President Bush will have a tough time convincing Americans tonight of his “new way forward” in Iraq because many simply want a new way out.
A sample of public opinion at , an issues-based online community, reveals a consensus over just one thing – the war is going badly. After that, their advice is all over the map.
Escalate: “I think adding troops would work,” wrote Cathy Russell. “I know that the U.S. presence throughout the world is greatly appreciated. I have seen pictures, and heard cries for help from the people over the last four years. If we had the support of countries such as Syria and Iran, than we would not need to ask for more troops. It is they that are the evil presence, not us! This is the reason we are there. We are protecting our own backs, and for this I am eternally grateful to our military and President Bush.”
Don’t surge: “I believe the surge will fail because it requires the support of the majority of the American people. President Bush no longer has that support,” wrote “Chenrossii.” “After reading the (American Enterprise Institute) reports, I do feel in my gut that it is the right thing to do, but Americans won't go along. I don't feel I can stomach it.”
Take chances: “Bush is ready to make big announcements. His ratings on the war have hit rock bottom, so any new initiatives he tries won't appreciably lower public opinion,” wrote Ian Broverman of Bethesda, Md. “This frees him to try riskier measures. If they achieve success, he will get the credit. If they fail, he won't lose any of his base supporters.”
Try diplomacy: “Bush should be announcing a full-scale diplomatic effort to have all those surrounding countries contribute to the stability of Iraq. Instead, I believe he will continue with his military course, which will continue to breed more violence and more deaths of our troops. He has no plan to get out of there for the rest of his administration,” wrote “denno.”
Be honest: “I think he should lay it all on the table,” wrote “Kabookey.“ “Let everyone know where everyone stands so no one can say they were lied to or deceived. Tell the public what he thinks is the best way forward and what we must achieve to call it a success, let there be no mistake as to what success or failure is.”
Ignore extremes: “People always think in extremes on this and it doesn't need to be. I think a re-deployment to certain areas on the perimeters of Iraq would be suitable,” wrote “denno.” “But I believe this administration is not going to aim for any redeployment, only more of the same.”
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