This will have people talking:
Democrats fumed last week at Vice President Cheney’s suggestion that criticism of the administration’s war policies was itself becoming a hindrance to the war effort. But a new poll indicates most Americans are sympathetic to Cheney’s point.
Seventy percent of people surveyed said that criticism of the war by Democratic senators hurts troop morale — with 44 percent saying morale is hurt “a lot,” according to a poll taken by RT Strategies. Even self-identified Democrats agree: 55 percent believe criticism hurts morale, while 21 percent say it helps morale.
The results surely will rankle many Democrats, who argue that it is patriotic and supportive of the troops to call attention to what they believe are deep flaws in President Bush’s Iraq strategy. But the survey itself cannot be dismissed as a partisan attack. The RTs in RT Strategies are Thomas Riehle, a Democrat, and Lance Tarrance, a veteran GOP pollster.
Their poll also indicates many Americans are skeptical of Democratic complaints about the war. Just three of 10 adults accept that Democrats are leveling criticism because they believe this will help U.S. efforts in Iraq. A majority believes the motive is really to “gain a partisan political advantage.”
This poll is one of the few pieces of supportive news the administration has had lately on Iraq. Most surveys have shown significant majorities believe it was a mistake to go to war, as well as rising sentiment that Bush misled Americans in making the case for it.
Even so, there is still support for Bush’s policy going forward. A plurality, 49 percent, believe that troops should come home only when the Iraqi government can provide for its own security, while 16 percent support immediate withdrawal, regardless of the circumstances.
Thanks to Brian in the comments, the actual poll results can be found here (.pdf).
I’d take this poll with a grain or two of salt, since it appears to contradict every other poll conducted. Poll questions & methodology may be fair to scrutinize in any poll, but should be especially looked at when it’s results are so far out of line with others.
That said, it may just be the questions asked. A result like
[quote]A majority believes the motive is really to “gain a partisan political advantage.”[/quote] may apply to both sides, but appears to be asked of only one.
1. Morale – not clear why it matters. People prefer not to hurt morale, but they prefer not making troops risk death and injury needlessly even more. So Dems increase the risk of the former to limit the risk of the latter; I think most people will be OK with that.
2. A majority believes the motive is really to “gain a partisan political advantage.” Given our leadership, institutional(Biden, Clinton, etc.) and not (TNR, DLC, etc.), I can’t pretend it’s not a reasonable assesment. If Dems want to shake the label and take political advantage of current realities, they should promote the previously out-in-the-wilderness crowd that was essentially right about everything. It means a re-ranking of intraparty power. But if they are really committed to winning, they’ll do what’s necessary. If not, the party is screwed through another presidential cycle at least.
3. Would this even be a possibility without the opposition wing of the Democratic party?
I had been concerned they were getting too much traction with their anti-war rhetoric lately.
Good to see John Q Public sees their politicizing of the war for what it is. I think the main reason that the Democrats keep losing is because they think the public is dumb – and treat us that way.
…left unsaid, 100% of them are doing it. 55% believe criticism hurts morale. So 45% are at least doing it honestly. 55% are doing it knowing it hurts morale. Don’t call them unpatriotic though.
The American people know that when the nation is at war, congressional dissent becomes a luxury the nation simply cannot afford. I’m all for free speech and debate, but there will be plenty of time to debate pre-war intelligence and planning when the war is over. For now, it is best if the Dumbokrats button it up and stand by our Commander-in-Chief.
Here’s the .pdf of the actual poll:
I think one thing to note is the question about criticism only offers help/hurt morale. Maybe a “no effect” option would have changed the stats.
John, I know that you are too savvy to accidentally write the things you do. So the trick around here is to figure out “why did he say that?” It’s a game out here in commentland. We love it.
Anyway, “sympathetic” to Cheney? Please. The idea that Americans are “disgusting” and somehow troop-hatin’ traitors because they question the war? No, that dog won’t hunt. Let’s not mince words on this one, because those belligerant words are the ones people will remember from Cheney’s ill-advised speeches lately.
And, “support” for the administration? Again, please. That’s a spin, but hardly the most likely to be true. What’s more likely, by far, is that Americans are conflicted over what to do about the war. They don’t like it, and aren’t sure what to do. In that sense, your blog and commentariat have been out in front on the question, generally reflecting the larger public view, only with more verbiage and rancor. We don’t know what to do either.
It took me six months to conclude that getting out now is the best thing to do once the question was framed. I thought until recently that staying in there was the right thing to do. However, I don’t think that any more. I can’t find a moral basis for it because the outcome isn’t even marginally predictable any more … it’s just a crap shoot at this point, and who can look people in the eye and ask them to die for a crap shoot? Not me.
Anyway, the poll is not as you try to represent it. It’s just churn in a public that is pretty well fed up with the status quo, IMO.
