Maybe America still cares, "I have asked for this time to keep you informed of America's action on the war on terror," said President Bush in his address to the nation, but finding someone who actually saw Bush's speech Sunday night was tough. "Did you see the President's address?," a reporter asked. "No," said one man. "Did you see the President's address?," the questioner repeated. "I didn't," said a woman. "Did you see the President's address?," the refrain echoed. "No," responded another man.
For those who did watch, one particular line stood out above the rest. "I will ask congress for $87 billion," said Bush. "He ought to spend some of that here in the United States," said Tom Dickson. That was the consensus from the man on the street. From those in power? "Can we afford not to?," said U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer. His tone was slightly different. "It's unfortunate that we have to be there, but I don't think that the people in the US want to live a fearful life in their own country," he said.
And as the weeks turn into months, and the months turn into years. "This effort is difficult and costly, yet worthy of our country and critical to our security," said the President. There are rumblings and inevitable comparisons to Vietnam. "We've all discussed that very thing, here at the American Legion," said James McCoy. He says America has a knack for winning empty victories. "Kind of like the dog that catches the car, 'Now what do I do?'" he asked.
By far the most well received portion of the President's speech was the spreading out of financial burden to rebuild Iraq. "We are committed to expanding international cooperation in the reconstruction and security of Iraq," said Bush. "International collaboration is essential," said Texas Tech student Ruben Parra.
The hope? A quicker end to a war on terror that's become part of a Presidential election with troops caught in the middle. "Well, I think it's a political ploy, but we have to back our troops," said Marlo Davis.