Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 17, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

LATEST POLL DATA....Public support for the war has pretty much cratered:

As he seeks to chart a new course in Iraq, Bush also faces pervasive resistance and skepticism toward the U.S. commitment -- more than three-fifths [62%] of those surveyed said the war was not worth fighting.

....Asked about Bush's recent announcement that he would dispatch another 21,500 troops to Iraq, three-fifths [60%] said they opposed the move, while just over one-third [36%] backed it.

....A narrow majority -- 51% -- want Congress to try to block Bush from sending more troops to Iraq.

....Americans divide in similar proportions when asked whether Congress should attempt to require Bush "to begin withdrawing the troops already in Iraq."

Exactly half said Congress should take steps to begin removing troops (42% opposed such an effort).

Somebody remind me. How long did it take before public opinion turned this sharply against the Vietnam War?

(Answer: It's a trick question. Opposition reached 61% in 1971 but never exceeded that number. The Iraq war is now more unpopular than the Vietnam War ever was.)

Kevin Drum 7:48 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (105)

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Comments

Does anyone doubt that Bush will soon be more unpopular than Nixon ever was?

Posted by: Oregonian on January 17, 2007 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

The Iraq war is now more unpopular than the Vietnam War ever was.

That's because Liberals love fundamentalist radical Islam far more than they ever loved Stalinism.

Posted by: (fake) ex-liberal on January 17, 2007 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

This war is more unpopular than the Vietnam war because we have a 24/7 liberal media, on twenty-plus radio stations, plus blogs galore, hungry for any snippet of total sensationalism and the need to show how badly this war is going. AND THEY HATE BUSH!! They developed this alternative reality where Bush is this the new Hitler, and they've successfully poisoned the debate.

Well done, Kevin. NOT!

Posted by: egbert on January 17, 2007 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

I'm betting Bush can get his poll numbers into the high 20s by spring.

It won't go much lower than that, though. As John Rogers at Kung Fu Monkey noted, 27% of Illinois voters pulled the lever for Alan Keyes in 2004. That's the baseline of diehard Republican support.

And a cry for help.

Posted by: Otto Man on January 17, 2007 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

Spiro T. Egbert, ladies and gentlemen.

Posted by: Otto Man on January 17, 2007 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

Since probably 30 something percent will support Bush no matter what, the only place we have to go is a further entrenching. How healthy is that, George? Repeat after me: I'm a uniter, not a divider.

Posted by: Ex VAia on January 17, 2007 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

What is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular. The Democrats have done an excellent job in conning the American public into thinking that brown people don't deserve to be free.

Posted by: American Hawk on January 17, 2007 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

It's kinda sad but all the conservatives have left in their grab bag of responses (ala egbert) to current affairs in Iraq is "it's the media's fault." No substantive responses based on oh...say 3 years worth of facts on the ground. Just knee jerk whimpering about the media. I hear ot from all my conservative friends and family and they NEVER have substance to back it up. The king my friends, has no clothes.

Posted by: DJ on January 17, 2007 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

egbert is the new Al?

Posted by: grape_crush on January 17, 2007 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

In Diyala, politicians, religious and tribal figures demanded that their province be included in the security plan of Baghdad. This came after dozens of foreign Arab militants ran away from Baghdad to areas across Diyala in order to avoid raids by the Iraqi and American forces during the incoming security plan to secure Baghdad.

Their demand will not be met, I guess. Too bad for them. They ought to be able to handle a few dozen al Qaeda, oughtn't they? Especially in the province bordering Iran.

Posted by: calibantwo on January 17, 2007 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk is the new egbert, er, Al?

Posted by: grape_crush on January 17, 2007 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

The Democrats have done an excellent job in conning the American public into thinking that brown people don't deserve to be free.

Hey, at least we don't go halfway around the world on the most spurious of prextexts to kill them in their tens of thousands....

Posted by: Conrad (Con) Sordino on January 17, 2007 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

"That's because Liberals love fundamentalist radical Islam far more than they ever loved Stalinism."

That's the trollish equivalent of my response to Kevin's remark. I would guess that the Iraq war is more unpopular than the Vietnam war because it's less plausible to equate opponents to being pro-terrorist, as it was to suggest that 'Nam-era peaceniks were pro-Commie.

The troll comment above demonstrates my point.

Posted by: Grumpy on January 17, 2007 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

al Maliki wants weapons:

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2007/01/17/070117225826.wsux5z63.html

He says that 400 members of the Mahdi army have been arrested in recent days; anybody have another source on that?

Posted by: calibantwo on January 17, 2007 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

One thing that goes largely unremarked on is the enormous difference between the popularity of the Democrats' current views on the war in Iraq vs. their views in 1972 on the war in Vietnam.

The Democrats LOST in a huge landslide in 1972, mostly because of their perceived position on the Vietnam War and national security. They clearly WON with a landslide in 2006 based principally on their views on Iraq.

The idea, then, that the Democrats have to worry about being stigmatized in the future by their "weakness" on the war in Iraq is really completely unfounded. The point is, in the Vietnam War, they were successfully branded even in the midst of that war as being "weak" (however unfair the accusation).

Their position on the Iraq war is entirely different, politically. They are exactly where the American people are with respect to the war. And I see no reason to believe they can ever be successfully smeared as "weak" in virtue of their position.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 17, 2007 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

I am the decider.
Who cares what you think...

Posted by: Jesus H Bush on January 17, 2007 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Michelle Malkin is back from Iraq. Interesting info/pictures/links. Thoughtful.

