For three weeks the nation has been battered by the worst news from Iraq since the war began 13 months ago. But despite the shootings, bombings, sieges, ambushes, kidnappings and combat deaths, most Americans still support the war. And an increasing number think it should be stepped up.
In a series of interviews across the nation — from a Marine base on the Pacific Coast to New York’s Ground Zero, where the terror war began — people say they are worried about the war’s progress and shocked by its violent images but unable to see an alternative or an easy way out.
A USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken over the weekend found a third of Americans say the United States should send more troops, and a fourth say present troop levels should be maintained. Only a fifth favor withdrawing all troops.
In a similar poll taken earlier this month — but after the bodies of four American security contractors were mutilated and dragged through the streets of Fallujah — 20% favored sending more troops.
Despite this new resolve, most Americans — 57% — say they doubt their government can create a stable Iraqi democracy.