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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sooner or Later We Knew They'd Forget

Washington Post:

Majority in Post-ABC Poll Say Afghan War Not Worth Fighting
Few Express Confidence in Lasting Results From Thursday's Election

By Jennifer Agiesta and Jon CohenWashington Post Staff Writers Wednesday, August 19, 2009; 4:58 PM
A majority of Americans now see the war in Afghanistan as not worth fighting and just a quarter say more U.S. troops should be sent to the country, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Most have confidence in the ability of the United States to meet its primary goals --
defeating the Taliban, facilitating effective economic development and molding an honest and effective Afghan government -- but very few say Thursday's elections there are likely to produce such a government.

When it comes to the baseline question, 42 percent of Americans say the U.S. is winning in Afghanistan; about as many, 36 percent, say it is losing the fight.

The new poll comes amid widespread speculation that the top U.S. commander in
Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, will request more troops for his stepped-up effort to root the Taliban from Afghan towns and villages. That is a position that gets the backing of 24 percent of those polled, while nearly twice as many, 45 percent, want to decrease the number of military forces there. (Most of the remainder say to keep the level about the same.)

In January, before President Obama authorized sending an additional 17,000 troops to the country, public sentiment tilted more strongly toward a troop increase.

Should President Obama embrace his general's call for even more U.S. military forces, he risks alienating some of his staunchest supporters While 60 percent of all Americans approve of how Obama has handled the situation in Afghanistan, his ratings among liberals have slipped and majorities of liberals and Democrats alike now, for the first time, solidly oppose the war and are calling for a reduction in troops.


Overall, seven in 10 Democrats say the war has not been worth its costs, and fewer than one in five support an increase in troop levels. Nearly two-thirds of the most committed Democrats now feel "strongly" that the war was not worth fighting. Among moderate and conservative Democrats, a slim majority say the United States is losing in Afghanistan.

Republicans (70 percent say it is worth fighting) and conservatives (58 percent) remain the war's strongest backers, and the issue provides a rare point of GOP support for Obama's policies. A narrow majority of conservatives approve of Obama's handling of the war (52 percent), as do more than four in 10 Republicans (43 percent).

Among all adults, 51 percent now say the war is not worth fighting, up six points since last month and four points above the previous high, reached in February. Less than half, 47 percent, say the war is worth its costs. Those strongly opposed (41 percent) outweigh strong proponents (31 percent).

Opposition to the Iraq war reached similar levels in the summer of 2004 and deteriorated further, through the 2006 midterm elections, becoming issue No. 1 in many congressional races that year.

By the time support for the Iraq war had fallen below 50 percent, disapproval of President George W. Bush's handling of it had climbed to 55 percent, in contrast to Obama's solid overall approval on dealing with Afghanistan.

But there are warning signs for the president.

Among liberals, his rating on handling the war, which he calls one of "necessity," has fallen swiftly, with strong approval cratering by 20 points. Nearly two-thirds of liberals stand against a troop increase, as do about six in 10 Democrats.

On the GOP side, views are more evenly distributed, as Republicans divide about equally in support of an increase, a decrease and no change to troop levels.

Partisan divisions on the handling of the war itself are tempered when it comes to faith in the ability of the United States and its allies to get the job done in Afghanistan. Broad majorities across party lines say they are confident the U.S. will defeat the Taliban and succeed in spurring economic development.

Independents express slightly less confidence on these issues, and less than half of independents (46 percent) say they are confident that the United States can encourage an honest and effective Afghan government. Overall, 55 percent are confident that the United States could help establish an honest and effective government.

Far fewer, 34 percent, say the country's national election will result in an effective
government, with just 3 percent "very confident."

Beyond ideological and partisan divisions on the war, women have shifted against the war more sharply than men and are far more apt to say troop levels should be decreased (51 percent) than are men (38 percent). Nearly six in 10 women say the war was not worth fighting, up from just under half last month.

The Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone Aug. 13-17 among a random national sample of 1,001 adults including users of both conventional and cellular phones. Results from the full survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points; it is higher among subgroups.




Not worth fighting?!?!

What, then, exactly, is worth fighting for?

Someone please enlighten this sorry soul.




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posted by midnight rider at permanent link#

6 Comments:

Blogger Pastorius said...

Keeping Up With The Kardashians?

Thursday, August 20, 2009 5:43:00 am  
Blogger midnight rider said...

Ooof!

Thursday, August 20, 2009 6:13:00 am  
Blogger Pastorius said...

C'mon, baby. Kim is worth fighting for, even if she is a dumb bitch.

;-)

Thursday, August 20, 2009 7:03:00 am  
Blogger Epaminondas said...

George Bush's fault

Democracies are what they have always been.

Political agreement and mass approval is ephemeral. By Aug 1945 FDR and HST's chief of staff, Admiral Leahy was against the use of nukes! Even knowing how many American lives would be saved

To 'win' this war democracies needed to leave no two stones atop one another, no farm field capable of growing even weeds,no madrassah with a legible piece of paper. NYC and DC were attacked. More dead than Pearl Harbor. All bad guys = dead .. Afghanistan, Waziristan ... whatever, WHEREVER. Sounds bad? There's a reason

To win the peace democracies needed a special NEW FORCE which is made to build and nurture societies based on their own culture. Persia way back (~500 bc) was pretty good at this, as well as moving populations to control potential problems... but if you got out of line after that ... they burn you down, kill the men, enslave the women, and geld the male children ..END OF SOCIETY.

Winning a peace and building a nation is VERY HARD for free peoples who sooner rather than later want their kids back to have a sunday barbecue and watch the game. This is what Zia ul Haq was talking about when he asked Baba Wawa why she assumed (arrogantly) that democracy would prove to be the best system over long periods of future history.

Bush NEVER articulated either the need for nearly unrestricted use of force, and manpower (draft, rationing of gas etc), or what we could expect in the medium term. He had 89% approval and WASTED IT, telling us to go to the mall.

Democracies will NEVER be able to conduct a long term war easily, or perhaps even successfully.

Call it - FORCE OF NATURE, physics, a universal law of human behavior.

That is why it is essential that unlimited force be brought against the enemies of free peoples, WHILE PUBLIC MASS APPROVAL EXISTS.

Thursday, August 20, 2009 2:48:00 pm  
Anonymous Total said...

"C'mon, baby. Kim is worth fighting for, even if she is a dumb bitch."

Like an old USMC veteran told a crowd of kids from the Berkeley area harassing him, "You're all a bunch of punks, but I'd put my ass on the line for you any day nonetheless."

Thursday, August 20, 2009 4:21:00 pm  
Anonymous revereridesagain said...

They couldn't -- or wouldn't -- even identify the enemy accurately. On December 7, 1941, we knew we had been attacked by an empire which had the strength and the allies to actually defeat us. When the room is on fire, everyone tries to get through the door first. In the case of 9/11 the enemy was essentially defined as a few bad boys hiding in caves in Afghanistan. Fear of offending the enemy stymied any real commitment to identifying and defeating the enemy. Once that situation exists, what you get instead is something that sucks all the oxygen out of the room and by the time the blaze breaks out no one is able to move.

Thursday, August 20, 2009 4:25:00 pm  

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