Kevin Drum is back from a vigorous tennis match with Biff. Just in time to bash Bush and recyle the same old crap he blogged on last week and the week before that and the week before that.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on January 17, 2007 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

The Iraq war is now more unpopular than the Vietnam War ever was.

Nixon had no moral fortitude. He lived in fear and let himself get pushed around by polls, impeachment, and pending indictments. A real man would have kept troops in Viet Nam at any cost and passed the war on to another President in 1977. A real man would have gone to the senate proceedings with a chainsaw and filled the chamber with the sound of spintering wood and befuddled capital police.

Posted by: Egbeater on January 17, 2007 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

Michelle Malkin is back from Iraq.

I hope that bitch got shagged...

Our boys over there could use some diversion.

Posted by: flippant on January 17, 2007 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

franklyo --

unfortunately the 1972 vote had racist overtones and other issues as well. So it wasn't the single issue you might think.

As to the present: It is quite possible that the the US majority are quite perceptive. This war has been a construction from the start, and a failure to now.

Prove me wrong.

You Right Wing arseholes always want proof. Show anyone that either of those statements are untrue!

Yeah. Right!

Posted by: notthere on January 17, 2007 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum is back from a vigorous tennis match with Biff. Just in time to bash Bush and recyle the same old crap he blogged on last week and the week before that and the week before that.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on January 17, 2007 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Beyond your blattant blind and assumptive presumptions, and any intelligent point would be what?

Posted by: Notthere on January 17, 2007 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Michelle Malkin has "interesting pictures" from Iraq along with "thoughtful" comments. Were those pictures taken mingling with the troops and the local citizenry many miles outside the Green Zone without a military escort? How many of her pictures showed the number of dead Iraqis piled inside a room of an outside morgue? Did any of her thoughtful comments mention the futility of trying to subjugate the Iraqi people?

Posted by: Erroll on January 17, 2007 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

(Answer: It's a trick question. Opposition reached 61% in 1971 but never exceeded that number. The Iraq war is now more unpopular than the Vietnam War ever was.)

The difference is that with the draft during Vietnam, most Americans were directly affected in some way. Now with Iraq, it's just something we can make go away with a click of the remote.

Posted by: Del Capslock on January 17, 2007 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

The Iraq war is now more unpopular than the Vietnam War ever was.


Craptacular!

Posted by: cld on January 17, 2007 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

That's because Liberals love fundamentalist radical Islam far more than they ever loved Stalinism.

This not true. Stalin might have been world's greatest brain surgeon or nuclear physicist if wanted. Osama would be at best mediocre brain surgeon and clearly not very good nuclear physicist. Also Stalin much better at actually killing jews.

Posted by: fake brooksfoe on January 17, 2007 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum is back from a vigorous tennis match with Biff. Just in time to bash Bush and recyle the same old crap he blogged on last week and the week before that and the week before that.
Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on January 17, 2007 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Well, FK, I did kick his keister pretty bad. You should take it easy on him, because his poor little ego is crushed.

Posted by: Biff on January 17, 2007 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum is back from a vigorous tennis match with Biff. Just in time to bash Bush and recyle the same old crap he blogged on last week and the week before that and the week before that.

And yet you continue to read him religiously. Why is that?

Posted by: Del Capslock on January 17, 2007 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

What is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular. - American Hawk

"I believe that we should attack the poor, first bombing their homes and then, when they flee, screaming, into the street, mowing them down with machine guns. I know these views aren't popular, but I have never courted popularity." -- John Cleese, Monty Python's Flying Circus

Posted by: fake brooksfoe on January 17, 2007 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Just a question?

Have any one of you ever ventured onto a right wing blog, ala Malkin's, and opened your mind, even if just a little? Ever let a few rays of light enter the dusty recesses of your liberal leaning minds?

A tidbit of advice: embrace your fears for once, you know?

Posted by: egbert on January 17, 2007 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

So, like, Democrats care so much about polls?

I guess that's what separates you guys from Americans who put their country first.

Posted by: egbert on January 17, 2007 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Have any one of you ever ventured onto a right wing blog, ala Malkin's, and opened your mind, even if just a little?
Posted by: egbert on January 17, 2007 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

Yes. And every single time, my posts get edited, censored, deleted, and my IP gets banned. I don't recall the same happening to right wing nuts on lefty blogs (with the exception of an occasional antisemitic crapflood).

So what's your point?

My point is - rightwing blogs typically need to silence opponents. Leftwing blogs don't need to, because their opponents can't argue their way out of a wet paper bag in almost every case.

That's because the rightwing philosophy is all about authoritarianism, power, might makes right, and elitist oligarchy. The same philosophy that has enslaved and terrorized mankind through the ages. The progressive philosophy is that of the same enlightenment principles. The same philosophy that finally liberated mankind from authoritarianism, and established this great nation based on those principles.

Why do you hate this great nation, and the principles on which our founding fathers established it?

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 17, 2007 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Have any one of you ever ventured onto a right wing blog, ala Malkin's, and opened your mind, even if just a little?

I was on RedState for about 3 weeks. I made clear and substantive arguments in non-obnoxious language. They kicked me off for "snarkiness", I believe. Then I was on proteinwisdom for a month or two. I left when people started egging Jeff on to hunt down my IP address and find out who I was so they could harass me.

These experiences certainly did "open my mind" as to the nature of the conservative right. For their part, they didn't seem to have very open minds, though.

Posted by: fake brooksfoe on January 17, 2007 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

Have any one of you ever ventured onto a right wing blog, ala Malkin's, and opened your mind, even if just a little?

oh sure. i've read Misha, LGF, FreeRepublic, Goldstein, Ace, Reihl, Capn Ed, and many others. i was a regular commentor on Tacitus (pre- and post-scoop) for a long time.

the most any of them have ever convinced me of is that they're nothing more than a bunch of mouth-breathing jingoists.