I wonder what the effect on the morale of our troops would be if we had national leadership that showed it was capable of actually winning this war?
Q) How do you lose a war to a country with no government or organized military?
A) Put George W. Bush in charge.
Cheney’s poll numbers are getting down there with sewer trout:
DougJ attack noted.
Gold Star for Robot Boy
Interesting poll. Quiz question: How does this square with other polls showing a majority of Americans disapprove of Bush’s handling of the war?
PPGAZ- I didn’t write that stuff- the WAPO did.
John — I think that ppG was responding to the troll that “Dexter” submitted up near the top.
The question here is about troop morale. Of course if the troops find that their efforts haven’t had quite the effect they’ve been told they were supposed to have, there is going to be disappointment. After all, they are the ones paying the ultimate price for Bush’s terrible mistakes and his inability to deal honestly with the real issues involved.
But the morale of the country as a whole on this war is not very good, either. We were told this would be an easy victory and that the people of Iraq would greet us as liberators. And we were also told that we needed to fight this war because Iraq was about to launch a chemical and nuclear war against us that would kill millions of innocent American citizens.
In the end it all boils down to the failures of our national leadership to deliver on its promises. None of the pre-war claims made by the Bush administration turned out to be true. And the polls now show the results of this disappointment.
After all, America hates losers. Especially losers who get our people killed.
No contradiction necessary. They think criticism is the lesser of two evils, or they think it’s just a featherweight’s difference between “hurts morale” and “doesn’t hurt morale”, or they answered the poll question with their opinions of the Democratic Senators rather than all anti-war people (which seems to be what it’s asking, after all)… I didn’t know about or even expect this poll’s results, but I can’t say I think it matters.
Good to see the American people aren’t completely brainwashed yet. Anyone who actually believes that Democrats have the best interests of the country at heart with their cut and run stratgey is raising the bar for gullibility to almost inhuman levels.
I don’t approve of how the President is handling the war, but I approve of going into Iraq and establishing democracy. That poll question is a tad bit shallow
As for the poll we are talking about
#1 is related to #2
Since Americans view the policies of the democrats as trying to take partisan advantage of anti-war fever, then they believe that is harmful to morale
“Anyway, the poll is not as you try to represent it. It’s just churn in a public that is pretty well fed up with the status quo, IMO.”
Umm, he didn’t represent anything other than what was written. I mean, how dare John post the results of a poll from that Convervative Rag the WaPo that shows people feel your position hurts troop morale.
I think that the poll would have been much more informative if they had asked a more generic question along these lines: In general, does criticizing the leadership of the country during a time of war hurt morale in the armed forces?
I’d guess that the numbers would be essentially unchanged from the results for the first question, and that this overlap would speak against a shift in opinion with respect to the Democrats. Consider how the Republican leadership spoke out against Clinton during Kosovo. Did it hurt them politically? I don’t think so. But perhaps the difference in military commitment makes that not a great comparison.
The questions are also (necessarily) very narrow. On the first question, for example, I’d agree with the majority that criticism hurts morale, but the poll doesn’t allow anyone to say, “Yes, but criticism is necessary.”
I really can’t fault the poll, considering how few Democrats in Congress (esp. the Democratic leaders in the Senate) were willing to call a spade a bloody shovel before Murtha cut loose. I’m a Yellow Dog Dem, and even I can see that, by and large, Democratic Senators are only speaking up now that it’s “safe” to do so.
I wish they’d been braver sooner. Much sooner.
I don’t know what to make of the morale issue, though. I have a possibly quaint opinion that being sent to fight a war without enough troops and enough equipment plays merry hell with morale; not to mention being told one day to win hearts and minds among the Iraqis and then being told the next to treat ’em all like insurgents or insurgent sympathizers.
Soldiers go where they’re told to go, and do what they’re told to do. Of course they want to believe they’re there for the right reasons; of course they want to believe they haven’t been sent out on a fool’s mission. And it surely must hurt to know that, stateside, people are deciding the reasons sucked and the mission was literally for a fool.
That doesn’t mean those things aren’t true; it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be talking about them; it definitely doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be bringing our kids home.
Continuing the war effort “so they won’t think they’ve suffered and died in vain” is a cruel waste of lives when they might in fact have suffered and died in vain. Throwing away more lives to save face is monstrous.
You are quite right, and I withdraw my comments aimed at you. Sloppy reading as I was on my way out the door to get mexican food. Low blood sugar caused my vision to blur and …..
Now after a cerveza and some eye-watering hot sauce, my vision is cleansed and I see that I was paying no attention to the attribution.
My comments about Cheney, Bush and the war are the same though.
After thinking about it for a while, I conclude that the Democrats would be wise to stop looking to blame Bush (even though he is absolutely blameworthy) and start focussing on remediation. It seems to me that the Cheney word-mongering is a troll, a ploy to get the Dems fired up and then shoot themselves in the groin, which they are quite capable of doing. If were a top Dem, I’d be focussing on constructive policy right now and away from blaming. The public already knows that the pooch was screwed on this war.
