Wednesday, May 03, 2006

American Feelings on Iraq

Only 30% support the President in his policies in Iraq, and the support for the original decision to go to war in Iraq is down to 44% (from a high in the mid-60s).

I wonder why the change.

Is it simply because of the fact that the war has dragged on (I read somewhere that by the end of November this year we will have been in Iraq as long as were were in WWII)?

Is it because of the numbers of American casualties? This doesn't seem likely because relative to other wars 2400 deaths is not that remarkable a number.

Is it because Americans are concerned about civilian casualties in Iraq? I don't think this is likely either, since civilian causalties are not widely reported in the media and the estimates we have are relatively vague (there's a big difference between the 37,000 and 100,000 estimates I've seen).

Perhaps rather like a rock wears smoot a rock in its path, American ignorance has been worn away by the tides of information. There were no WMD (we now know that Hussein maintained a false story line to keep Iran intimidated), and there was no Al-Qaeda connection (bin Laden called Hussein's government an apostate regime and there were apparently some Al-Qaeda in Iraq in the Kurdish areas who sought to overthrow Saddam). We were not greeted w/ candy and flowers, and were not able to control a large country w/ a small force, as Rumsfeld predicted. Rather than the blessings of democracy, Iraq is experiencing the plague of sectarian violence because of Rumsfeld's miscalculations. Finally, the threat of terrorism in the world and in the United States has not been reduced, but perhaps even heightened as more radicals have answered to call to target Americans as our President confirms their beliefs the he, and our country, is undertaking a new crusade agains Muslims and their holy lands (we must remember that there are some very holy sites to many Muslims in Iraq). We have created a recruiting poster for Al-Qaeda with our involvement in Iraq.

The war in Iraq was a war of choice, not necessity. One lesson of this war should be that we should never again simply chose war, but only accept war when it is forced upon us by the elimination of all other alternatives. As we have seen, the cost of this choice is simply too high. Finally, Americans seem to be dialing in to the truth.

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