Posted by: cleek on January 17, 2007 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

You guys can bitch and moan, but I am making my sacrifices for our dear leader by watching teevee.

Posted by: gregor on January 17, 2007 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone doubt that Bush will soon be more unpopular than Nixon ever was?

No.

This has been another edition of Simple Answers to Simple Questions (h/t Atrios).

Posted by: Gregory on January 17, 2007 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

You guys can bitch and moan, but I am making my sacrifices for our dear leader by watching teevee.

Big deal.

I used one one-thousandths of my tax cut to buy Samsung's 102 inch plasma.

You think your sacrificing?
Try watching the Iraq news on that...

I'm in pain here.

Posted by: Elitist? Damn straight. on January 17, 2007 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Top selling book on international affairs based on national sales at Barnes and Noble's book stores 1/5/07:

(1) State of Denial by Bob Woodward


I would say this administration is in permanent denial...

Posted by: consider wisely always on January 17, 2007 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Kuwait’s Arab Times is reporting an attack on Iran by April. Iraq is old news.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 17, 2007 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

I have no idea why someone wants to grab another's moniker when the whole exercise is both faceless and potentially emotionless. So weak.

Just go back to the polls of 2002, early 2003 and see just how popular Bush was beforfe the war. His whole popularity has hung on the terrorist threat to the USA and his success in war.

Good god has he lost on both. Moron is as moron does.

Posted by: notthere on January 17, 2007 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

Have any one of you ever ventured onto a right wing blog, ala Malkin's, and opened your mind, even if just a little?

I've spent plenty of time lurking at LGF, Malkin, Red State, etc.

My mind was certainly opened -- before then, I had no idea just how many of my fellow citizens harbored racist, genocidal fantasies.

Posted by: Frank on January 17, 2007 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, re: moniker-grabbing, I am both brooksfoe and fake brooksfoe. Not sure why I did that - just thought it'd be weird and interesting.

Re: sacrificing: since the Dear Leader consider the American public's main sacrifice to be the loss of peace of mind when watching the news, I'd like some acknowledgement that Democrats have sacrificed a lot more than Republicans for this war. I haven't had peace of mind since, oh, November 4, 2000, if memory serves.

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 17, 2007 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of sacrifice - Kansas City just lost our sixth soldier in four months. We are not only losing too many troops, we have to deal with Fred Phelps protesting their funerals.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 17, 2007 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

I'd be interested in seeing some of the comments that got you guys banned. If they were no more obnoxious than mine on this post I'm surprised and disappointed. I have a feeling they were probably profanity laced rants - someone calling himself "extradite rumsfeld" does not exactly sound sober and polite.

Posted by: ex-minion on January 17, 2007 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

You guys can bitch and moan, but I am making my sacrifices for our dear leader by watching teevee.

Oh, yeah... well, after getting my latest credit card bill, I now have written proof that I contributed to the war on terrorism through prodigious shopping!

Posted by: Constantine on January 17, 2007 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

Like TCD said, Iraq is old news.

These polls are meaningless. Bush has decided on a course of total Middle Eastern war, and no amount of public interference -- let alone the feeble, symbolic resolution being floated around in the Senate -- is going to bring the Decider back from the brink of madness.

There is a mechanism available to the legislative branch designed specifically for the purpose of reigning in a renegade president.

Here's a thought for the Democrats: after raising the minimum wage from shit to garbage, and after perhaps triming a couple of pennies of Lilly's EPS, perhaps you could do something really useful for your country, and the world -- like, impeach this fucking war criminal, you fucking cowards!

Posted by: smedleybutler on January 17, 2007 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

Frank: My mind was certainly opened -- before then, I had no idea just how many of my fellow citizens harbored racist, genocidal fantasies.

No kidding. Malkin and Johnson are tolerable, but the comments are nauseating.

Posted by: calibantwo on January 17, 2007 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

How come when the American people overwhelmingly want to stop the pointless murdering of other Americans in Iraq, the far-right lunatic fringe minority of Bush supporters tells that overwhelming majority what real Americans want?

Real Americans hate Bush (deal with it, wingnuts)! Real Americans want a president who will get Bin Laden and stop killing US troops for finanically driven goals in a place that is depleting the troops without purpose or plan. Real Americans want an adult in the White House not a self-appointed "war president". Real Americans aren't obsessed with having tiny dicks that can only be conpensated for by supporting pointless wars they would never fight in.

The GOP has been saying "Fuck you" to minorities for years. Well, nows it's time to follow your own advice, wingnuts - "Fuck you"!

Posted by: Rightwing Protectors of Bin Laden on January 17, 2007 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I love fundamentalist radical Islam. Can't get enough of it.

So when those guys like Egbert and Hawk and Frequency talk about liberals who love fundamentalist radical Islam, that's really me they're talking about.

Just wanted to clear that up.

Posted by: BongCrosby on January 17, 2007 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

"The Democrats LOST in a huge landslide in 1972, mostly because of their perceived position on the Vietnam War and national security."
Posted by: frankly0 on January 17, 2007 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

They lost in '68 because the party was split between Hawks like LBJ and anti-war Doves like Eugene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy. If Kennedy hadn't been killed he'd have won, gotten us out of Vietnam and we might have averted Nixon for a few more years (perhaps forever).

In 1972 the Dems were just plain dazed and confused. It was one of those years the out party figures it has no chance of winning and then they don't. But, Nixon of course was evil and the press refused to expose his evilness ("Liberal press" my butt) so we got stuck with him a while longer. Even today you can listen to his White House tapes to discover just how rotten he was. Most American never knew and still don't realize today.

