union address on Tuesday. Poles fear that the attack on Iraq would bring another September 11 and would unleash War World III.

Elzbieta Radziwon, the owner of Polmost Liquors:

I am scared of war. Like everybody else, I am hoping for peace in the world. It's hard to say whether Iraq will respond if attacked by the United States. I have mixed feelings about the president's state of the union address. It's obvious that the nation fears war, but people can't influence the decision of Bush. We are just pawns. If there is going to be an attack, it's us who will be killed. And the government will continue to do what it had intended. My customers don't support war either. They say that the innocent ones will become the target. They are afraid that there is going to be another attack on New York, which will be far worse than the one on September 11. Some people want to go back to Poland. And some just laugh.

Zofia Ludczyk, a chef in Baron's Cafe:

I am afraid, because this fight may turn into an international conflict. There might be military action in Europe and here as well. I think it's certain that if Americans attack Iraq, the Iraqis will attack Americans. Maybe not right away, but eventually they will. Poles in Greenpoint will be affected as well. The Arabs are not going to pick out certain nationalities. If Iraq responds innocent people will die, just like on September 11. At one point I considered going back to Poland. In times like this it's better to be home, with your family. I had the same thoughts after September 11, but then everything calmed down.

Malgorzata Sznurowska:

I think that war can be justified, since it is a way of fighting terrorism. Nothing can stop Hussein from what he is doing. He is a fanatic, who should have been deprived of power a long time ago. On the other hand, I am distressed. I am a mother and I try to put myself in the shoes of mothers who will have to send their sons to war. War is not the only solution. I admire Bush, but I don't agree with him on the issue of war. I am afraid that thousands of soldiers and civilians in Iraq will die. But Bush is unbendable. The U.N. officials had found just a few empty war heads. Yet he presses on. I think that Arabs will respond with an attack similar to the one on September 11. With war comes the shedding of blood. I don't think that the military intervention in Iraq will abolish the regime.

Ewa Ladyzynska, a waitress in Baron's Cafe:

I got back from Poland two weeks ago. Had I known about the current situation, I think I would have stayed there and waited until the war was over... If I were home now I would feel more secure. I am not so sure about the legitimacy of attacking Iraq, but in the end it doesn't really matter. It is all up to Bush. I think Bush should be more considerate of the well being of his people. I think he pushes for war because he wants to show that America is a powerful country. I think the economy is going to get worse if there is an attack on Iraq.

Elzbieta from Maspeth:

If America attacks Iraq we can expect retaliation. It's the 21st century and this war will not resemble [the previous ones]. This is going to be guerilla warfare, with no tanks. We can expect attacks in the subway. There will be less office space in Manhattan. I think this war is not necessary. It's all about the oil. After all, America is an imperialist country.

Translated from Polish by Joanna Sufin

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