Monday, March 18, 2013

Polls and the Wars

This piece at the Washington Post has a bunch of interesting survey questions.  Can you guess the one question where I line up with the Republicans?  Check below:

Iraq Astan x PID

I side with the GOP on the idea that the Afghanistan war was worth it (being a bit careful to think about what "worth it" might mean).  Post 9/11, the US had to disrupt and disperse Al Qaeda's Afghanistan operation.  It would have been nice had Rummy/Franks not micromanaged things so that the US could have gotten more operatives early.  Whether the wars from 2003 to 2014 "are worth it" is a related question but not the same thing.  The war was worth it, but which aspects, parts, whatever, not so clear.  Despite heaps of recent controversy, I am still ambivalent about the surge in Afghanistan--that it might have been necessary to make withdrawal possible and did probably give Afghanistan a decent chance at winning the civil war to come.

On the other hand, the Iraq war?  Not worth it at all.  As I have posted (here and here to start) and will be posting, the war was a bad idea, badly executed, by the wrong people.  It was never a good idea.  It is interesting to see how quickly Independents turned on the war.  Perhaps a combo of no WMDs and Rumsfeld's repeated arrogance did the trick.  Of course, one has to consider with a grain of salt the GOP take on Iraq.  I would not be surprised if the % of GOP still thinking Iraq was a good idea is not that dissimilar from beliefs about Obama (Kenyan, Muslim, whatever).  In other words, reality is a flighty bird for much of the modern GOP. 

Indeed, the next pic is really striking: did the war contribute to US security:
Talk about living in another world.  A dead Hussein, an empowered Iran, a bankrupted country.... Oy.

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