POLL: LET'S FINISH WHAT THEY STARTED
An overwhelming 89 percent of Americans surveyed support the current military action in Afghanistan, according to the latest Newsweek Poll.
But many people also are worried that it'll lead to more terrorism against U.S. citizens at home (41 percent very likely, 39 percent somewhat likely) and abroad (44 percent very likely, 39 percent somewhat likely), and to a bigger war in the Middle East (27 percent very likely, 40 percent somewhat likely).
76 percent of the 1,004 adults polled say they expect U.S. military action to last at least several years -- including 19 percent who say 10 years or more -- and 46 percent expect the number of Americans to be killed or injured to range from a thousand to more than several thousand.
The survey found support strong for the fight against terrorism on all fronts. 81 percent of respondents support using military force against Saddam Hussein and his military in Iraq, 79 percent back using military force against suspected terrorist targets in other Middle Eastern countries, and 71 percent would agree to use military force against suspected terrorists in countries outside the Middle East, such as Sudan and the Philippines.
A smaller majority, 59 percent, would also support a covert operation to assassinate individuals overseas who give major financial support to terrorists. 35 percent would oppose this.
In order for the United States to achieve its goals in Afghanistan, 46 percent of Americans believe it'll also need to use commandos or special forces to attack a few targets or capture Osama bin Laden. 37 percent believe they'll only succeed through a larger-scale military operation with many ground troops; only 9 percent believe that bombing or missile attacks without any ground troops will be enough to succeed there.
Most Americans, 83 percent, also say capturing or killing bin Laden would be effective (51 percent say very effective); but in answer to another question, 48 percent of those polled say if the United States were to capture or kill bin Laden it would make him a martyr and inspire others to commit acts of terrorism; a smaller 42 percent think it would hurt the terrorist cause and reduce the chances of future terrorist attacks.
-- What do YOU think?
(Web site: newsweek.msnbc.com)
THE ANTHRAX SCARE
U.S. officials are struggling to balance warning the American public and reassuring it amid fresh fears of more terrorist attacks on the United States and outbreaks of anthrax in three parts of the country, which officials said could be linked to terrorism.
"I believe that it's very unlikely that all of those individuals that were associated with or involved with the terrorism events of September the 11th and other terrorism events that may have been pre-positioned and preplanned have been apprehended," Attorney General John Ashcroft said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Fears of a new terrorist attack on the United States have been accentuated by outbreaks of anthrax. Ashcroft said though there was not enough evidence to link the outbreak with terrorism, "from the prevention side ... as a policy, we should consider this potential, that it is linked."
The United States says the Saudi-born Osama bin Laden is behind the Sept. 11 attacks in which 19 men, all with Arabic names, commandeered four commercial passenger airliners. Two planes were plowed into the World Trade Center, destroying the twin towers; a third hit the Pentagon and the fourth crashed in rural Pennsylvania. More than 5,000 people are feared dead in the attacks.
Since then, 700 people have been arrested or detained in the United States in connection with the hunt for the perpetrators.
"I don't believe that it's fair that we could conclude that there are no terrorist sympathizers or terrorists that would be in the United States," Ashcroft said. "We are looking for individuals and are aggressively pursuing them."
He told CBS's "Face the Nation" that close to 200 people were on a U.S. "watch list" and that the United States was still looking for them.
With anthrax confirmed at sites in Florida, Nevada and New York City, the total number of people known to have been in contact with anthrax climbed to 12 -- including its first victim, a 63-year-old photo editor in Florida, who died last week.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson was more cautious than Ashcroft when he spoke to ABC's "This Week."
"We cannot say conclusively that they (anthrax and terrorism) have been linked," he said. "You can make that supposition, but there's no conclusive evidence whatsoever that they've been linked."
Thompson said that in the event of an anthrax outbreak, the United States could treat 2 million people for 60 days. The Center for Disease Control says the intended target of antibiotics for pharmaceutical treatment of anthrax is 10 million people.
-- Do you think the anthrax outbreaks are terrorism related? Why or why not? Are you personally taking precautions?
TRICK OR TREAT
Despite the tragic events of Sept. 11, people say they still plan to enjoy the fantasy and festivities surrounding the Halloween holiday.
That's according to a NRF survey, which finds consumers plan to spend an average of $45 per household this year on Halloween candy, costumes and decorations.
The poll of 1,000 respondents, conducted for NRF by Market Facts, Inc., shows that both kids and adults are still sweet on celebrating Halloween this year. Home decor for Halloween continues to gain in popularity, with 55 percent of people planning to do some type of Halloween decorating this year. 67 percent of young adults ages 18 to 24 plan to decorate their homes for parties or just to celebrate the season.
Pop culture is once again expected to have a strong influence on costume ideas for youngsters. Fictional heroes such as Harry Potter, Batman, Power Rangers and the X-Men will trick or treat alongside real-life heroes -- as more kids plan to dress up as police officers or firefighters this year.
-- What are your plans for this Halloween?
(Web sites: nrf.com, unitymarketingonline.com, ecandy.com, costumers.org)