If the Rich who run the media actually believed in Democracy and the American public, then we could avert some of this crap.

Posted by: MarkH on January 17, 2007 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

someone calling himself "extradite rumsfeld" does not exactly sound sober and polite.
Posted by: ex-minion on January 17, 2007 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

Believe me. I used to be sober and polite. After 6 years of Bush? Forget it.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 17, 2007 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

I will continue to claim that this is the result of the volunteer army. In the past, in particular in Vietnam, the draft created a collection of dirty fucking hippies who did not want to have their assess shot off.

In this era of a volunteer army, many of those potential hippies are now members of the 101st fighting keyboardists. But even more of them are just regular folks who see this as a bad idea.

There is no way for regular folks who see this war as a bad idea to blame the soldiers. In fact, because they are volunteers, it is pretty much impossible not to praise them.

So this short-circuits the conflict that took place during Vietnam. We all agree that the troops are admirable fellows, put into an untenable situation. We don't have distracting people burning draft cards creating a disturbance.

So Nixon's strategy of dissing the dirty fucking hippies can't work. This is what Bush is discovering. His plan to escalate is not just unpopular with the dirty fucking hippies. It's unpopular with everyone. And because there are no dirty, fucking hippies to pin the opposition on (everybody feels this way, and there aren't any DFH to point to) the president (and McCain) is screwed.

Posted by: jayackroyd on January 17, 2007 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

here was no internet or 24 hour news in the vietnam, war

Posted by: maccabee on January 17, 2007 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

I actually hate bush

I do


I just write these things to get a rise out of you

I am sorry

truly

Posted by: egbert on January 17, 2007 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

I believe you, egbert.

Posted by: dhoyt on January 17, 2007 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Egbert.

Your stupidity is matched only by the self-satisfaction with which you display it—on your isde of the isle, where the steaks are always high and the American people can't be trusted, because Fox News is just too liberal for them to see through.

They need your kind in North Korea. Because most places won't have you.

Posted by: Kenji on January 17, 2007 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

...I have a feeling they were probably profanity laced rants - someone calling himself "extradite rumsfeld" does not exactly sound sober and polite.

Posted by: ex-minion on January 17, 2007 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, My god! You're right! This post is so much inhabited by profanity laced, spittal strewn, political rants. We are so all like that.

No, we are not all Rovian. Thank you, no.

Thank you for your ever-inaccurate comment.

Posted by: notthere on January 18, 2007 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

I still wonder what the left wingers who post comments here would really have done in 2003 when the choice was retreat or invade. I suspect they would have retreated but why do they deny it? They say that sanctions were working when they were among those protesting sanctions.

Most of you think this is not a war and the only concern I see on the Democrat side is the politics of 2008. Some of you say that 2008 will be an even bigger rout of Republicans. It might be. The American people have been fed a steady diet of anti-Bush stories everywhere except Fox News and talk radio. That's why you guys hate them so much. The trouble is that life has consequences. What if Hillary is elected and the Democrats increase their margins in Congress ? Then a nuke goes off in New York City. What then ?

The English came very close to having Halifax as Prime Minister in 1940. The Conservatives did not like Churchill. The French ended up with a defeatist cabinet that looks like 2006 Democrats. We may pay a terrible price but be very careful what you wish for. Life is real.

Posted by: Mike K on January 18, 2007 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

I have a feeling they were probably profanity laced rants

Your feeling is wrong. I was kicked off RedState because 1. I posted consistently liberal, questioning posts and said I found opponents' points "ridiculous", or I would say, in summing up an argument, "no wonder Republicans have such a track record of policy failure", or stuff like that. Then 2. the site's gatekeepers would tell me that such a comment was the kind of thing that might get me booted. (I would adapt my posting style, then find them telling me I was still skirting the edge -- this would go on and on.) Then 3. I remarked that their constant interest in finding some way that I had violated posting policy, and their boastful threats that they possessed the power to kick me off, obviously belied the site's stated policy of seeking respectful dissenting views. That was when they kicked me off. I never used an obscenity -- once I used the phrase "ass is duly kicked", received a warning, and stopped using even that.

On Goldstein's proteinwisdom site, I posted consistently for a couple of months. During the farrago around the Deb Frisch affair, which resulted in Goldstein outing Frisch's real-world ID (I warned her to stop posting there early on, as her posts were obscene and she was asking for trouble), I eventually found some of Goldstein's favorite posters concentrating on MY real-world ID. They wanted Goldstein to use my IP address to find out whether I was really posting from where I said I was posting from. I post from Vietnam, and I am not interested in people breaking my anonymity, for lots of reasons, many of which I would think conservatives would be sympathetic to. I stopped posting immediately.

Right wingers on the internet are generally not interested in dissent. In general, it's transparently clear that the conservative right has serious problems accepting the idea of dissent, and separating it from treason. My experience on right-wing websites only reinforces this assessment.

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 18, 2007 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

Smedley Butler
I think I'll delete the qualifier about Bush's "brink" of madness. We know the decider doesn't fuckup by halves.
It's pedal to the metal, full speed ahead because nobody with the ability to stop Captain Courageous ( snark ) has the wind up about the Unitary Executive the amount it deserves.

Posted by: opit on January 18, 2007 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

What is wrong with thirty-five percent of Americans?

It is hard to comprehend how any American could think either war was worth fighting. The idea that a country can occupy another and dictate its society through force must die with this final act of Twentieth Century industrial militarism. I hope it is a last dying breath, but I fear it is the gasp of a new born century based on desperate attempts to secure energy resources.

