Local Communities Discuss the War in Iraq, Question Unilateral Foreign Policy
With the race for the White House on the horizon, hundreds of Americans turned out in ten communities Jan. 24 to weigh in on critical foreign policy issues facing the United States.
citizens, after a day of discussions with one another and experts, said
they believed establishing a democracy in Iraq was less important than
ensuring the country has a stable government and rejected the notion that
the United States should be able to unilaterally invade other countries
that appear to pose a threat, without international support.
The effort culminated in an hour-long program broadcast on PBS stations in late January and early February. Read or listen to the program by selecting the different sections below:
Part I: Introduction
Ten cities across the country held deliberations to discuss America's role in the world. Participants were first given background information on certain issues, discussed those issues with each other and then were given the opportunity to ask experts their opinions on these topics.
Part II: Iraq and National Security
Participants gathered to discuss the war in Iraq and national security issues. Experts from places such as the National Guard, Center of the American Experiment and the Humphrey Institue were also on-hand to answer questions.
Part III: Trade and Jobs
Farmers discussed the impact of free trade and subsidies on their business, while others discussed job security and keeping jobs in the United States. Several experts answered the questions participants had regarding these contentious issues.
Part IV: Results and Conclusions
At the end of the day, participants were polled on their views of the issues that had been discussed that day. A control group that had not participated in the deliberation had also been surveyed for comparison. Then, two former members of congress discussed the importance of civic engagement.