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September 19, 2007

The Long War

Was wandering around the Gallup website and came across this graph tracking public opinions on the war's trajectory. Living in it, it's easy to forget how long the occupation has actually been going on, and how utterly constant the bad news has been:

Iraq War Prospects

The American people have not been comfortable with the trajectory of the occupation since July of 2003 -- more than four years ago. And that time period includes multiple elections, the constitutional convention, the capture of Saddam, the killing of Zarquawi, and on, and on, and on. It included the "stay the course" strategy, as well as "clear, hold, and build," "stand up, stand down," and the surge. Nothing we've done has made a difference. Nothing we've done has changed the dynamics. But withdrawal is, of course, unthinkable...

September 19, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

So, why the heck did Bush job approval stay above the "is Iraq going well" question for so long? The price of gas? An initial feeling that war is messy, but maybe things will get better over time? Fear that "Kerry would be worse" driving people to think Bush is doing a good job?

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Sep 19, 2007 1:08:11 PM

It's a good thing the silly and easily distracted American people have no influence over policy then, otherwise American corporations might loose their (admittedly now tenuous) grip on the 'most stupendous material prize in human history', and that would be a tragedy. No responsible politician wants to be held responsible for that.

Posted by: rlaing | Sep 19, 2007 2:23:03 PM

it actually looks kind of discouraging to see such huge support (85%!!!) at the beginning and such a precipitous drop in only a few months. seems to me that indicates Americans just wanted to kick some ass and didn't care much about what happened after that. makes the current disapproval look less like majority anguish over the debacle that is Iraq and more like public boredom with the idea that we're not kicking ass anymore, even if Bush says we are.

Posted by: Cody | Sep 19, 2007 2:40:26 PM

Thinking that things are going well isn't the same thing as supporting the war, clearly.

Posted by: Noah | Sep 19, 2007 2:44:37 PM

in today's political climate it is. seems whether you think things are going well or not is a direct analog to whether you support it or not.

Posted by: Cody | Sep 19, 2007 2:47:34 PM

What happened in March 2004 to cause a brief blip in optimism?

Posted by: Quiddity | Sep 19, 2007 3:32:13 PM

February the lowest casualty month of the occupation.

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Sep 19, 2007 3:41:23 PM

Cody: "it actually looks kind of discouraging to see such huge support (85%!!!) at the beginning and such a precipitous drop in only a few months. seems to me that indicates Americans just wanted to kick some ass and didn't care much about what happened after that. "

Probably a lot of that. Even in the allegedly liberal, elite media, killing ay-rabs was the real point of the war.

"makes the current disapproval look less like majority anguish over the debacle that is Iraq and more like public boredom with the idea that we're not kicking ass anymore, even if Bush says we are."

Remember how the war was sold - as Gulf War II, but even better! A short, glorious high-tech killfest, with many cheering, subservient, grateful brown people kissing American feet. Followed by the death from fear or from a further b*tch-slap of every other government in the world whom we didn't like. With revenge upon Saddam bin Hussein for killing 3,000 Americans, and prevention of his imminent Mother of All Wars of Mass Destruction against the US.

Then, they'd be so grateful that they'd probably *give* us oil for free.

Meanwhile Yurope would recognize the errors of their ways, and turn themselves into USA East. Reforming their economy (say goodbye to vacations!) and forming a strong military. Not to compete with us or to threaten us, but to serve us as a colonial force.

And so on......

Compared to such opium dreams, reality really, really bites.

Posted by: Barry | Sep 20, 2007 11:10:16 AM

"responsible politician"

I never knew they made oxymorons that big.

Posted by: Ed | Sep 20, 2007 12:51:52 PM

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