Support for war in Iraq will rebound, Powell says

Low poll numbers reflect `tough weeks,' he says

April 30, 2004|By James Gerstenzang | James Gerstenzang,LOS ANGELES TIMES

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said yesterday that falling support among Americans for the war in Iraq reflected the "several tough weeks" that the U.S.-led coalition has faced there.

Once the United States regains control of the cities of Fallujah and Najaf, support will rebound, he said.

Powell spoke during a brief question-and-answer session with reporters after a meeting with Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller.

Denmark has been a strong U.S. ally in Iraq. Powell's meeting Monday in Washington with Moeller suggested an effort was being made to show support for the Danish government, which has faced increasing pressure at home for its support of the war.

The defense minister resigned a week ago after criticism that the threat posed by Saddam Hussein had been exaggerated by the military to justify the war.

Powell stopped in Denmark at the end of a two-day visit to Europe during which he addressed an anti-Semitism conference in Berlin.

Denmark has about 500 troops in Iraq, and they will remain there while their presence is needed, Moeller said.

Denmark's show of support follows the decision by Spain to withdraw its contingent.

Support in the United States, meanwhile, showed signs of weakening.

A New York Times/CBS News poll released Tuesday found that 47 percent of respondents said the United States had done the right thing in launching the war, down from 58 percent a month earlier.

Some 46 percent of respondents now say the United States should have stayed out of Iraq - up from 37 percent a month ago.

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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