Perceptions: Sorting Out the Mixed Signals

Bombarded with conflicting messages about the length of the war, many are confounded about what to expect next

By any objective standard, the gulf war has gone well and the outcome seems about as assured as anything can be in an uncertain world. Why, then, do so many Americans (and, seemingly, citizens of other coalition countries) have a vague feeling of unease, if not outright disillusionment, that the fighting seems nowhere near a conclusion? After great expectations of a relatively easy victory, the U.S. public has settled into a more realistic, in some cases too pessimistic, view of what is to come. The initial uncontested air raids and gee-whiz video glimpses of bombing turned out to be less decisive...

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