Praising soldiers provides W.Bush cover to use them to occupy countries with coveted natural resources in order to enrich his benefactors. The soldiers are like serfs to Bush, providing themselves as the reason for their existence. The care and misplaced pride the electorate has for soldiers is exploited by politicians, who spend the people's money on defense not needed. Pride becomes Chauvinism and the next thing that happens is a test of will, then warfare. People allow themselves to be used this way for various reasons and part of the reason is the propaganda. Ever since I was a child the lie that wars are good for the economy has been taught. I do not have any texts that say it, but for some reason almost all Americans think this is common knowledge. It is not. Wars always degrade economies, which pour money down the drain into using up nontangible goods and services, if they are lucky, and also destroy lots of social capital if they are unlucky. I think that is an example of the toady attitudes ingrained in the American psyche. An attitude developed to facilitate building the largest military force in the world.

I took a strategic thinking course one time and one of the things I took away from it was that after WW II the US strategists considered oil and its trade routes (lines of communication) the most important reason wars are won. I think that is one of the driving forces behind the Iraqi occupation. The military and its huge industries have created a reason for warfare as existence. I hope it ends with the failure in Iraq.

Posted by: Brojo on January 18, 2007 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Mike K: "...in 2003 when the choice was retreat or invade."

That was the choice, really? What's the choice now, lie or start lying harder? We'll wait while you consult your talking points.

On second thought, let's not.

Posted by: Kenji on January 18, 2007 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Mike K.........I just watched Jon Stewart and steve Colbert and I have to say that you are much funnier than either of them.

Posted by: R.L. on January 18, 2007 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

I still wonder what the left wingers who post comments here would really have done in 2003 when the choice was retreat or invade. I suspect they would have retreated but why do they deny it?...

Posted by: Mike K on January 18, 2007 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, my f***ing god. You are so ignorant.

We are still in Afghanistan and committed.

This Iraq war was the creation of GWBush. Ther is no reason. Tell me one you can substantiate.

Retreat could only come afer our unreasoned invasion of Iraq.

Who did we invade?

Anybody to do with the attack on the US? No!

Did we set any clear objectives to achieve? No!

Did we achieve any clear objectives? Yes! They noted after we removed our own imposed dictator, Chalabi. Any positive outcome? Not yet!

Have we killed about 4000 of our own (we don't officially count non-miltary!) and umpteen thousand of theirs and acheived none of any objectives? Yes, more than!

Have we made the world safer? No!

Have billions of US taxpayer $$ gone to corruption, been wasted or misspent? Yes! Any inspection or auditing? No!

Are the Republicans responsible for a mismanaged war, unreasonable for loss of life, waste of money, lack of over-sight, fiduciary irresponsibility?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!!!

Hopefully the middle of the road republicans will help put the world back together.

You asses!!!

Overall summary? No good job done. Mike K one of the jackasses who has no critical ability.

Posted by: notthere on January 18, 2007 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

Most of the right-wing blogs like LGF don't allow unregistered posters. Some of the Right-wing blogs you can post on, but they usually ban you after a few weeks. Right Wing News never gave me an explanation or "Atlas Shrugs". Free Republic you can about 3 posts on in a half hour before you get banned. I just jumped onto Protein Wisdom and had a decent thread there (from yesterday about patriotism/croissants). I'm guessing I'll eventually get kicked off. Usually, I try to be polite, but eventually after being called every nasty name they can think of, I answer back in kind and I think they use it as a justification to ban you. They never ban the righties who go after you.

Posted by: steve ex-expat on January 18, 2007 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

The trouble is that life has consequences.

You mean, like, death?

Posted by: otherpaul on January 18, 2007 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

Nixon did not get his landslide because of Democrats wanting to withdraw from Vietnam. Nixon coopted them, and withdrew the last combat troops a few weeks after the election. He won on cultural conservatism. People were against the long-haired hippies and the gays and the bra buners, and the revolutionaries, and the black people with guns. They hated the Vietnam war, and Nixon finally did end it.

Posted by: Jim H on January 18, 2007 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

It's obvious why we are losing the war. We're losing because the public doesn't support it. If the public supported it, we would be winning. Thus, instead of sending thousands more troops to Iraq, where they would get shot and diddle themselves, we should fan them out around the country rallying support for the war. Because, really, cause and effect are all backwards, and the real deterioration of the situation on the ground in Iraq is irrelevant. If we think we're winning, we're winning, right?

I can't do this... I think some people might not realize this is snark.

Posted by: Dumbo on January 18, 2007 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

I still wonder what the left wingers who post comments here would really have done in 2003 when the choice was retreat or invade.

What are you doing right now, when the choice lies between licking my toes, or donning a tutu and jumping off the observation deck of the Empire State Building? Huh? Hm? What's your decision? Or do you dare skirt the fateful choice that lies before this nation?

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 18, 2007 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

I still wonder what the left wingers who post comments here would really have done in 2003 when the choice was retreat or invade.

But it's 2007 and more troops are badly needed for "the surge" (aka escalation). Now, what are you healthy right wingers going to do? The choice is to volunteer to participate in a war you support; OR.... hide behind the anonymity of a blogger handle.

Well.....?????

Posted by: jcricket on January 18, 2007 at 2:27 AM | PERMALINK

Nixon did not get his landslide because of Democrats wanting to withdraw from Vietnam. Nixon coopted them, and withdrew the last combat troops a few weeks after the election. He won on cultural conservatism.

No.

This is horseshit.

Nixon got his landslide because people wanted out of the war.

Posted by: maccabee on January 18, 2007 at 2:55 AM | PERMALINK

thinking that brown people don't deserve to be free.

coming from someone who is still conned that this is what this war is about.

