Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Poll: Iraq War Not Worth Fighting, Majority of Americans Say

A new CNN-USAToday-Gallup poll finds that support for the Iraq War is at its lowest point since the conflict began in 2003.

Fifty-seven percent of those polled said it was not worth going to war compared to 41 percent who thought it was. In a February poll, 48 percent said the war was worth it and half said it was not.

A poll in April 2003, shortly after the war began, found that 73 percent of Americans held the view that the war was worth fighting. The new poll results had a margin of error of plus or minus five percentage points.

At a time when the Bush Administration is facing resistance on several fronts – including Social Security reform and the notion of passing the “nuclear option” to end Senate filibusters on judicial nominations – low poll numbers on the ongoing Iraqi conflict and reconstruction will not be welcome news at the White House.

Of course, President Bush ran for reelection based upon, in part, character issues such as resoluteness and the ability to stay the course. How Bush and his administration handles the next six months to a year may go a long way to determining his overall legacy.

Meanwhile, America’s top general, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, believes that the ongoing military commitments in both Afghanistan and Iraq may hamper the ability of the United States to react to and win other military conflicts.

Myers stated in the report that U.S. armed forces would "succeed" in any future major conflict but "may be unable to meet expectations for speed or precision."

Any future armed conflicts "may result in significantly extended campaign timelines, and achieving campaign objectives may result in higher casualties and collateral damage," the report stated.

With yet another $82 billion bill being pushed through to the war fronts, it may not be inappropriate to ask at what point U.S. popular support for President Bush and his Republican majority in Congress may slip into freefall.

The 2006 midterm elections may become a showdown, once again, on Iraq and the broader War on Terror. With Democrats in Congress becoming increasingly unified and emboldened across the board, the political and international stage is being set for yet another tense and momentous year.


The Sore Loser said...

That's a surprising poll result. You'd think that with the semi-successful elections and the slow disappearance of Iraq from the headlines, the war would gain popularity rather than lose it. My impression was that after the elections many pundits who were skeptical of the war became less so. And yet the public has gone in a different direction.

And yes, I agree that 2006 will be very interesting. Bush has had a miserable second term so far.

Eric Berlin said...

Yeah, you hit it on the head: it's very surprising based upon both trends you mention, which I noticed as well.

And while there's still lots of violence and instability in Iraq, the number of U.S. soldiers dead had dropped noticeably (due to a reduced role in many ops as the army and police get on-line, as far as I can figure).

So why the drop? Maybe just because we've been over there for over two years with no real end in site? Perhaps the drag on military communities has something to do with it?

Or are people simply putting things together now that they couldn't really deal with at the time of the November elections?

I really don't know.