A majority of Americans favor a ground war to humiliate Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and reduce his ability to cause trouble in the future, according to a Newsweek Poll.
Only 30 percent say it is worth letting him save face to avoid a ground war, according to the poll by the Gallup Organization, which appears in the magazine's March 4 issue.Forty-two percent of those polled said they support a continuation of the air war and diplomatic efforts if Saddam does not respond to President Bush's Saturday noon deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait.
Twenty-nine percent think allies should launch a ground war immediately; 24 percent say allies should ignore diplomatic efforts and continue with the air war and plans for a ground war.
Fifty percent say U.S. forces should end the war if allies in the gulf are satisfied with the terms of an Iraqi withdrawal. But 41 percent say the United States should fight on alone until Saddam is removed from power, according to the poll.
Newsweek said 68 percent of the respondents now believe that it would not be a victory for the U.S. and allied forces if Saddam withdrew from Kuwait but remained in power.
Approval of Bush's handling of the gulf crisis remains a high of 86 percent. Overall approval of Bush's presidency is 85 percent. Sixty-nine percent think the war is going as well as U.S. officials report.
The Gallup Organization interviewed a national sample of 768 adults by telephone on Feb. 22. The margin of error is four percentage points.