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Bush Pleads for Patience48:22
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photoPresident Bush faces one of the biggest challenges of his second term as he tries to reassure the public and troops at Fort Bragg, North Carolina that his administration is not disconnected from reality in Iraq. With public opinion polls showing that up to 60 percent of Americans are unhappy with the war's progress, and with his own unfavorability ratings the highest they've ever been, the president has his work cut out for him.

When a democracy goes to war, public opinion matters. In the absence of a draft to supply troops to fight that war, public support becomes even more crucial. In Iraq, insurgents seem to have memorized the lessons of Vietnam: increase the pain of staying, erode public opinion in America, and troop withdrawals are just a matter of time. In the U.S. words like "quagmire" and "credibility gap" are being heard more and more.

Hear analysis of Bush's speech as he attempts to reverse the downward trend in support for the war in Iraq among the American public.

Guests:

James Dobbins, Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center at the Rand Corporation and the Bush Administration's first special envoy for Afghanistan. He is also principal author of the RAND History of Nation Building and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

David Ignatius, columnist at the Washington Post and author of five novels;
Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and senior editor at the Atlantic Monthly magazine.

This program aired on June 28, 2005.

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