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Local Reaction to President Bush's Sunday Night Address

For almost three years, American troops have been fighting for democracy in Iraq. Now Mark Kasiewicz of Eau Claire says enough is enough.

"We don't belong there."

He's kept tabs on what's going on in Iraq, and had for anti-war signs grow legs in his front yard.

On Sunday night, he listened as President Bush admitted mistakes along the way, but pledged to keep fighting.

"To retreat before victory would be an act of recklessness and dishonor and I will not allow it," President Bush said.

"He's coming at it from the back door...I don't think that's leadership, that's reacting."

The insurgency, not the terrorists, is a problem Ali Abootalebi would rather hear the president speaking out against.

"We need to be engaging when it comes to Iran and Syria because of the tremendous influence iran has over the Iraqi Shia population."

Like The President, Abootalebi says the recent election in Iraq is a positive step, but that Iraq's military is nearly self-sufficient.

"We should be talking about a phased withdrawal."

He thinks 2006 will bring the re-deployment of troops outside of Iraq and into Kuwait.

"Our forces in Iraq are on the road to victory," The President said, "And that is the road that will take them home."

Mark, on the other hand, says we can look forward to decades of conflict in Iraq.

"I don't think we're ever going to leave. He's breeding a lot of hate throughout the world."

The President says America's sacrifice now will result in peace for future generations, though Mark says the talk is politically-driven damage control, rather than a solution to the problems he sees in the Middle East.


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