According to The Washington Post, President Bush has been facing increasing opposition to the war in Iraq both at home and abroad.
There have been coordinated protests across the United States and the world during the last few months but Bush said that he will not be influenced by the protestors. According to the Post, White House communications director Dan Bartlett said, "There is always going to be a faction of people that don't agree. But I think anybody who gives a fair look at history on this will see that this president and this administration is acting responsibly and is attempting in every way possible to resolve this issue peacefully."
Public opinion around the world was that Bush is a bigger threat to world peace than Saddam Hussein. In America, polls have shown that there will be more U.S support for the war if there is international support, which at the moment the war does not have. The Bush administration did not forsee strong opposition to the war when they started publicizing their intentions in September and has acknowledged that they need to deal with it. One ambassador, representing an allied nation, said that Bush has become the enemy.
According to CNN, Hussein challenged Bush to a debate during an interview with Dan Rather for 60 Minutes II. CBS released some of the quotes from the interview which will air Wednesday Feb. 26. Hussein was reportedly very serious and said that he was not joking about having a debate but that the White House is not taking him seriously. "This is something proposed in earnest, out of my respect for the people of the United States and my respect for the people of Iraq and the people of the world. I call for this because war is not a joke," Hussein said.
The Post reported that the director of the Non-Proliferation Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Joseph Cirincione, said that the U.S allies were turned off when Bush said that he no longer supported continued inspections. He said that U.S action against Iraq now looks like "an elaborate con job" and that "other leaders feel manipulated and deceived."
Bush sent Secretary of State Colin Powell to make media appearances and to push the war in Germany, France, Russia, and the Middle East. Powell said that he understands the reluctance to go to war. "We know there is great anxiety, that there are many, many people who do not want to see war."
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