Just curious … did anyone fall for the blood sugar excuse?
In case I want to use it in the future ….
Has anyone seen this yet? Survey USA shows George W. “The Hero Of Baghdad” Bush with a 52% disapproval number in … Texas?
Rumor has it that many there have begun to refer to his Connecticut birth as a kind of excuse.
The war protesters and cut-and-run crowd have this all wrong. The Iraq war is over and has been for a long time. Every American soldier’s death in the past 12 months has been an act of terror. The government of Iraq was elected in a fair and open election. We can have honest disagreement over whether regime change in Iraq was the correct policy or not. But that war was fought, won and is over.
The violence happening in Iraq now is unadulterated terrorism on the part of Islamic facists. To exit Iraq now would be a surrender to terrorism that would spell disaster for the people of Iraq, the rest of the Middle East and to the West.
Most Americans would have no problem living under fascism, provided they kept their jobs and the malls stayed open.
Going on three years in, reports are that 700 Iraqis are now so trained.
Only when doesn’t mean forever, and that 49% will not hold.
See, with a little clever language, a sow’s ear CAN be made into a silk purse.
You, sir , should work for the White House. They need bullshit artists of your caliber there.
In the Best of All Possible Worlds, from the Panglossian contingent ….
Now that we’ve created the WalMart Supercenter of Terrorism, we dasn’t go away and leave it. Because, clearly, the numbers that show the attack rate and the death rates going up are signs that it’s all in its last throes. The beneficial effect of those 200k Iraqi “troops” we have working for us now is clearly seen.
Hell, dude, you declared victory on the “war” part. Why not go ahead and declare “victory” on the insurgency, too?
Declaring victory is easy once you get the hang of it. Just ask George “Doctor Pangloss” Bush.
The Rasmussen Tracking Poll, which has proven to be the most accurate of all polls over recent election cycles, supports these findings. The Rasmussen has Bush approval ratings at 46%, up from their lows since the Administration started “pushing back” on the lies being pedaled by the Dems and other traitors.
Let’s see what Rasmussen has today ….
So the 46% is up from their low of 43, and in their own words, might just be “statistical noise”.
You wouldn’t have been cherry-picking your data and then pissing on our legs and telling us it’s raining, would you, James C?
If we were really in a war in the sense of an existential struggle it might make sense to question dissent as injurious to the morale of our troops, but Cheney’s way of thinking would have us still happily engaged in “quelling” the insurrection in the Philippines.
The only existential threat we face today is posed by the cost (in money, lives and alliances) of the venture in Iraq. And the idiot who said it would “practically pay for itself” is now head of the World Bank!
“To exit Iraq now would be a surrender to terrorism that would spell disaster for the people of Iraq, the rest of the Middle East and to the West.”
You left out the Federation of Planets.
And the Vulcan Whine Mold, too.
I’d like to see the poll questions.
Unfortunately, whether you are a supporter or not, it is crystal clear that there were many errors and screw ups in the occupation. As citizens, it seems to me that we are bound to call them as we see them, publically and loudly. It may damage morale, but not having enough armor damages morale more.
Consider the most public evidence of poor morale: the soldiers who refused the mission of driving gasoline tankers. It wasn’t domestic criticism that they were complaining about, and if I recall correctly it was domestic criticism that rectified the situation.
Criticism may hurt morale. That doesn’t make it illegitimate or unpatriotic. The country is engaging in a badly needed debate on the proper strategy for the war on terror, which should have been held before we committed troops. We are where we are, not just the troops but also the public. There have been leadership failures, multiple leadership failures, and now the public has to sort it out.
Terrible timing, but not having the debate would be worse.
By “cut-and-run crowd,” I can only assume you’re referring to the Bush administration.
With this sudden flip flop bold reversal of policy, the administration has not only embraced the “cut and run” strategy but actually claimed that they thought of it first. After weeks of denouncing any withdrawal plan as just shy of an act of treason, they’re now claiming they’ve been planning this all along.
And people here think Democrats are the ones who believe the American people are stupid?
Hmmm, strikethrough didn’t work on the “flip flop” part above. The website must not allow for any revisionist history.
Somebody better warn Bush before he comes out and denounces the disastrous plan to privatize Social Security.
Hey, moron: If you’re going to accuse us of treason, at least give us the common courtesy of spelling things correctly. You peddle lies. You pedal a bicycle.
Or, in the president’s case, you fall off the bicycle, blame the ground for causing your fall, and then claim that you intended to fall all along. Mission Accomplished.
Heh. Another poll that basically says Americans don’t like politicians.
