German Chancellor Changes His Mind on Iraq

And now the most scintillating two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:

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Gerhard Go-Ahead
In a sharp reversal, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is now supporting the removal of Saddam Hussein from power. First, Foreign Minister Joschka Fisher said Germany hopes Saddam and his regime "will collapse as soon as possible." That was yesterday. Today, Schroeder himself, in a speech to members of parliament, said he hoped for the "earliest possible" end to the war and what he called "defeat of the dictatorship," which he said he hopes will lead to peace and self-determination for Iraq. No reversal in France, though. Foreign Minister deVillepin may now be saying he wants the United States to win the war, but Prime Minister Raffarin said today the war was a moral, political and strategic mistake.

Kerry-ing Out "Regime Change"
Speaking of regime change, Massachusetts Senator and Democratic presidential contender John Kerry, echoing a message that came from Baghdad a couple of weeks ago, says he wants regime change too -- in the United States. In a campaign speech in Peterborough, N.H., Kerry, who voted to authorize the Iraq war, said the Bush administration had committed a "breach of trust" with American allies by going to war, a breach he said this administration could not heal. He added, ''What we need now is not just a regime change in Saddam Hussein and Iraq, but we need a regime change in the United States.'' House Speaker Dennis Hastert said Kerry's comments were "not what we need at this time."

War Worries But Steadfast Support
A new poll out today on the war, meanwhile, shows an unusual combination of sentiments -- steadily growing worries about what the war might bring, but steadfast support for the war. The survey, which was taken over the three-day period that ended Tuesday, before the coalition breakthroughs near Baghdad, showed 59 percent worried about a chemical or biological attack. Forty-seven percent worried about high troop casualties and 42 percent about a long commitment. But the same poll, by the Pew Research Center, found 71 percent support for the war, virtually unchanged from the last poll.