WASHINGTON -- President Bush Thursday blamed the growing cry among U.S. residents to bring American troops home from Iraq to "war fatigue."
"It's an ugly war," he said. "It doesn't surprise me there is a deep concern amongst our people."
Part of the concern, he said, is "whether we can win."
Bush said it is his confidence the United States can prevail that drives his Iraq war policies -- not polls that increasingly show lack of support among voters.
"If our troops thought I was taking a poll about how we should conduct this war, they would be very concerned," he said. "This decision should not be made by a focus group."
He said U.S. residents opposed to the war have been affected by the violence and abject cruelty and lack of respect for life shown by al-Qaida terrorists and their allies. He asked those people to look at the whole picture.
"Just getting out may sound simple and it may affect polls, but it would have longterm security consequences for the United States."
Bush said he would continue to gauge the situation in Iraq and make decisions based on advice from his military team in Iraq, not on U.S. popular opinion.
U.S. troops and military families do not "want their commander in chief making decisions based on popularity," he said.
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