A new poll from the Gallup organization shows that Americans’ patience on Iraq is wearing thin:
Nearly six in 10 Americans say the United States should withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq, a new Gallup Poll finds, the most downbeat view of the war since it began in 2003.
Patience for the war has dropped sharply as optimism about the Iraqi elections in January has ebbed and violence against U.S. troops hasn’t abated. For the first time, a majority would be “upset” if President Bush sent more troops. A new low, 36%, say troop levels should be maintained or increased.
The souring of public opinion presents challenges for the president, who has vowed to stay the course until democracy is established and Iraqi forces can ensure security. He hasn’t suggested sending more U.S. troops.
“We have reached a tipping point,” says Ronald Spector, a military historian at George Washington University. “Even some of those who thought it was a great idea to get rid of Saddam (Hussein) are saying, ‘I want our troops home.’ ”
The pattern of public opinion on Iraq – strong support for the first two years that then erodes – is reminiscent of the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, he says.
There is one horrifying factoid in the new poll. “Of the 42% who say the war was worth it, the top reasons cited are the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, the need to stop terrorism and a desire to end the oppression of the Iraqi people.” The fact that anyone still believes there was a connection between the Sept. 11 attacks and the war in Iraq is truly frightening.
Bush & Co., through their mouthpieces Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and the folks at Fox News, are perpetuating this lie at their own peril. One day the truth will be revealed in a way that these lies can no longer be supported, and then even the die-hard wingnut Right will have to admit their beloved leaders lied to them, over and over.