CINCINNATI (Reuters) - Americans are tired of the Iraq war and doubt victory will ever come, but remained split over President George W. Bush's vow on Thursday to stay the course in Iraq despite a report showing limited progress.
"I can't stand it anymore. What are we going to succeed at?" asked Cincinnati restaurant manager Stephanie Laycock, 36, who said she had opposed the war from the beginning.
A USA Today/Gallup poll this week showed more than seven in 10 Americans favor withdrawing nearly all U.S. troops by April, and several surveys show the approval ratings for Bush, a Republican, are at the lows of his presidency.
Bush told a news conference his troop buildup in Iraq had made limited progress but said he would wait for a September security report by Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker before considering a change of course.
"We'll ... have a clearer picture of how the new strategy is unfolding, and be in a better position to judge where we need to make any adjustments," Bush said.
Americans were divided over the president's stand.
"I'm not terribly surprised; he's been a stubborn leader on this subject and I don't think he's going to listen to anyone," said Tom McAuliffe, 57, a banker from Columbus, Ohio.
Hospital volunteer Sally Kessler, 74, disagreed.
"I think he's doing a wonderful job. These people are out to get us and if we back off they'll come after us here," said Kessler, a Cincinnati Republican who voted for Bush.
Chicago musician Dave Cavalier, whose 24-year-old brother is in Iraq with the U.S. military, said the United States should make plans to bring troops home safely.
"It's just getting more and more dangerous every day," said Cavalier, 20. "I think we're all coming to the conclusion that we've lost this war."
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