Who said irony is dead?

Posted by: Simp on January 18, 2007 at 3:02 AM | PERMALINK

The reason the war in Iraq is more unpopular than the war in Vietnam is because the premise of the Vietnam war held, even as the war was being lost. However, the war in Iraq was built on a faulty premise. And now, we're basically there because we're there - by invading Iraq, we unleashed sectarian violence, but we have to stay to contain the sectarian violence that occured because we invaded.

Posted by: Andy on January 18, 2007 at 3:46 AM | PERMALINK

steve ex-expat: actually, I don't think you're likely to get banned from proteinwisdom. Their MO is more to hunt down your IP address and your moniker, look for related posts all over the Net, and try to either figure out your real-world ID and harass you, or to embarrass you with things you've posted elsewhere in different contexts.

That said, I just went back and looked at proteinwisdom, and it appears that after I decided to stop posting there (because I was afraid of getting harassed), they went back and tried to erase all my posts. There are still a few left, but not many.

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 18, 2007 at 3:53 AM | PERMALINK

egbert:

So, like, Democrats care so much about polls?

So Republicans care so much about Bush?

I guess that's what separates you guys from Americans who put their country (and Constitution) first.

I love my country. I despise how Bush completely screwed up the war in Iraq. I believe in our Constitution. I despise the way Bush has man-handled it. Capiche? It seems like some Republicans has this monarchial fantasy where they want to be lead by a king, and will defend a man above the interests of their country.

Posted by: Andy on January 18, 2007 at 3:55 AM | PERMALINK

Mike K: What if Hillary is elected and the Democrats increase their margins in Congress ? Then a nuke goes off in New York City. What then ?

What if George W. Bush goes on vacation in Crawford, a CIA briefer flies in to deliver a PDB that headlines, Bin Laden determined to strike U.S., Bush reads it and tells the briefer, "All right. You've covered your ass, now," and goes fishin'.

Then, a month later, the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history hits NYC, demolishes the WTC towers, and kills 3,000. What then?

Invade a country that had nothing to do with the attacks?

I think we know what we can expect from Repubs on national security. Bush has imprinted FUBAR into the GOP brand.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 18, 2007 at 3:56 AM | PERMALINK

I think Kevin asked a poignant question a few weeks ago...

Will Bush be the first president to lose two wars?

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 18, 2007 at 4:04 AM | PERMALINK

I'd be interested in seeing some of the comments that got you guys banned. If they were no more obnoxious than mine on this post I'm surprised and disappointed.

It would be interesting, but of course impossible since they've been censored. Unlike yours, which a liberal blog is allowing to stay up for all the world to see. Notice a difference?

I have a feeling they were probably profanity laced rants - someone calling himself "extradite rumsfeld" does not exactly sound sober and polite.

You have a "feeling" -- well, that's wonderful. I hope you have lots of feelings. Treasure them. But do you have any evidence?

I used to comment on Michelle Malkin, back when she allowed comments, for a few weeks before getting banned. I can tell you exactly what did it: Michelle was soliciting ideas for anti-liberal t-shirt slogans for Republicans to wear at the 2004 GOP convention, and her readers responded with gems along the lines of "Michael Moore is fat", etc. I suggested that Schwarzennegger, when he appeared onstage with Bush, should wear a t-shirt reading "I'm With Stupid" -- and bam! Banned for life for lese majeste....

Posted by: Stefan on January 18, 2007 at 4:58 AM | PERMALINK

(Answer: It's a trick question. Opposition reached 61% in 1971 but never exceeded that number. The Iraq war is now more unpopular than the Vietnam War ever was.)

Cue the media to lecture us on how this war is only opposed by a lunatic fringe majority....

Posted by: Stefan on January 18, 2007 at 5:24 AM | PERMALINK

Bush already defeated the Iraqi Army and deposed Saddam. That's as close to victory as he was ever going to get in Iraq, a country he invaded for no legitimate purpose or reason. America has a habit of going to war when it needn't and not quitting while it's ahead.

What is essential in war is victory, not prolonged operations.


Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

Posted by: Sun Tzu on January 18, 2007 at 6:42 AM | PERMALINK

"...in 2003 when the choice was retreat or invade."

Following this logic we are currently in a massive cowardly retreat from the armies of the Mighty Antarctic Empire.

Posted by: craig on January 18, 2007 at 7:22 AM | PERMALINK

in 2003 when the choice was retreat or invade

Good Ford, are you stoned?! Even Bush, for all his mendacity, never made a case that bogus. Bush's favored false dualism was between "going to war" and "doing nothing".

Of course, given that we had Saddam contained and deterred -- indeed, better than we even expected! -- it's beyond obvious that Iraq posed no threat to the US and that not invading -- oh, say, letting the UN inspectors prove systematically Saddam didnt' have WMDs -- was by far the wiser choice. So obvious, in fact, that the Bush Cultists have to engage in shameless revisionism of this magnitude in order to silence the drumbeat of cognitive dissonance at Bush's mendacity and incompetence.

Posted by: Gregory on January 18, 2007 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.
egbert said:
"This war is more unpopular than the Vietnam war because we have a 24/7 liberal media, on twenty-plus radio stations, plus blogs galore, hungry for any snippet of total sensationalism and the need to show how badly this war is going . . ."

First, the media is more liberal than it was in 1970? Really?

Second, blogs galore? So the war is more unpopular because people are talking to each other?

It sounds to me like you are making the case that the Vietnam war really should have been as unpopular as this war.

I have no argument with that.

