President Bush’s 37 percent approval rating approached the lowest public opinion any president has experienced. The depths to which his approval has sunk are accompanied by an amazingly high disapproval rating of 58 percent. The overriding reason for the widespread erosion of support for the President is the ongoing war in Iraq. With over 2,300 Americans dead and more than 20,000 wounded, public support for the war has brought many to question both the continuation of the struggle, and the leadership provided by Mr. Bush

Not only has support for the war taken a deep plunge among the public, belief in the worth of the struggle among the troops in Iraq has also taken a sharp nosedive. The respected polling firm, Zoghby International, questioned 944 service personnel stationed in Iraq between mid-January and mid February and found that 72 percent felt the U.S. should leave within a year and 20 percent wanted the U.S. out immediately.

Other questions asked of the troops revealed overwhelmingly that they do not subscribe to the administration’s claim that “foreigners” are the main problem in Iraq. Instead, they believe that continuing action by insurgents is being carried out by native Iraqis, and they further hold that continued U.S. presence in Iraq has fueled the ranks of those who are targeting them. Our military deployment should end sooner, not later.

Mark Percival

Watson, IL

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