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America voices: David Frum
Al Jazeera gauges the mood in the US towards the war in Iraq five years on.
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2008 08:34 GMT

David Frum is a former economic speech writer for George Bush and has authored a book on the inside biew of the US presidency. He is widely accredited with first coining the phrase "axis of evil".

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I think you need to distinguish between two things. There is, in the US, widespread frustration with and unhappiness with the progress of the war in Iraq.

But that does not been we have an anti-war movement the way we did in the 1960s

This is a big country and you can find a 100,000 people who believe just about everything in the US.

But if you deduct a 100,000 people from 300 million that leaves you more or less with 300 million. So protesters and people who radically criticise what the US is doing in Iraq represent a very small proportion of public opinion.

The fact that they can fill a camera screen does not mean they can fill a voting booth and the candidates all know that.

In reality the streets of the US are not filled with protestors and in reality the soldiers of the US army - reluctant as many of them are because of the strain on the family - are returning to do their duty in Iraq.

The War in America

Read more US views on the war in Iraq

Some of them may have questions of whether the war is going to be a success, indeed a lot of people have questions over whether the war is going to be a success.

But the idea that we have soldiers that are refusing to go that is not what is happening. There may be an individual case or two but that is not what is happening.

I am less interested in the judgment of this president and this one man than I am on the outcome of this conflict.

There are a lot of people who will say that they dislike George Bush so much that they do not care if the building falls down on their own heads if they can just prove he was wrong. 

I would say better not have the building fall down on your head even if that means accepting that maybe he was not wrong.

When you have a lot of people who do not support president Bush that does not mean they therefore support the people who carry placards in the streets - of which there are very few.

President Bush was very popular when people thought the Iraq war was succeeding.

The US went to war through fear that Iraq was developing WMD, and those WMD was not that advanced…the programme was advanced but the weapons themselves seems not have been there, probably.

There remains some element of mystery about the outcome of that story. So the US acted prematurely, but to a real danger.

The US has been built on much sacrifice and on much pain and on much grief.

And there are so many families who have had this experience that is not a comfort to any one family that has experienced it but this is a country that has called for the highest levels of self-sacrifice from its citizens generation after generation.

I believe this generation will be proud of what they have achieved."

The special documentary the War In America shows on Al Jazeera on March 15. Click here for more information.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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