What Fresh Hell Is This?

June 27, 2007

More Poll Numbers to Think About

This time from CNN.

Question 10:
Do you favor or oppose the U.S. war in Iraq?
67% oppose.

Question 14:
Which comes closest to your view about what the U.S. should now do about the number of U.S. troops in Iraq -- the U.S. should send more troops to Iraq, The U.S. should keep the number of troops as it is now, the U.S. should withdraw some troops from Iraq, or the U.S. should withdraw all of its troops from Iraq?
17% said "Send more troops." 16% said "Keep the same number as now." 24% said "Withdraw some troops." 39% said "Withdraw all the troops." And 3% had no opinion. So what does that mean? It means that 63% of those polled want to withdraw either some or all of the troops.

Question 15:
Do you think the United States' action in Iraq is morally justified, or not?
A majority (54%) answered no it's not morally justified. That's way way way down from March 2003 when 73% believed it was.

So next time a right-wing nutjob starts talking about support for the war just remind him or her how much in the minority he or she is.


xranger said...

Withdraw all troops. 39%.

Maybe this is an indication of why Congress' ratings are so low. Nobody wants this war - I mean, who wants a war? But maybe, just maybe, the majority realizes that getting out completely, right now, could have disastrous cosequences for the US.

The crystal ball, hazy as it always is, shows the potential for Iran, Al Quaeda, maybe Saudi Arabia, maybe Turkey carving up this country for their own good. The key then becomes the oil equation - is the world's oil safe from despots, is it safe to flow unhindered?

What if the flow is interupted? How high could the price of a barrel of crude go? Would it trigger a world-wide panic/recession/depression? Who knows, that crystal ball goes off on tangents occaisionally.

But, if this happens, would US troops have to go back? Probably. Would it be worse than now? Most likely.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

XRanger, you ask some excellent questions. If only The Decider, The Commander Guy and his enablers in Congress had asked those questions before the invasion. You know...BEFORE we created Al Qaeda in Iraq. BEFORE we gave Bin Laden a get-out-of-jail free card. BEFORE they turned a bunch of live Rangers into dead ex-Rangers. BEFORE they decimated the military and the National Guard.

Wouldn't you agree that those might have been good questions to ask, say, in 2002 instead of 2007?

xranger said...


But we must deal in the here and now. Like, how the hell can we get out of this mess, without those crystal ball tangents kicking in.

Oy, my head...

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Great. I wanted to get you on the record agreeing that it was the incompetent Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Wolfy/Kristol crowd that created this clusterfuck.

Now, in response to your good questions, let me ask a couple of you:

-- It certainly looks like the civil war will never end as long as we're there. Whenever we leave -- in 2007 or 2107 -- all your dire predictions can still come true. So...do we keep killing our Rangers forever? If not, how may years? How many soldiers? How many $trillions?

-- Won't it be a terrible waste of blood and treasure if we stay there until we are totally defeated and those questions of yours are answered in an unfortunate way anyway?

xranger said...

As of this writing, I've thrown my hat into Gen. Petraes' (SP?) surge. Some things I'm finding in Web land:

The surge is clearing Al Quaeda out of many strongholds. The key now is whether the Iraqi troops can hold the areas - big if. In some areas that this has happened, community watch groups have formed, and are aiding the troops by ratting out the terrorists and their hiding places. Numerous police preincts are popping up.

Baby steps, sure, but the most positive things we've heard in at least 3 years.

The one thing I'm coming to understand is this: all of these shieks are like mob bosses - their minions do what they tell them. A dramatic reversal is occuring in the Sunni communities - all of the sheiks have turned against Al Quaeda. This was unimaginable 6 months ago.

Why? My thought is that the sheiks came to the realization that, by forcing the US to abandon Iraq through public pressure, they would be subservient to Al Quaeda. In other words, they lose their fiefdoms.

Same thing would happen to the Shiite sheiks; they would lose to a new pan-Iranian governance.

Arguably the biggest key here is the oil money. If Iraq can stay as a nation-state, and all three major ethnic groups share in the profits, these little Al Capones win.

My hope is that Petraeus is smart enough to see this, and start cutting deals. Let the Iraqi army and local police forces reclaim the areas, and institute a rule of law. Let the tribes share the wealth.

Then lets get the hell out.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Your hat is likely to come home with holes in it. According to the Washington Post, Petraeus himself expects the war to drag on and on -- this after we were promised "just another few months" back in Jan.

The key now is whether the Iraqi troops can hold the areas - big if.

The way I hear it, the Iraqi troops are quite thoroughly infiltrated with sectarians and are not particularly interested in holding areas when attacked by their own sect. So one would have to say that "big" is quite an understatement.

So I come back to the question -- which year is the right year to stop throwing good money after bad, live soldiers after dead?

xranger said...

I give the surge through this year.

All bets are off after that.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

But...but...we gave Vietnam about 10 years, and you're still complaining we left too soon. I don't understand why you're willing to cut and run from Iraq so quickly when there's so much more at stake than in SE Asia.

xranger said...

When did I complain we left Viet Nam too soon?

Schmuck Shitrock said...


Quoting you: the Democrat-controlled Congress eliminated all US aid to South Viet Nam after they took power during Watergate. The vietnamization program, with its phased withdrawal of US troops and the emergence of the South Vietnamese army was complete in 1973. The US was then to supply this army in an attempt to stabilize their country. The Dems cut off all funding when they got into office, leaving our allies high and dry. The rape and torture of that country, when the Soviet-supplied North finally won, along with the killing fields of Camodia, followed.

xranger said...

Damn, I write good.

Anyway, that is all historically accurate. Nowhere did I advocate keeping troops there; the US had cut a deal to aid S. Viet Nam to fight the North. The Democrats scuttled it.

When I say all bets are off after December 2007, if the surge doesn't work, it means I have no idea in which direction the US will. Some form of draw-down, I imagine, and that could take awile, due to the tons of materiale.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

OK, you got me there. It wasn't bringing the troops home you complained about; it was our end to propping up a corrupt government.

Anonymous said...

Hey David:

WASHINGTON — Despite record-low approval ratings, House lawmakers Wednesday voted to accept an approximately $4,400 pay raise that will increase their salaries to almost $170,000."

Nothing to say have you? Of course not. Too busy taking time off work to pimp yourself on AM stations?