Brad Messer Commentary
Monday, November 3, 2003

Resolve in Iraq

An Iraqi guerrilla missile attack downed a U.S. helicopter full of GIs, many of them on their way home for visits. Sixteen dead, 20 wounded.

Immediately comes the question of whether enough such scenes will affect American resolve. Will there be public pressure to bring the troops home, and abandon the effort to rebuild Iraq?

President Bush is sensitive to the mood of the nation. He wants as little negative news coverage as possible, of course. Asked the other day whether he could promise to have fewer troops in Iraq in a year, he called it "a trick question" and wouldn't answer.

Every guerrilla attack has to bring a question to the people of Iraq: Will the US stick it out, or will American public opinion force a premature withdrawal and leave the way open for Saddam Hussein to come back?

If there's a possibility of that, an Iraqi might decide he'd better be neutral or anti-American so maybe Saddam won't torture him and kill his family.

Whether one agrees with the U.S. being in Iraq or not, we are there. We can't come home 'til the job is done. And we do have all the resolve necessary to stick with it.

Brad Messer— commentary, KTSA.

NY Times 11/2/2003
16 G.I.'s Are Killed, 20 Hurt as Missile Downs U.S. Copter
As Casualties in Iraq Mount, Will Resolve Falter?


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