It’s a tough position for Dems: they need to use the war as an issue to get back into power without appearing to be using it as a political football. Of course, the reality is everything is a political football, but if you start saying things that aren’t true and diminishing the accomplishments of our troops in the name of partisan gain, there’s going to be a backlash, and that’s the whirlwind Dems are sowing with some of their comments. They also face the risk of creating the perception that they’re so far onto the antiwar side, they’re essentially rooting for America to fail in Iraq.
Notice Hillary Clinton has been quite muted on the war. Smart lady.
Hey, petal to the medal, that’s Bush.
That’s what I got out of it, too. Just because people are disgusted with the Repubs doesn’t mean that they’re suddenly embracing the Dems. I think people are just starting to become a lot more cynical about politicians (and their motives)in general.
Ah, yes. Fun group we have here tonight, the Cut & Run Brigade in full flower, confidently assuring one another that what will clearly be a full-on, absolute, unmitigated disaster is really All For The Best. Really, y’know, looked at in the proper light, notifying the world that the United States has the attention span of a mayfly on methedrine and the persistence of a ten-year-old given unsupervised chores can only redound to our advantage, right? Especially since it means that Bush Won’t Win! Huzzah for the Good!
Yessirree, got it all tonight. The Left-pacifist caricature of the military (Soldiers go where they’re told to go, and do what they’re told to do. Of course they want to believe they’re there for the right reasons…) complete with jingles, jackboots, and jingoism, not to mention infantilizing the troops ( it definitely doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be bringing our kids home); the nth repeat of the deliberate misquotes about what the war is about (We were told this would be an easy victory and that the people of Iraq would greet us as liberators. And we were also told that we needed to fight this war because Iraq was about to launch a chemical and nuclear war against us that would kill millions of innocent American citizens.); the gloomy, bigoted assumptions of the worst possible outcome (Now that we’ve created the WalMart Supercenter of Terrorism, we dasn’t go away and leave it) coupled with maximum effort to make them come true; the bland assertion that they and their heroes will never, ever, ever make a single mistake, never get wrong data, never act (or refrain from acting) on any erroneous opinion (Bush’s terrible mistakes and his inability to deal honestly with the real issues involved). Not to mention the ritual denials: If we were really in a war in the sense of an existential struggle… Really, as good a summary as could be created.
Joined (special tonight!) by the Miles Vorkosigan Leadership Cadre. Slogan: Find a Parade and Get Out Front With A Baton.
As a RWDB and card-carrying chickenhawk, I’m becoming resigned to it and starting to look for the silver lining. One function of any army is to look scary, because the scarier they look the less likely it is you’ll have to use them. Now that the Democrats have assured the world that no matter how scary our army looks it will never, ever actually hurt anybody, we’ll have absolutely no diplomatic leverage (Hsst, Achmed, it’s the American Ambassador. –Bah, Muhammad, the Americans are nobody. But watch out for the French, they might hurt you) and have given a blank check for attacks on Americans and American interests. Why not? If you can attack, and your choice of fates is to go to Paradise or get half a year of luxury accommodations while you exchange tips&tricks with your comrades, what’s the downside?
So there’ll be lots of attacks, and it won’t take long at all before the Great American Public gets a little tired of “it’s all Bush’s fault!” and says “F* whose fault it is, kill some of the bastards.” Then we’ll get to kill people and break things. A lot. Mmm, violence. Great stuff.
And, as a special bonus, to the people doing the attacking, the things the C&RB hold especially dear are anathema, vileness incarnate. That means most of the attacks will be against them. Look out San Francisco, Boston, New York; Dallas, Houston, Atlanta will be fine. So not only will we get to warmong to our hearts’ content, we get to do it in response to the bleeding bodies of moonbats.
Life is gonna be sweet. I can hardly wait.
Ric – you seriously, seriously need help. You are a very disturbed individual with a rather unhealthy affinity for violence.
Jesus, John. Did you hire somebody to write comedy tonight?
Paddy. Get it straight. We know better.
We were told this would be a long and difficult fight.
Okay? NOBODY said it would be easy. But lying about it might, in a world populated with morons, might get you someplace.
It is possible that somebody, no longer with the administration, said the Iraqis would greet the troops with flowers. It was the wrong season. One tanker I talked to spoke of the embarrassment of Iraqi hospitality. Hungry, they wanted to give US troops food. It struck my friend and his buddies as fundamentally unfair to give them MREs in return.
Anyway, the admin had always said it would get out when things reached a certain stage. At this point, about ninety battalions are capable of operating with a cadre of a dozen Americans at headquarters to coordinate supplies and air support. That’s pretty good. The next step, presuming DOD doesn’t raise the bar, is to get them their own logistics tail and air support coordinators. The first is time-consuming and the second takes a LOT of training.
However, nobody said, Paddy notwithstanding, that this would be easy.
Those are called “platitudes.” Completely meaningless, and therefore, completely manipulative.
What exactly is “this” that you think won’t be easy?
