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Public Agenda, in its March 27 update, said that a substantial majority of U.S. citizens support the decision to go to war in Iraq. ?“Yet in the weeks prior to the outbreak of war, opinion surveys showed significant concern about the risks of invasion, with much of the public seeming to hold both pro- and anti-war views simultaneously. Go to or click "read more info" below for the full text of this announcement. Public Agenda?’s Special Edition on Terrorism is at

Public Rallies Behind Leaders on Iraq But Aware of Risks

Substantial majorities support the decision to go to war in Iraq, surveys found after hostilities began last week. Support for military action had been gaining over the past month, and the public historically rallies behind their leaders in a crisis, particularly when the crisis involves sending U.S. troops into battle. Yet in the weeks prior to the outbreak of war, opinion surveys showed significant concern about the risks of invasion, with much of the public seeming to hold both pro- and anti-war views simultaneously. Polling in the last few days suggests that the majority of Americans, despite their support for President Bush and the troops in the field, do not believe the administration has "clearly explained" the potential financial and human costs of the war.

Large majorities say the war is going well for the U.S. (84 percent in the latest Gallup poll), but there is some indication that concern over casualties is growing. The number who told the ABC/Washington Post poll that there would be "significant" casualties jumped from 37 percent on March 20 to 54 percent on March 23, while 82 percent said they anticipated a difficult battle for Baghdad. Eight in 10 also said they believe the U.S. is doing "all it reasonably can do" to avoid civilian casualties.

Yet there is some evidence that the public mood has shifted somewhat as people respond to events and intensive media coverage. The CBS/New York Times poll, which has been tracking the same group of respondents since the war began, found the number who say the war will be "quick and successful" has shifted from 62 percent down to 43 percent and back up to 56 percent in just over a week. It's certainly possible (and hardly surprising) that victories and defeats on live television may sharply affect short-term poll results, without affecting the public's underlying support for and concerns about the war.

Read the full article in our Special Edition on Terrorism at:

Added by Sandy on March 31, 2003 03:34 PM
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SCRC Post-War Discussion Materials
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Background Info
????Links to Iraq Data
????Public Opinion on the War
????Analysis at
????Public Opinion on Protest & Patriotism
????Terrorism & Nonviolence
????Peace-Oriented Resources

D&D; Guides on Iraq/Foreign Policy
????SCRC Post-War Discussion Materials

D&D; Programs on Iraq
????Art Meets Dialogue in Richmond Event
????Online "Rotisserie" on the War
????Online Deliberation About the War
???? Brings People Together
????By the People: America in the World
????Discussion at
????DWCW Online Forum

Discussion & Exploration
????Resources on this Forum have been Converted
????Please Use the Links on the Right
????Feedback Needed about Iraq Dialogue
????Ideas/Thoughts About This Forum?

Encouraging Youth D&D;
????ESR?’s Revised Guide for Parents & Educators
????Univ of Michigan Resources for Teachers
????PoliTalk to Host Online Student Conference
????United Youth Int?’l Fosters Online Dialogue
????YouthNOISE Helps Youth Communicate
????Global Kids Conference on War & Peace
????Best & Worst Things to Say to Kids

Opportunities & Ideas
????Conference on Muslim Peace-Building
????Articles Needed on Dialogue
????Blue Buttons Promote Dialogue

Others Encouraging D&D;
????ACR Calls for Dialogue
????Egyptian Intellectual Encourages Dialogue

Tips and Resources for Facilitators
????Resources at Co-Intelligence Inst. Site
????U.S.-Iraqi Youth Dialogue Video
????PCP Dialogue Guide
????Study Circles Discussion Guide
????National Issues Forum Guide
????Overview of Conversation Café Model
????NCDD?’s List of D&D; Organizations & Programs
????Introductory Facilitation Resources

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