VALDOSTA -- Ninety percent of students in Paul Day's advanced placement U.S. history class at Valdosta High School agree with the U.S. government's use of military force against Afghanistan.

Bond Crosby, a junior, said he was in favor of the government attacking military targets and Osama bin Laden's training camps inside Afghanistan.

His classmate Lacey Evans disagrees.

"Bombing them is not going to solve the issue at hand," said Evans, re-emphasizing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's statement about attacks not representing a silver bullet. "The terrorists are already over here. Who knows what they are planning to do."

For 55 minutes Monday afternoon, the debate over the war on terrorism continued.

Believing Sunday's attacks to be justified, Patrick Retterbush said the American government gave the leaders of Afghanistan a chance to turn the terrorists in.

"We told them what would happen if they did not cooperate," said Retterbush.

The student believes the attacks in Afghanistan are going to put pressure on the people there to release bin Laden and his officials.

Another student, Rebecca Fackler, worries the war on terrorism will become another Vietnam.

"These people are willing to do anything for their cause, and that makes them dangerous," Fackler said.

Day agreed with her, adding, "Not many Americans are willing to strap a bomb to their chest and blow themselves up" just to prove a point.

All of the students admitted they fear certain retaliation.

"We have already lost so many lives," said Tonya Richardson. "Now we are sending in troops to bomb them. They are going to retaliate. When they do, they'll kill more fathers, mothers, sons, daughters ... "

Just four weeks ago, terrorists hijacked four airplanes. They flew two into the World Trade Center twin towers and a third into the Pentagon. The fourth airplane crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers on board apparently struggled with the hijackers. An estimated 5,000 American citizens were killed.

Sunday, the United States, with help from British forces, struck back.

To contact reporter Jessica Pope, please call 244-3400, ext. 255.

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