Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 12:00 a.m. Pacific
Bush gains support in U.S.
WASHINGTON — Americans have rallied strongly around President Bush and accepted his call for war with Iraq as the only practical way to remove Saddam Hussein and end the threat posed by his weapons of mass destruction, according to a Washington Post-ABC News Poll conducted Monday night.
Seventy percent of those polled said they supported Bush's televised call to go to war without the blessing of the United Nations unless Saddam and his sons leave Iraq within 48 hours.
An equally large majority said that Bush has done enough to win support from other nations. More than two in three said his policies on Iraq are the right ones, although fewer than a half were strongly convinced.
The public's preference for a U.N.-endorsed war also has faded into the background after the collapse of efforts by the United States and its allies to win support for a second war resolution in the U.N. Security Council. Seventy-five percent of those polled disapproved of the way the United Nations has handled the Iraqi crisis, up from slightly more than a half three weeks ago.
But the anger shown in these poll numbers does not reflect a desire to withdraw from the international community or to punish France for successfully derailing the second U.N. resolution backing war. Clear majorities wanted the United States to maintain current relations with both France and the United Nations. Only a third believed the United States should punish France by withholding support and being less cooperative with the French government, and even fewer (one-in-five) said the United States should change its relationship with the United Nations.
While endorsing war, Americans also acknowledge its risks. Six in 10 of those polled believed the threat of terrorism will increase in the short term.
And they are divided on whether war with Iraq will reduce terrorism in the long run. A half of those interviewed — 48 percent — said the conflict would reduce terrorism in the long run, while four in 10 said it would increase the risk.
As at the start of previous confrontations abroad, the poll found that the country has largely united behind its president — a unity that will be tested as the war unfolds. Sixty-four percent said they approved of the way Bush is handling the confrontation with Saddam, up from 55 percent in an ABC News survey conducted last week.
Overall support for a war with Iraq also surged from 59 percent two weeks ago to 71 percent now.
A total of 510 randomly selected adults were interviewed Monday night after Bush's speech. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 5 percentage points.
How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?
The WorldPeace Banner
To the WorldPeace Peace Page