News

Bush to Seek US Public Support for Iraq

Multimedia

Audio

President Bush is traveling across the United States this week for a series of speeches focusing on Iraq and terrorism. Mr. Bush will be seeking to build public support for his policies as war casualties mount, and Iraqi officials struggle to complete a new constitution.

The first stop for the president is the state of Utah, where he addresses the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The trip comes at a time when polls show support for his handling of Iraq is slipping. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says Mr. Bush must make his case for continued involvement in Iraq once again to the American people.

Speaking on the Fox News Sunday television program, Senator Graham said, nobody wants to withdraw U.S. forces now, but he added he detects a growing level of concern among his constituents. He said the president must emphasize America's security is directly tied to success in Iraq.

"This is a major moment in the development of the Mideast. It is a major moment in the Iraqi people's development. And it is a major moment in our national security," said Mr. Graham. "We need to get this right. This decision about to be made in Iraq regarding a constitution is hugely important to us."

The road to the new Iraqi constitution has proven rocky, with differences remaining on key issues such as the role of Islam, and federalism.

On CNN's Late Edition, an Iraqi government spokesman appeared hopeful Monday's extended deadline can be met. Laith Kubba indicated negotiators could submit a draft document with a few issues left for a later time, or perhaps ask for a second extension of the deadline to complete their negotiations. He said they are determined to succeed and present a constitution the Iraqi people can support.

"What they do not want to see is a draft constitution that will be rejected by their constituencies, or by other parts of Iraq," explained Mr. Kubba. "They are keen to see a draft that will be accepted with a big 'yes' in Iraq. This is difficult to achieve, but that is where they are today."

Speaking on the same television news program, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee stressed the stakes are high for Iraq. Michigan's Carl Levin said the Bush administration needs to send a strong message to Baghdad that Iraq's fate is in the hands of those entrusted to write its constitution.

"We cannot impose anything on them. We have opened a door for them to walk through," added Mr. Levin. "If they don't walk through it, then the reason for us being there, it seems to me, is gone."

But Senator Levin stopped short of demanding an immediate timetable for U.S. forces to withdraw. Appearing on ABC's This Week program, a prominent Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said, the White House needs to outline a clear exit strategy - a detailed plan for completing the military mission in Iraq. Republican Chuck Hagel warned that public support for the president's policy is shaky. In his words: "the dam has burst."

"We should start figuring out how we get out of there, with this understanding: we cannot leave a vacuum that destabilizes the Middle East," he said.

Mr. Hagel is a Vietnam War veteran. He said there are many differences between that conflict and the current situation in Iraq. But he said the longer the United States stays in Iraq, the more similar they become.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs