Adults in the United States are divided over the state of affairs in Iraq, according to a poll by Opinion Dynamics released by Fox News. 19 per cent of respondents support both the war and the current approach, while 33 per cent are in favour of the coalition effort, but want a different strategy in place.
Conversely, 20 per cent of respondents are opposed to the war but could change their minds if a new approach is developed, while 25 per cent reject the conflict regardless of the strategy. ~Angus Reid
As part of that absolutely opposed 25%, I have to tell you that I am fairly discouraged to see that, but for Bush administration mismanagement, a total of 72% of Americans would probably support the war if it were managed better and was seen to be “succeeding” in some visible way. This is frankly baffling and does not seem to mesh with the various polls reiterating that a majority considers the Iraq war to be a mistake, but I suppose it is possible that a majority could consider the war to be a mistake and still create some kind of rationalisation for why they support it now.
This points the way, unfortunately, to future presidential campaigns built around devising a “victory strategy” that will appeal broadly to the vast majority of the country. It suggests that antiwar candidacies will do as poorly as ever. The bottom line is that war opponents have changed the minds of so few people that it is statistically insignificant, as roughly 70% supported the invasion in the first place and there remain roughly 70% who either do support it or could be convinced to support it if there were better management and strategy. It is a ringing statement of no-confidence in the current leadership and the existing “strategy,” if so it can be called, but suggests that there might be a potential “silent majority” that supports a competently-run Iraq war that is likely to be successful in stabilising and securing Iraq. Unfortunately for them, such a thing does not exist, but so long as there remains a scintilla of hope that Iraq is salvageable (which it is not) there will continue to be resistance to the idea of withdrawal.