Posted by: DR on January 18, 2007 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah Maliki's defense minister was bitching about not getting any armor piercing weapons from the Americans to equip his army awhile back. As far as I know the coalition (such as it is these days) has the only forces in Iraq with armor.

Posted by: markg8 on January 18, 2007 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Somebody remind me. How long did it take before public opinion turned this sharply against the Vietnam War?

Good comparison. Liberals didn't support the troops in that war either.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on January 18, 2007 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

The poll numbers may be lower but the intensity of the opposition was much higher during the Vietnam era. The conflict had much higher casualty counts and there was the draft inflaming passions.

Posted by: demisod on January 18, 2007 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

Has anybody noticed that Congress's approval numbers are at the same low as Bush's? I would not rely on them for anything better.

Posted by: Mike on January 18, 2007 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Iraq Steal their oil
Afghanistan Destroy opium

In both cases the operating principle of invasion is destroy what passes for a local economy.
This leaves the natives no way to live except fight for their livelihood.

They are going to be persuaded this is good how ?

Posted by: opit on January 18, 2007 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

Politics 101 folks: Nixon crushed McGovern in 1972 mostly because he defined McGovern in a way that made him deeply unpopular, and defined himself (e.g., when his campaign surrogates talked, Nixon was always "the President") in a way that identified support for Nixon with support for the country.

Take the lesson, willya?

It's little short of astonishing that war hero McGovern was so effectively isolated, but ya gotta remember that McGovern was very helpful to Nixon in this strategy, e.g., saying that he would go to Hanoi on his knees if that's what it took to bring peace. Americans don't generally regard that attitude as patriotic. Kerry got Swiftboated in exactly the same way. Hell, he got Swiftboated BY A GUY NIXON HIRED.

Take the lesson, willya? Golly, you guys are like grammar school basketball players who drive into the corner on every possession and lose the ball out of bounds. Pass and set picks and use the paint, already.

It's not unrelated how McGovern himself describes the moment he realized he was going to lose his Senate seat in 1980. It came when he was campaigning in front of a grocery store. Two older women complained to him about his vote to give away the Panama Canal, which McGovern defended without persuading 'em -- and then he watched them go inside and pay for their groceries with food stamps, a program that he invented. He thought -- who runs the Canal has exactly zero impact on their lives, but they're gonna vote against me; I literally put the food on their table, but they won't vote for me.

What Nixon actually DID in Vietnam (that pesky 'learn from history' advice), was first to expand the war, e.g., the Cambodian invasion, and then to pull American troops behind the wire while he was cutting WAY back on conscription. The peak of anti-war protest, as Kevin notes, was over Cambodia -- but as soon as smart ass college kids stopped being drafted (the draft lottery motivated lots of young men to stop caring about the war, as they moved the numbers) and casualties dropped cuz Nixon had the ARVN handle the bulk of the fighting, opposition to the war was drained of all its energy.

It wasn't until AFTER Watergate broke that the Congress got bold, e.g., the original impeachment initiative was over Cambodia, but it went nowhere until the 18 minute gap appeared.

Hell, half the Constitutional motivation for Bush's guys to expand the Presidency started right there, with Cheney objecting to Congress smacking the Executive around.

Bush's whole approach to governance has been political: demonize your opponents, divide and prevail. That's Nixonian -- so fercryinoutloud, REMEMBER how Nixon actually did it.

Posted by: theAmericanist on January 18, 2007 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Vietnam war unpopular? Who says? Why did Nixon beat McGovern in 1972? In addition to the 25% or so of voters who support any war, brawl, or opportunity to settle things by force, another 25% will support a war the US appears to be winning. They blame "meddling politicians" for failure to make Baghdad another Hiroshima. Another 25% are oblivious to things beyond National Enquirer and infotainment. Petraeus is one of the guys who thinks the US could have "won," had it played the game differently. His successors will write Princeton dissertations quibbling over whether the Shinseki or the inkspot strategies would or could have applied. The W Foundation & Memorial Library will pay big bucks for pundits to glorify the neocon legacy and blame failure in Iraq on the post-2008 schmuck. 15 years later, voters will elect a neo-neo-con to redeem the W legacy, just as today's conservatives crave the Gipper's mantle.

Posted by: Jkoch on January 18, 2007 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

I guess that's what separates you guys from Americans who put their country first.
Posted by: egbert on January 17, 2007 at 9:25 PM

egbert is one of those americans who put their oil first.

he and american hawk and al will be why Bush polls will never drop below .03% Exxon Mobile wants to hire them, but they won't work in Iraq.

Speaking of seeing how the other half lies, I mean lives, I have been over on News Talk radio listening to the Republican gentlemen over there expounding on the same theme over and over again to unify their country under one banner: "use the liberals as a heatsink for your hate". They have done more to divide this country than Bin Ladin ever did.

Freedom of speech does not give anyone carte blanc to lie. Refute and rebut all lies, half lies, opinion that passes as truth, and PR spin that buries truth.

Posted by: Zit on January 18, 2007 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

What is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular. - American Hawk

Oh my gosh, thank you AH!! Someone has finally wized up to Hannity, Savage, Rush, ect. They may be popular but they are not always right.

And Dems are right but not always popular! Man, you hit it for once.

Posted by: Zit on January 18, 2007 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

As John Rogers at Kung Fu Monkey noted, 27% of Illinois voters pulled the lever for Alan Keyes in 2004. That's the baseline of diehard Republican support.

Be respectful and use his proper title. That's "That Crazy Man Alan Keyes".

I told Republican State Senator Dave Syverson of Illinois to pick General J.C. Christian to run against Obama instead of That Crazy Man Alan Keyes when Ryan dropped out, but they didn't listen to me. The General wrote them a letter offering to take Ryan's place. I guarantee that General J.C. Christian would have pulled more than 27% in the election. I would have given you 5-1 he'd get at least 28%, and maybe 29%.