How, and when, will you know that “this” has been accomplished?
What information from history leads you to think that “this” is doable at all?
What plan is being followed that will lead to “this?”
Careful, because we are going to drill down into your answers. Bullshit and platitudes …. not acceptable.
Be specific and be unambiguous.
And in turn I suggest that you hie yourself to a medical laboratory, tomorrow morning at the latest, for a complete workup. You clearly have at least one serious metabolic deficiency. It’s a relatively common metal, so the supplement isn’t expensive.
As usial the demacratic spoiled brats are acting so childish when they dont get their way they throw their tantrums
Really? The notoriously liberal Cato Institute would disagree.
But don’t listen to them. Listen to these guys:
Ken Adelman, a former aide to Rumseld, predicted it would be a “cakewalk“collapse after the first whiff of gunpowder.”
Paul Wolfowitz, then Deputy Secretary of Defense, said: “The Iraqi people understand what this crisis is about. Like the people of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator.”
Mitch Daniel, the White House’s Budget Director, said America’s involvement in Iraq would be “an affordable endeavor” that “will not require sustained aid ” and will “be in the range of $50 billion to $60 billion .”
Glen Hubbard, White House economist, said “Costs of any such intervention would be very small.”
VICE PRES. DICK CHENEY on Meet the Press: My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.
I’m pretty sure that guy’s still in the administration. But if you’d like to have him removed, please write your congressman.
I would concur. But then the questions of this poll were rather biased.
Similarly, a majority believes that the Republican apologistics for the war is also solely to gain a partisan political advantage.
It’s long since time that the President stood up and admitted this whole thing was a bloody mistake, and that we need to work to find a way out of that problem. At least the Democrats are willing to talk about that. The Republicans keep thinking digging the hole deeper will help get us out.
As I understand is, the problem is that there is a shortage of flowers in Iraq.
Well, to be fair, the Kurds did greet us with flowers (and still do). So that wasn’t untrue.
Really, 80% of the country was glad we removed Saddam.
What exactly is “this” that you think won’t be easy?
Oh brother. Everyone thought Clinton was stupid for not knowing the meaning of “is”, but I see the disease is spreading. Talking to a Democrat is like talking to a 5 year old child.
And talking to a Republican is like talking to a person who had their sense of humor and sarcasm surgically removed.
Go read “Mallard Fillmore.” Maybe you’ll get that. Lord knows, you’d be the first.
I’m sure you’re right. The problem was that they wanted us to remove him so that they could do what he’d done in their own turn.
Now, tell me, TD, why I should be spending my tax money replacing a known thug with a batch of unknowns?
Since when is bullshit considered a metal?
Ah, yes, the bigots get their oar in again.
The Iraqis are just little brown people who could not possibly manage a pluralistic democracy, and wouldn’t know what to do with if they had one. We should just let them have what they naturally want, which is a good strong leader to keep them in line.
Your predecessors taught me not to say that about black people. Too bad you’ve traded it all in for “ooh, shiny!”. Tell me, does your hood have green trimmings like the Senator’s, or is it just plain?
Why not answer the fucking question? “This” is a pronoun — what exactly is it standing for?
Until that question is answered, there can be no objective standard by which to measure the performance of this administration’s foreign policy.
Can anyone explain what in this line…
…led to this bizarre response?
I mean, besides Ric’s stupidity?
Why not answer the fucking question?
Why not try and figure it out for yourself, you fucking retard.
Not very little, and not very brown, these Iraqis are. They are in possession of an interesting national history, stretching back some several thousands of years without any known historical moment when so much as a significant minority showed any interest in establishing a ‘pluralistic democracy.’
I would favor supporting them if they showed any interest, but that of course would be nation-building, and probably unconstitutional, at least in those cases where Democrats support it.
Just as I thought. You have no idea what you were talking about, you were just mouthing platitudes you heard on tv.
STFU and go away.
You would accept letting the reader define the meanings of language as they see fit? I love it when you guys get all post-structuralist about language. Why don’t we all sing kumbaya together and join hands in prayer that GWB will figure out what he means someday and let us know what exactly he thinks he is doing.
I grow tired of the petty namecalling that goes on in politics but alas, it will continue… calling people traitors and anti-American is a bit over the top… I would expect more but know it will not happen…
This poll is interesting in some respects but I would like to see more polls taken to get a better grip on the matter… it would be hard for me to say that the Dems have not already ran their polls to determine if such banter would cause a backlash, but then again I don’t put much trust in the judgement of the national party…
As far as the war being over and we are fighting terrorists… I seem to disagree with this belief and I may be one of the few that do disagree with it… between 2 and 10% of all the insurgents are foreign fighters (or what can be classified as terrorists)… they are mainly situated around the Syrian border… the remaining 90 to 98% of the insurgents are Iraqi (mainly Sunnis and former Ba’athist folks)… they seem to be fighting for control of the country so I believe that this is mainly a political fight and not a terrorist action. In other words, we are caught in the middle of a civil war…
Will the terrorists take over if we “cut and run” (which I hate that phrase since it is more of a PR induced word to scare people)? Doubtful since it would make more sense that if control is taken from the elected (?) power structure, then those insurgents will destroy or oust the foreign fighters in order to prove they are trying to unify Iraq from non-Iraqi influence…
Of course this is just my theory and yours’ may differ but what the heck… we all have a voice, right? Or am I a traitor for bring it up?
