Thursday, August 11, 2005

 

38%

President Bush's approval rating over his administrations handling of Iraq according to the latest AP-Ipsos poll.


I saw this and it did not surprise or worry me. I am not concerned that this will be the beginning of the great unravelling of support for the GWoT or even the war in Iraq. The idea is being touted on the left side of the blogosphere along with the recent close special election in a heavily Republican congressional district in Ohio is that Bush's support, particularly from the conservative base, is starting to falter because of the perception of the lack of progress in Iraq. Read this quote from the CNN article on the poll closely:

William Anderson, a retired Republican from Fort Worth, Texas, said Bush "has the right intentions, but he's going about them the wrong way."

"Iraq is one of the issues that everybody has a problem with," Anderson said. "There are some big discussions about it around town. Everybody's got their agreements and disagreements. It seems like there's no end. Is it going to end up another Vietnam?"

Mr. Anderson (try saying that without thinking of the Matrix) is saying that among the people with whom he converses there is a lot of discussion about how the war should be fought. The key to understanding that is his question: "Is it going to end up another Vietnam?"

Conservatives and liberals have different perspectives on the Vietnam war. For a conservative Vietnam means a war that was micromanaged to death, so much so that the commanders on the ground were not given the tools and the latitude in executing orders that were needed to win. Liberals look at Vietnam as a war over an unimportant issue that we did not really need to fight which never had the support of the American people. Big difference!

I am assuming that Mr. Anderson's friends do not wear long leather coats, in other words, they are conservative like him. I mean you can't have a better profile for a conservative than retired, male and living in Texas. Maybe there are a few but I am sure there are a few girls who work in Starbucks with dreadlocks wearing sandals that totally did Hayek but finding that person would be a task for Diogenes.

What Mr. Anderson (snicker) and his friends want to know are our troops and their commanders being given what is necessary to win. America loves a winner. I think most conservatives have an idea of what defines success in Iraq. I doubt most pay very close attention to what battles are being fought or for which reason. They hear about soldiers being hurt and that makes them mad. They hear about soldiers who are restricted in their rules of engagement and they wonder why Americans have to be so careful with Iraqi lives when the Iraqis are trying to kill them. These are the type of people who think that Tom Tancredo was right on the money, dammit. When are the mushroom clouds starting, its about time we showed those A-rabs whose boss.[/snide liberal]

There are plenty of conservatives willing to give GW the benefit of the doubt as long as it looks like we are winning but if we aren't, they want out or they want us to get tough. I know some liberals would love to see the US pull out of Iraq but you have to look at the other side of the coin. If we do, how is America going to respond to another terrorist attack if we are playing defense? Are you prepared to execute, in the true sense of the word, a policy of deterence when the other side calls your bluff? Are you ready to nuke Mecca because that is what the majority of Americans are going to demand if we are attacked with WMDs?

Now that you have thought about it, doesn't it make GW Bush's war of democritization seem a lot less awful?

I am not worried about America's resolve to continue in Iraq for two reasons, one practical and one philosophical. First, Bush is in office for the next 3 and a half years. Sorry, impeachment is really remote considering the Republican congress. Second, the alternative to a peaceful Iraq is so terrible that the vast majority of conservatives and a sizeable minority of liberals will support getting the job done, or fixing what we broke, however you want to put it.

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