Posted by: DBK on January 18, 2007 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

The problem is that Bush doesn't actually give a shit about these polls.After all, according to the constitution (which he's been shitting all over for some time now) he won't ever be elected again anyway. So what does it matter what people think of him and his insane choices?

What amazes me is the way he didn't just ignore the senate and the people, but also his own military advisors, to send these extra men to Iraq to die.

It sure takes attention away from the terrible state of the American economy though...

Oh, and the media isn't liberal biased. The Republicans CLAIM that it is. It's like saying that if you say anything bad about a black person you're racist. Or if you insult a Jewish person you're a Nazi.

Posted by: Harley on January 18, 2007 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK
Has anybody noticed that Congress's approval numbers are at the same low as Bush's?

The generic congressional approval numbers are usually lower than the President's, which isn't surprising since barring aberrations like 2000, the median voter voted for 100.00% of the elected officials in the Executive Branch, but did not vote for at least approximately 99.44% of the elected officials in the legislative branch.

Of course, the most recent poll was conducted before the current Congress did much but electe leadership, and still is a 5 point boost to 32%, whereas Bush's ratings have fallen to 32%, their lowest level ever.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 18, 2007 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Michelle Malkin is back from Iraq.

I hope that bitch got shagged...

Really? I was hoping the bitch got fragged.

Posted by: ckelly on January 18, 2007 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

The lunatic fringe Bush bootlickers who comment here are rapidly descending into really unprecedented levels of stupidity. It's quite breathtaking.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 18, 2007 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

The idea that a country can occupy another and dictate its society through force must die with this final act of Twentieth Century industrial militarism.

For the record, I am not General Ruppert Smith.

Posted by: Brojo on January 18, 2007 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Good comparison. Liberals didn't support the troops in that war either.
Posted by: sportsfan79

Ah, the stale chestnut slinger has returned. Take a look at this and tell me who supports the soldiers:

    Via Bob Geiger, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America took a look at 324 legislative votes in the last five years which affected American troops and veterans. Legislative proposals included veterans' benefits, healthcare, and medical research dedicated towards injured soldiers (head injuries, etc.) Based on these votes, IAVA calculated which senators and congressmen had a history of supporting the troops, and which didn't, and graded them on a curve.

    You can see the full results at the IAVA website, here. But Bob has put the Senate rankings in order of letter grade, and produced this handy chart. As you'll note, based on the over 300 votes the IAVA used in its calculation, all Senate Democrats have been more supportive of the troops -- when it comes to their actual votes, over the past five years -- than any of the Senate Republicans.
Posted by: cyntax on January 18, 2007 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Liberals didn't support the troops in that war either.

I am a liberal and I WAS a "troop" then.

When did you sacrifice anything to serve your country?

Posted by: Repack Rider on January 18, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Has anybody noticed that Congress's approval numbers are at the same low as Bush's? I would not rely on them for anything better.
Posted by: Mike

Don't know if you got the memo Mike, but there are some new Congress-critters in town. Here's one example of how they're already helping the soldiers and veterans that the Republicans seem so intent on screwing over:

    I spoke with Dave Autry, Deputy National Communications Director for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) about this news. Autry said he was pleased that the joint hearings had been reinstated and said the DAV looked forward to working with the new Congress.

    Autry stressed the importance of the hearings. However, in a recent article in the Navy Times (here), reporter Rick Maze referred to the hearings as "largely ceremonial." Autry refuted Maze's description by saying, "Taking your concerns to the U.S. Congress is, most certainly, not ceremonial. It is a right."

    I'm impressed by the fast action of the Democratic leadership in Congress. Patching-up the relationship with the VSOs sends a strong message to all veterans that more good things are to come.

Let me spell out for you in case you missed it that it was the Republican Committee chair who did away this right of veterans to be seen and heard by Congress. I can only assume the meetings were cutting into his three day work week.

Posted by: cyntax on January 18, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

The lunatic fringe Bush bootlickers who comment here are rapidly descending into really unprecedented levels of stupidity. It's quite breathtaking.

Especially considering their breathtaking precedented levels of stupidity.


Posted by: Gregory on January 18, 2007 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

When did you sacrifice anything to serve your country?
Posted by: Repack Rider

Sacrificing is for pleebs who couldn't get into Skull and Bones or couldn't get five draft deferments.

Posted by: cyntax on January 18, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK


ex-minion: If they were no more obnoxious than mine on this post I'm surprised and disappointed.


again?


by the way...bush is a uniter...

a majority of americans agree..

he's a lousy president..

Posted by: mr. irony on January 18, 2007 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

(iraq like vietnam)

sportsfan 79: Good comparison. Liberals didn't support the troops in that war either.

number of national guard troops killed in viet nam: 97

number of national guard troops killed in iraq (through 2006): 384

Posted by: mr. irony on January 18, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

What I'm wondering is this...

Since Bush has stated he is going to send more troops regardless of what Congress says, what alternative remains but to remove him and his V.P. from office? He has time and time again professed an interpretation that gives him unlimited authority in matters affected military and national security. He has utilized an unconsitutional method to manipulate the execution of legislation in violation of congressional oversight (after all, signature statements can't be overturned, vetos can) and he has adamantly persisted in actions that have bordered on... or crossed over... into illegality. What else can he possibly do, short of a blow job or rebuilding the south, can he do to further merit impeachment?

"In baseball speak: throw the bum out."

Somber

Posted by: Somber Cat on January 19, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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