What? Not such a big fan of The Voice of The People when they don’t parrot your side? Yeah, The People don’t know what they’re talking about, unless it’s that we should get out of Iraq, right?
Priceless. Absolutely Priceless.
Sometimes I hate being right all the time…
“49 percent, believe that troops should come home only when the Iraqi government can provide for its own security,”
I wonder if they would still believe that if the draft necessary to do was implemented. I’m sure the poll results are valid, but I think they’re based on a deeply skewed understanding of the strategic and logistic issues.
How you got that from what I said, I have no idea.
The people are always right. Even when wrong. Even when confused. In the sense that they are (supposed to be) self-governed, it is not up to me to “agree” or “disagree” with them. They are going to figure things out in their own way and their own sweet time. Eventually, they will get it right. If not, the American Experiment could fail.
At the present time, the people are quite restless. They are not happy with the war. With the president. With the Democrats. With much of anything.
Can you blame them?
Look, at the risk of falling asleep while I type this, it’s one thing to ask for the meaning of the word “this” when it’s given without context, but since it obviously had context, not only provided by the original comment, but by this entire thread, many of the posts on this blog, millions of other blogs, newspapers, magazines and newscasts. It is idiotic to waste one more second defining it again, when clearly by now you either know what “this” means, or you don’t.
I’m kind of insulted that you thought that anyone on this blog would be dumb enough to buy that weak line of nonsensical rhetoric for even one millisecond. Save this garbage for Democrat campaign ads during wrestling or Desperate Housewives.
Then why don’t we let the little brown people manage a pluralistic democracy, and fucking leave already?
Jesus Christ, why do you people think everyone in the world needs a nanny? And why must that nanny be the US Army?
It always amazed me how the War Apologists were not more skeptical of the fact that Saddam’s army just fell apart and ran into the countryside instead of fighting per our rules.
No, we’re caught in the middle of Iraqi self-determination, but we just won’t accept that.
Let’s sell some guns to the Sunnis and let them have at it. You can’t teach people to love Freedom. They’ve got to want it for themselves, and they have to want it strong enough that they’re willing to fight for it.
Mac Bullshit wrote:
Bush has two options. Impose a Draft and send over more troops. Or leave.
Imposing a Draft would not be politically expedient for the GOP, because it would cause people to actually care about this war and whether or not it is right. That is support for something means a whole lot something else when your blood is on the line.
So we’re leaving. The Whitehouse is drafting the plans now.
The only thing left to figure out is how to blame the Democrats for it, and you can bet Karl Rove as the State Propaganda Minister is on the case.
You’re no fun when you take your meds, ppg! I thought for sure I could wind you up a bit before bed. Once again, you have foiled my evil schemes.
When I first read this poll, I reckoned you would be spinning to try to minimize The People’s distrust of the Dems’ rhetoric, in contrast to your Government-by-Opinion-Polls screeds from this week. I also hoped you’d remember my “when The People finally get the Administration’s message, they will realize that the Dems are only being partisan” bits, which appear to be coming to pass.
Instead, you are being rational and Big Picture, dammit. Is it the blood sugar thing?
Uhh, we DID kind of go in there and overturn their government. At least stick around until the people have some real elections and have time to get a little organized afterwards. Or do you want another failed terrorist state like Afghanistan was (who are doing splendidly recently, fyi), with constant civil war goaded on by Al Qaeda so that they can make it their home base. Come on. Let’s be realistic here.
The draft is a fantasy. Gradually standing down as the Iraqis are trained to do their jobs has been our preferred option for some time now. That’s not the same thing as “cutting-and-running” and leaving Iraq in the lurch, which is why Otto’s post is so weak.
I would also suggest that what we want to do with our troops will not be as important as what the new Iraqi government in December wants us to do with our troops. If they want us to get out faster, we’ll make all efforts to do what the parliamentary majority wants, I would imagine. If they want us to stay at present or near-present levels for awhile, we owe it to them to do that, too. If they want us to stand down gradually, that’s what will happen. At that point, their government will be fully-formed, and I’d think it would be their call.
Why would the GOP need to “blame” anyone for our troops gradually leaving Iraq once they are not needed? That was always the plan.
