A New York Times poll finds that more Americans support the war in Iraq today than they did two months ago. The Times was so alarmed by this development that they redid their poll just to make sure. The results were the same. About 10% more people think, in retrospect, that military action in Iraq was a good idea and about 10% fewer think it was a bad idea compared to two months ago.
Of course, the majority of people polled still think intervening in Iraq was a bad idea, but if that majority is shrinking, The New York Times can’t figure out why. It’s “counterintuitive” says the Times. It “could not be easily explained.” But explain it they tried on Sunday.
“Once is a while a poll finding doesn’t make sense.” In other words, how could The People be so stupid? I mean, surely they’ve read the uniformly dismal news in the Times. They’ve been told endlessly that Operation Iraqi Freedom is the catastrophically quagmirishly misleadingly Bushitlerburtonesque worst war ever! Are The People slipping off the wagon again and rejecting the truth we’ve spoonfed them?
The first explanation the Times grabs for is that The People, in their devotion to Hillary Clinton, must have been confused by references earlier in the poll to Clinton’s original support of the war. “It was just a hunch,” says the Times breathlessly, “but it was all there was.” Frankly, only the Times could see this as a plausible explanation.
Not until the 12th paragraph, the third to last in the article, does the Times offer up another baffling finding: “there was also a drop in the number of people who said the war is going badly.”
Hmmm . . . perhaps, and I’m only speculating here, but just maybe The People don’t want to lose the war and are encouraged by the remarkable success the coalition forces have had in the past two months stabilizing Baghdad, Anbar, Diyala? Maybe they’ve read deeper and learned that the Islamic State in Iraq (ISI) has recently been revealed to be a front organization set up by foreign Al Qaeda fascists to give the insurgency an Iraqi face? Perhaps they’ve also heard that coalition casualties are the lowest they’ve been in seven months?
UPDATE: This Gallup poll shows the most outspoken Iraq war hawks, McCain and Giuliani, are also the candidates most trusted by Americans polled to handle the Iraq war. That means, to my untrained eye, that most people don't mind the war as long as we're in it to win it.
My humble opinion is that no rational patriotic American wants to see the United States defeated in Iraq. Moreover, I’d say that most Americans would consider the mission in Iraq to be a noble one that’s consistent with American ideals.
That mission: to remove the despotic Hussein dynasty from power in accord with U.S. policy established during the Clinton Administration, to ensure that the weapons of mass destruction that the regime reported having to the United Nations in 1991 have been destroyed or otherwise accounted for in accord with a dozen U.N. resolutions, to establish a democratic foothold in the most politically backward and strategically important region of the world, and thereby undermine the region’s illiberal, intolerant, militarily expansionist regimes by providing a an alternative model to oppression . . . that mission is still worthy even after years of mismanagement.
Succeeding in that mission would be a good thing for Iraq, for the millions of people living in that region and for the United States. So, what’s the trouble with that? Well, it would also be good for George Bush.
And for some people who may or may not work at the Times, genocide is better outcome.