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Terrorist alert

War On {format} {format} 3:50 Scott Carrier & Barrett Golding

Citizens share their views on war and terror.

Broadcast: Nov 12 2003 on NPR Day to Day Subjects: International, Politics, Public Affairs, War

Profile: Citizens share their views on ongoing war effort in Iraq

November 12, 2003 from Day to Day

MADELEINE BRAND, host: Earlier today, President Bush met with US civil administrator Paul Bremer to find ways to accelerate the transition of power back to the Iraqi people. After the meeting, Bremer spoke to reporters outside the White House about what he'll communicate to Iraqi leaders.

Mr. PAUL BREMER (US Civil Administrator in Iraq): I'll be taking them a message from the president that he remains steadfast in his determination to defeat terrorism in Iraq and steadfast in his determination to give the Iraqis authority over their country, authority they're already beginning to assume very quickly in the area of security and in the area of running the Iraqi ministries.

BRAND: US civil administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer.

Those almost-daily terrorist attacks have sharpened the debate over how successful America has been in its overall war effort in Iraq. To get a taste of the range of opinion in this country, independent producers Scott Carrier and Barrett Golding compiled these voices over the past year.

Unidentified Man #1: They're just bad people, let's face it. You know, Saddam and Osama bin Laden--to take a life doesn't mean anything to them.

Unidentified Man #2: Somebody needed to do something, and I guess we're elected.

Unidentified Man #3: I'll go and I'll die for my country and I'll be proud of it, but I'm not sure if I support the exact cause of why we're fighting this war.

Unidentified Woman #1: Kids are raised, they have their dreams, want to be macho, want to save their country.

Unidentified Woman #2: I don't understand why we have to continue to fight and lose people and then rebuild what we destroyed.

Unidentified Man #4: It took a long time in Japan, so it's going to take a long time here, too.

Unidentified Man #5: It's a senseless cause.

Unidentified Man #6: It is really going to be good for this country. It's going to bring everybody together. It is.

Unidentified Man #7: They say divided we fall, together we stand. We divided. America is divided.

Unidentified Woman #3: We have to protect our citizens.

Unidentified Man #8: We pray for you in our churches.

Unidentified Man #9: We may be the most powerful country on the planet...

Unidentified Woman #4: There's no way you can stop terrorism.

Unidentified Man #9: ...but I don't really think that we are capable of taking on the whole world.

Unidentified Woman #5: Because that is the only way they can strike at a mighty power.

Unidentified Man #10: I can't believe that you're so un-American and you're attacking--free speech, my foot!

Unidentified Man #11: I'm as true an American as you'll ever find.

Unidentified Woman #6: All my prayers are with the people that are over there fighting, on both sides.

Unidentified Man #12: I don't think there's been any terrorism with any white Americans. They're all Arabs.

Unidentified Man #13: You know, there is no room for that kind of voice right now in America. We don't need her.

Unidentified Man #14: To hell with the Europeans. To heck with all of them. Disband the Security Council. Puppet people from regimes in Africa and Asia and South America have no business telling us what we can do and what we can't do.

Unidentified Man #15: You've been to the oil pumps recently. You're paying for it. We're not stealing it from them. We're doing business with them. We pay big bucks for that stuff.

Unidentified Woman #7: We are the world in terms of money, and we've made ourselves that way. And people hate us for it.

Unidentified Man #16: There'll be always somebody hating the United States. You know, that's why we have the CIAs and the FBI, we have so many agencies protecting us.

Unidentified Woman #8: To me, the price of freedom is through sacrifice.

Unidentified Man #17: Somebody picks on us, we blow them off the face of the earth.

Unidentified Man #18: Let's face it, the Muslims and the Christians have been fighting since the Crusades.

Unidentified Man #19: You get right down to it, it really isn't religion. It's somebody that's trying to use religion to justify out-and-out murder.

BRAND: Those voices included George Farrell(ph), Jake Spencer(ph), Shane Ogansen(ph), and Bernadette Smith(ph). They were recorded in Valentine, Nebraska; Fort Dodge, Iowa; Afton, Wyoming; and in Chief Plenty Coups State Park, Montana. That piece was produced by Barrett Golding and Scott Carrier as part of the Hearing Voices project. For a full list of voices, go to our Web site at