But, if the GOP has any desire to blame Dems for wanting to “cut-and-run” it shouldn’t be hard, since the Dems have at least given lip service to the idea of an immediate withdrawl based on a timetable rather than successful backfills.
The Disenfranchised Voter
As many people have already pointed out this was a bullshit poll.
The way the questions were asked and the choices given were obviously biased.
They only ask of the Democrats motives in questioning the war, and not the Republicans, for one and two they ask if criticism of the war either hurts or helps moral…How about a no effect option that someone mentioned.
The poll is poorly done and thus unnoteworthy.
The Disenfranchised Voter
Noone said it was going to be easy? That’s funny, I remember hearing this…
*In a February 13, 2002, Washington Post op-ed, Ken Adelman, at the time a member of the Defense Policy Board, stated: “I believe demolishing Hussein’s military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk. Let me give simple, responsible reasons: (1) It was a cakewalk last time; (2) they’ve become much weaker; (3) we’ve become much stronger; and (4) now we’re playing for keeps.”
*On the March 16, 2003, broadcast of CBS’ Face the Nation, Cheney stated: “I think [the war will] go relatively quickly.” When host Bob Schieffer pressed the vice president to offer a more precise estimate of how long the war would take, Cheney replied: “Weeks rather than months.” On NBC’s Meet the Press the same day, Cheney stated, “my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators [by the Iraqi people].”
*In a February 7, 2003, appearance at Aviano Air Base in Italy, Rumsfeld projected that the Iraq war “could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.”
Nah, they didn’t say it would be easy, they just said it would be a cakewalk.
The actual war DID take weeks and we WERE greeted as liberaters (from the Kurds and the Shias, 80% of the Iraqis). Your point is?
the overthrow of Saddam took weeks but the war is longer… as far as being greeted as liberators, I must have missed that coverage… damn embedded liberal media…
Hey even CNN had the dancing Kurds in the north and Shias in Basra and the toppling of the statue in Baghdad. Not too many happy Sunnis though. As to war, it all depends on what you term war. What I think we have now is not a full scale war but more accurately termed an insurgency, which will probably go on long after US troops leave.
The Disenfranchised Voter
What do you call what we a fighting now? The “non-actual” war? And I guess we were greeted as liberators–Just not with flowers, but instead IED’s and suicide bombers.
When 80% view us as an occupying force and 45% think attacks on you are jusitified, that is hardly being considered liberators.
Almost 3 years into this, we are confronted by the following:
(1) Most Iraqis may have applauded initially, but now they clearly would like us to leave “soon” so that they can get on with the job of re-building the country to their satisfaction, not ours. I except the Kurds, but the Sunnis would clearly like us out and the Shia are ready to take on the Sunnis.
(2) The optempo has really caused problems for our ground forces. Everyone focuses on recruiting, but we are using mountains of equipment and asking huge sacrifices from our soldiers. We pay the price in readiness to do anything except grind away in Iraq.
(3) The world hasn’t altered its opinion of the war one jot: it was unjustified and ill-advised. This alters perceptions of the US in ways that are not helpful to fighting the GWOT. Policy-wise, we opted for a much greater element of compulsion (military force) and much less emphasis on diplomacy. This has allowed us to win battles, but the strategic effect on the GWOT is in my opinion unclear.
(4) Our ability to make other strategic moves – a real energy-independence program, greatly improved border security, support to other failing/failed states in Africa and places like Pakistan and Afghanistan, military transformation – is greatly decreased.
(5) We have an administration who has provided profoundly divisive political leadership during a war, preferring to intimidate and demonize its political enemies rather than make serious efforts to co-opt them.
The issue is whether the GWOT strategy needs to be revised, with more emphasis on cooperation and winning over global public opinion. The alternative is the domino theory of Iraq: create a democratic Iraq in the heart of the Middle East and others will follow, and they will all be grateful to us.
It seems to me that our current strategy is both high risk and unsustainable. We need to adjust so that we can pursue a strategy that is sustainable for decades, and the current strategy aint it.
There you go again with your ‘cutting-and-running’ strategy. Why do you hate America and want our soldiers to be killed?
A friend has emailed me the source of the above article from the NYT Select (subscriber-only) site.
Discuss, etc. BTW, the general trend of events over there now is pretty similar to the one experienced by the British 80 years ago. So there is historical precedent for this situation. Whereas, there is no historical precedent for the magical thinking product of a stable and happy Iraq democracy created by American occupation.
There is the pickle that the minority party finds itself in during this war: Either endorse and support an unpopular war that you yourself don’t support, or be held responsible for undermining and ultimately losing the war.
In the past, I’ve said that the Dems should have their own plan for Iraq. That was probably true in 2004, but not in 2006. It’s all on the Republicans now–and the Dems should merely demand accountability and clarity from the war planners.
I would like to see some comparison polls.
Which bothers your morale more: Americans wanting you home, or a war based on lies, executed badly, with no exit strategy?
