PENINSULA - Talk on the streets of the Peninsula this week was a whirlwind of support, confidence, political rhetoric and hope that our troops in the Middle East will return home quickly and victorious.

Most of the people willing to comment on the war with Iraq felt the United States should have sent troops in sooner.

One man, here on vacation from Boston, felt problems with Saddam Hussein should have been settled a long time ago.

"I'm not happy with how long it took to get started," he said. "It seems like every time I turned on the news or opened a paper I would see President Bush talking about how the military was about to be sent into Iraq. It just seems like we have been waiting and waiting. We should have finished what we started in '91."

Another man, a resident of Long Beach, also felt the U.S. had waited too long to act on the crisis.

"I'm just surprised at how long it took for Bush to attack," he said. "What is Saddam thinking? We should have gone in weeks ago."

Speculating that the military action would not stop with Iraq, he added, "Korea's next!"

Other residents of the Peninsula did not speak with the same bravado. One local business owner felt as though the government and the troops in Iraq do not know what they are up against.

"I'm afraid the soldiers are not prepared for the horror of war," she said. "I think there has been a break down in diplomacy, and as a mother, I think one day is too long for our troops to be there."

For those with loved ones in military service that are not deployed in the Middle East, there is a sense of pride and fortune.

One set of parents, who are in the process of moving to Ocean Park, said that their son, who is a master at arms in the Navy and stationed in Everett, now spends close to twice as many hours on duty as he did only a week ago.

"We know we probably won't see him for at least a month," they said, "what with all the heightened security and all. Things are pretty hectic everywhere, but he recognizes freedom has a price and he will do what it takes. Right now there is probably a slim chance he will be sent in - but there's always that chance.

"I'm proud of our guys. I'm proud of how far [weapons] technology has come," they added. "I have no idea how long the war will last, but however long it takes, these guys are ready."

Another woman, from Surfside, said that her feelings were derived by having someone close to her serving in the military, but she would feel the same if she knew no one in the armed forces.

"I highly support our troops," she said. "My boyfriend is non-deployable, and stationed in Alaska. He won't be sent to fight in Iraq. Even if he could be sent in I would have the same opinion - we are doing the right thing."

One woman from Ocean Park said she did not know anybody directly involved in the war, and that the whole thing was just a waste of time and resources.

"I'm not sure if we should be over there," she said. " I suppose if we can just get in and get out fast, then I'm for it. They are never going to find Saddam, so I think it will last for a while unless their military surrenders."

One of the most thought-provoking comments came from a Long Beach woman who backed the president and the country's actions.

"We are 100 percent behind our president," she said. "Most people in the country do back [President Bush] but might be afraid to say so because they might be reprimanded by their friends."

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