War and Public Opinion

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The president gathers his national security team at the ranch today and it’s not about Iraq. The Crawford Gang meets after a week in which a host of key Republicans poured cold water on White House notions of attacking President Saddam Hussein. And while they say the meeting isn’t about Iraq, of course the subject could come up. Well spank me if it doesn’t.

But even as the administration reconsiders and nuances the Iraq game, complaining about the chatter overseas and in the press, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and Bush know full well that they’re the ones who put Desert Storm Part II on the nation’s agenda. At some point, Bush says, he’ll make up his mind. At some point, some argue, Bush also has to forge a national consensus. Crossed lines in the sand.


Jeane Kirkpatrick, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute

Gary Schmitt, executive director of the Project for a New American Century

Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press