Wed, Aug 23, 2006, 1:02pm US very slowly starts to wake up about Iraq
Politics » USA
(Last updated: Thu, Aug 24, 2006, 4:03am)
ard to image that it's taken people this long to start to wake up about this, but as this NYTimes article mentions, Poll Shows a Shift in Opinion on Iraq War, there's finally a slightly majority, 51%, that have come to understand that the invasion and subsequent mess in Iraq had nothing to do with the struggle against global extremism, er, I mean, "war on terror." 51%. That's it? How idiotic / jingoistic is our country? Don't tell me. It depresses the shit out of me. I guess one could argue that because of what we did in Iraq it is now a major part of our worries over terrorism, but that's a different argument.

It's a shame that voters can't be more skeptical, especially in times of stress and war. There are always ulterior, opportunistic motives waiting in the wings. The Bush camp had been waiting for many years to go into Iraq, waiting for the perfect excuse. It was crucial that they send mixed signals about whether or not Iraq was involved in 9/11. Cheney, in particular, would explicitly say as much in order to drum up support (clip), even as the president's speech writers would ride a fine line of ambiguity designed to conflate information to all but the more politically astute (relevant clip 1, clip 2). Without the 9/11 connection, as many polls from the time showed, the public would have not approved invading. Same with the nuclear reports about Iraq, which were being debunked by several sources as fast as new ones were pasted together. I still can't believe the number of people who bought that one also. The only word for it, and the perfect word for it, is jingoism.

The depressing part is that a slight majority (55%) still think that Bush is doing a good job on the so-called "war on terror." I can't imagine many scenarios where things go worse (though I'm sure they're working on them), but perhaps it's the knee-jerk patriotism at work here. At some point, the foreign policy errors made in this first decade of the 21st century will become common knowledge, but it's painful waiting for people to wake up, especially as there are more pressing issues are at hand.

Related video clips:
clip on Wolfowitz, Iraq and the opportunities of a new Pearl Harbor
clip on Cheney's intelligence reports during the lead up to the 1st Gulf War

  • John (Wed, August 23rd, 2006, 8:33pm UTC)
    A poll in Feb 06 showed that 90% of the troops believe that the purpose of the war was "to retaliate for saddam's role in the 9/11 attacks". i wonder if that number has shifted.

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