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U.S. Poll: Iraq Is More Unpopular Than Vietnam After Three Years

Bloomberg (via Glittering Eye) writes about the popularity of the Iraq war and President Bush's approval ratings:
Three years into major combat in Vietnam, 28,500 U.S. service members had perished, millions of families were anxious about the military draft and antiwar protests had spread to dozens of college campuses. Today, at the same juncture in the Iraq war, about 2,400 American soldiers have died, the U.S. military consists entirely of volunteers and public dissent is sporadic.
There's one other difference: The war in Iraq is more unpopular than was the Vietnam conflict at this stage, polls show. More Americans -- 57 percent -- say sending troops to Iraq was a mistake than the 48 percent who called Vietnam an error in April 1968, polls by the Princeton, New Jersey-based Gallup Organization show. That's because more people believed that Vietnam was crucial to U.S. security, scholars say. (...)
And disapproval of Bush's decision to invade is 15 percentage points higher than approval, an April 7-9 Gallup poll of 1,004 adults showed. That's twice as wide a gap as on Vietnam at this time four decades ago. Bush's job-approval ratings are lower than were Johnson's during the far bloodier Vietnam conflict. Among the reasons: the highly publicized intelligence failures that preceded the Iraq invasion of 2003, the fact that Bush began the war, and the shadow of Vietnam itself, historians say. (...) Some Republicans say Bush's disapproval ratings on the war may have more to do with the more extensive coverage by the media today than anything else.
According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll from May 15th, 76% of Americans consider the number of U.S. military casualties in Iraq "unacceptable" when asked to think "about the goals versus the costs of the war." When asked "All in all, considering the costs to the United States versus the benefits to the United States, do you think the war with Iraq was worth fighting, or not?," 62% say the war was not worth fighting for. All questions have been asked since beginning of the war. Disapproval is highest now. Moreover, 59% consider going to war a mistake, while 40% believe it was the "right thing" to do. When the war started in March 2003, 69% of Americans considered going to war the "right thing" and only 26% called it a "mistake."
54% believe that the number of U.S. military forces in Iraq should be decreased. Among this group, nearly a third says that the troops should be withdrawn immediately. David with Dialog International advocates immediate withdrawal and writes about the alleged Haditha massacre. I think an immediate withdrawal would be a mistake. If Iraq remains unstable and violent in the next ten years, the U.S. will be considered responsible and blamed for giving up on Iraq, I assume. Likewise, the U.S. could credit itself, if Iraq turns out to be a stable and free democracy in ten years and the world should acknowledge such a U.S. achievement. As Colin Powell told President Bush in 2002 accoding to Bob Woodward's book Plan of Attack (,
'You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people,' he told the president. 'You will own all their hopes, aspirations, and problems. You'll own it all.' Privately, Powell and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage called this the Pottery Barn rule: You break it, you own it.
Think Progress has more memorable quotes from the architects of the Iraq war and some info where they are now. If the U.S. pulls out of Iraq too early, those architects of war will not be the only ones, who will be blamed for what will happen in Iraq after the withdrawal of U.S. troops.


Dialog International on : Memorial Day 2006

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Today we honor the fallen in America's wars - both the necessary and unecessary ones. As of today, 2,462 US servicemen and women have been killed in the Iraq War. One of those killed was Lance Cpl. Edward Augie Schroeder


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Richard on :

Let me get this straight, a black man tells a Southern white man that he'll own 25 million sla ^W people and you think this is a GOOD IDEA? Riiiiight.

Franklin D. Rosenfeld on :

I see. Is losing in Iraq your primary concern, and letting Ahmadinejad get nuclear weapons to solve that pesky Jewish problems a secondary goal, or is it the other way around? And in any case, does Germany really need another bunch of whiny appeasers? Didn't think so, either...

Martin on :

The real FDR would not approve of you using his name.

Martin on :

Why do you people rant rather than read? So far you have failed to find WMD in Iraq and to bring democracy to the ME. You can't even stop the violence in Iraq, a country with 30 million people. You are losing the war against a bunch of Iraqi criminials/terrorists/communists/fundis/insurgents/whatever who wear sandals and work with IMPROVISED explosive devices. But you think you cann stop Iran (70 million people) from getting nuclear. Why are you so delusional? The United States has lost the power it once had.

Martin on :

Yeah, the US is responsible for Iraq now. Whatever will be happening to that country, it is because of the US invasion and occupation and policy over there. You can't run away. Well, you could run away of course, but then you will be considered irresponsible cowards, who broke their promises to the Iraqi people. America's foes around the world will feel emboldened and consider you losers.

David on :

The best outcome we could now hope for in Iraq is an Iranian-style Shi'ite theocracy that is able to suppress a permanent low-grad Sunni insurgency. That may bring some measure of stability to Iraq, but it is not worth the blood of any more Americans. Our sons and daughters must come home now.

Olaf Petersen on :

Operation Iraqi Freedom is about to get a replacement-name: Operation Iranian Triumph. The USA have eliminated Iran's enemy, they have established the Sharia again after infidel decades, they are creating a shia-dominated army and police. Time is clearly on Iran's side. The USA cannot stay and cannot go - and we even haven't said a word about terrorism in Iraq yet...

Chris on :

At present, we are losing the war. We still do not have enough troops in Ramadi -- even with the movement of the reserve brigade there -- to fight the insurgents. Al Qaeda has a large base of operations in al Anbar province. Either we fight this war and try to win it -- which means more than the public may stomach. Or, we should cut our loses. Bush is drfiting toward the latter. He's one of the worst war presidents we have ever had.

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