Those Crazy Americans

You’ve got to love those crazy Americans. Wait, that’s me, too. Change that to “us crazy Americans.” Just seven weeks ago, we had a chance to fire the guy who decided that the single most important thing to do in the whole wide world, just couldn’t wait to get it done, was to bust world-class bad guy and former U.S. ally (those crazy Americans!) Saddam Hussein.

But no. For reasons still inadequately explained (and no, I’m not buying fraud as the answer, or the “morality” thing, either) and perhaps irretrievably buried in the minds of tens of millions of voters, the guy was re-elected.

Now, the Washington Post and ABC News are out with a new poll: A majority of us crazy Americans now think the war’s, like, a mistake:

“Most Americans now believe the war with Iraq was not worth fighting and more than half want to fire embattled Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the chief architect of that conflict, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

“The survey found that 56 percent of the country now believes that the cost of the conflict in Iraq outweighs the benefits, while 42 percent disagreed. It marked the first time since the war began that a clear majority of Americans have judged the war to have been a mistake.

“Barely a third of the country approves of the job that Rumsfeld is doing as defense secretary, and 52 percent said President Bush should sack Rumsfeld, a view shared by a big majority of Democrats and political independents.”

But then comes the number that probably partly explains the way we crazy Americans voted last month: “… Nearly six in 10 — 58 percent — said the United States should keep its military forces in Iraq rather than withdraw them, a proportion that has not changed in seven months.”

OK — that’s honorable. Let’s not cut and run and leave those nice Iraqis in the lurch. The thing you have to question about that sort of thinking, though, is the assumption that our indefinite presence is a stabilizing, positive influence. I mean, we sure can’t imagine anyplace in the world that doesn’t benefit from our warm attention, but at some point you have to consider the possibility that Iraq could be better off with some different kind of foreign oversight, or regime, than what we’re trying to impose.

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