Or, which bothers your morale more? Americans wanting you home, or your lack of adequate armor?
Or, which bothers your morale more? Americans wanting you home, or the Iraqis whom you are trying to liberate trying to kill you every day?
Why do a comparison? If someone has a broken hand, I shouldn’t step on his toes just because that hurts less.
I would like to see some comparison polls.
From Rasmussen…45% of Americans want a firm “Deadline for Troop Withdrawal”
compare that to 30% who the “Wapo” polls said wanted the same thing.
When one looks at the structure of the questions, the poll John cites was obviously a “push poll”. (note how the “deadline” answer in the RT poll is not rotated in with the other two answers, but is always last.)
It would be interesting to know who commissioned this poll…but RT Strategies is apparently not telling.
Maybe it was so long ago and so much as happened in between that I seem to forget that… I will say that there is more than enough evidence that the famous footage showing the Iraqis pulling down Saddam’s statue in Firdos Square was a staged PR event… but all of that is beside the point…
I do agree with you on the idea that it depends on what you deem as war… my only difference with your thought though is that the link between the invasion and the current insurgency is too strong to not be a continuation…
Don’t like it when the polls don’t go your way?
And you can’t even blame Faux–it’s a Washington Post article. They’re on your side.
Here’s the truth. Polls are crap. They can be fixed, biased interpreted and re-interpreted. I take them with a ton of salt no matter whose issue they seem to be in favor of. As should everyone
As you noted, I am a pessimist. I do try fitfully to forget about my politics and simply engage in some analysis. Some further thoughts and predictions:
(1) The civil war started the minute we got rid of Saddam. We have simply modulated the level of violence. There are three competing visions of Iraq-in-the-future, each identified with one of the major power groupings. This is not a prescription for harmony.
(2) What does “win” mean? Can anyone in an official capacity be specific enough so that I can understand the goals? All I hear lately is that “win” is getting our troops out, timetable to be determined by political affiliation.
(3) There is no serious defense of the current policy. People who ask pointed questions or make strong remarks are simply subjected to ad-hominem attacks. I don’t see Michael Moore as a threat to my way of life.
(4) I expect to see an “unannounced” policy change coming up that will amount to a declaration of victory after the December elections and a waltz to the exit, all the while calling those who want a foxtrot to the exit traitors. This administration reads polls.
(5) Congress will do the dirty and pressure the administration to spend less money. The administration will declare moral victory (stab-in-the-back variant) but political defeat, and put markers out to make sure that any subsequent terrorism, world-wide, is blamed on opponents of the Iraq war.
(6) The public will vote out a surprising number of the rascals that masquerade as leaders in Congress. This will be interpreted as a vote of no-confidence in the administration, which will then go into the history books as the missed opportunity of the conservative revolution. Revisionists will note that this administration is in no way, shape, or form conservative.
(7) Bush will fight a defensive PR war for the balance of his term. No legislation of significance will be passed. He will be overseas a lot. He will be greeted by protests. He will insist on keeping everything, absolutely everything, about his administration secret forever. He will be betrayed by lots of discredited members of the administration who will write insider books about how bad things were.
(8) The credentials of every candidate vying for President in 2008 will be closely reviewed by a public looking for some competence and experience of the ordinary kind to go along with the TV ads.
The next three years will be completely wasted.
In fact, the last five years were completely wasted.
Tonight? I think I need to get wasted.
As a centrist Democrat the silver lining is that a lot of smart, idealistic men who went to serve in Iraq are coming back and may form a nucleus for the recreation of the party. God willing, the Bush family will be pemanently discredited so we do not have to go through this again.
Have to disagree with you there. The last five years have been a disaster. Would that they were just wasted.
— Big giveaways of my/our hard earned tax money to well-connected corporate interests. I am well read and a serious wonk in most ways. This is my considered, informed opinion: instead of using our tax money to invest in the citizens of this country, we have been convinced that this “entitlement” or “welfare” or whatever it is bad, but huge “privatization” giveaways to well connected corporations are good.
— Big giveaways of borrowed money to, well, everyone. The Federal Ponzi scheme run by this administration hasn’t crashed yet. I am actually hoping the crash comes during this administration.
— Weirdos like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson exercising real influence. I must say I don’t object to people who have broad and deep (overpowering?) irrational streaks, I simply object to them being in positions of power or having real influence. Look where Raputin got Russia.
–Cynical and manipulative governance by people who actually… don’t believe in government. The result is a sort of crude abuse of power. Almost by definition, if you are in government and do not believe in government, the result will be abuse of trust and most probably malfeasance. After all, if you don’t believe in the function that normally attaches to your job you must be there for some other purpose. The current crop of ethics/corruption probes are not the natural outgrowth of elites grown overly comfortable with themselves, they are the result of a philosophy.
I’d go on, but at this point I’d rather read a book.